Telegraph Cove or Knight Inlet?

Mar 30th, 2004, 02:40 PM
  #1  
R
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Telegraph Cove or Knight Inlet?

Any 'reviews' of either location? Interested in whale watching & potential bear watching...read you can do some of this from Telegraph Cove, or by staying at Knight Inlet itself (for grizzly viewing esp.).

Has anyone on this Board, ever been to either location? Found an old thread here with one comment, but hoping someone may have been to this area, more recently, & able to offer feedback. It's not inexpensive! Trying to decide if it's worth the splurge.

Also, we may not be able to *fly* to Knight Inlet, like Knight Inlet Lodge seems to require (due to health reasons)...so, may only have day trip option out of Telegraph Cove, to view bears. 'Course that leaves one w/much less time actually having the chance to see bears. However, may be our only option. Any help would be *most* appreciated! Thanks!
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Mar 30th, 2004, 05:18 PM
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I suggest you stay at a lodge just north west of Telegraph Cove on Vancouver Island called Hidden Cove Lodge. They have a secluded seaside location and a good restaurant and are easily accessible by road.

I've stayed at Telegraph Cove and find the accomodation there, while somewhat 'charming', to be a bit overpriced.

The grizzly tour operator out of Telegraph Cove is Tide Rip Tours. They run a water taxi type vessel that takes about 2 hours and a bit each way over to Knight Inlet. Their guides and captain are first rate and full of interesting stories about the area. Knight Inlet scenery is very impressive, to say the least, as you make your way into the coast range mountains.

The grizzly trips [they will pick you up at the Lodge dock....]take you to Knight Inlet Lodge's viewing stands on the Glendale River if you go from late August through September. At that time the pink salmon are running up the Glendale and attracting grizzlies. Viewing opportunities there are safe and can be absolutely breath taking.

Pinks return to their spawning streams every second year. A concern this year is that the 2002 salmon run up the Glendale 'crashed' due to a sea lice infestation of the young salmon. Instead of the customary 'million plus'' salmon, the 2002 run was only in the low 10's of thousands. So, there is some concern about how many salmon will return this year.

For whale watching, I suggest Mackay's out of Port McNeill. They have the best boat in the area and an excellent conservation ethic. They will also pick you up at the Lodge dock.
Stubb's Island out of Telegraph Cove is also good but we prefer Mackay's.

For the best killer whale and also grizzly viewing, with generally good weather, I suggest the last few days of August to early September. You might also see humpback whales, steller sea lions, white-sided dolphins and are almost certain to see plenty of bald eagles- especially on the Glendale.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have other questions.
cheers
Jerry
Toronto
gannetmusic is offline  
Mar 31st, 2004, 06:00 AM
  #3  
 
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We were last at Telegraph Cove in September 2002. The cove has lost its earlier ambience as a resort condo complex has built up across the channel from the original 1900 structures. Be aware that you will probably need to make advanced reservations with this larger influx of tourists into the area.
Retired_teacher is offline  
Mar 31st, 2004, 02:18 PM
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In my previous post I got so caught up i the mating habits of salmon that some details were neglected.

We stayed at Telegraph Cove Resort in August 2002. The accomodation was 'OK' but was quite sparse and not particulaly clean.

I agree with Retired teacher that the condo development detracts from the site's ambience.

We visited again last year and people in the group I was leading did enjoy the gift shops, whale museum and restuarant at Telegraph Cove. We stayed at Hidden Cove as mentioned in my previous post, which is a few minutes drive from Telegraph Cove.

For both grizzly watching and lodging I agree again with Retired teacher that reservations several months in advance are advisable.

The only other place I've stayed in the general area is the Haida Way Motor Inn, in Port McNeill. It is a very ordinary motel.

cheers
Jerry
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Mar 31st, 2004, 03:22 PM
  #5  
R
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Wow, Jerry & Retired Teacher, thank you so *very* much for your prompt & wonderful advice! I truly appreciate it, as we've been hoping to make this trip for several years, but have found health issues & family crises preventing our trip to this region, at least.

Nevertheless, we haven't given up our travel dreams, so will definitely make it work this year,
no matter what.

I am concerned about the new condo development. Is it actually visible from the main part of Telegraph Cove Resort? The buildings in the 'resort' remind us of Norway, where my hubby is from. So, there's an appeal in that.
Will look into Hidden Cove, however. About how far a drive is it? (5 minutes? 15?) Did you stay in the cottages, or regular rooms? From what you write here, it sounds like all the tours will fetch guests at Hidden Cove, directly? That would be nice!

Lastly, I truly appreciate your advice on the *best* time to travel. Helps us immensely! Have you ever been, however, in the non-salmon season...watching the bears from the boats, instead? (which is what they do in June, I believe) Glad to hear that Tide Rip was worthwhile. Just wasn't sure if the haul over, felt too long for the amount of time you get w/the bears.

However, I'm guessing Knight Inlet Lodge (grizzlytours.com) is prohibitively expensive? They don't even list their prices! One has to email them for rates, which is a hassle. Looks nice, whatever the case. And, I'm sure you do get more time w/the bears...

One last question: do you think a trip to Tofino area would be a letdown somehow in comparison to this region near Telegraph Cove? Should we try to squeeze in both? (our original intention) We'll be doing a good deal of driving already, since I don't feel like flying yet from the states. But, it's not really that far from Nanaimo to Telegraph Cove...nor to Tofino. If you've done both in the past...
where would you head first, for maximum 'effect?'
Thanks again!!!
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Apr 1st, 2004, 03:08 AM
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Unfortunately my husband and I never made it to Tofino for we discovered a map of back logging roads at the visitors center in Port McNeill and spent too much time, in retrospect, viewing clear cut logging operations, salmon hatcheries, and natural wonders on the northern part of the island. That was a wonderful adventure, however, I would caution you not to attempt it without a 4WD vehicle. We did drive up the main road to Port Hardy which has lots of tourist accommodations and to Port Alice which we found charming. You might want to consider ferrying out to Alert Bay which has an interesting totem pole museum and first people sites.

Unfortunately the condo development is highly visible from the original Telegraph Cove structures. I'd go there for lunch and follow Jerry's recommendation regarding Hidden Cove Lodge, although I personally have not stayed there. Another accommodation which offers a wonderful respite along Discovery Passage is the Twa-Kwa-Luten Lodge on Quadra Island across the passage from Campbell River. You can check out its website at www.capemudgeresort.bc.ca

Enjoy your time on the island!
Retired_teacher is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 02:08 PM
  #7  
R
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Thank you for the further advice. I take it, Retired Teacher, that you didn't stay in Telegraph Cove, either, for lodging? 'Tis a shame that they allowed that development to be visible. Will have to check on availability & prices w/regard to our options. Seems like the 'character' of Telegraph Cove buildings would be a positive...as long as one doesn't expect much updating, etc. However, I'll research more. (Haven't really gotten any library books yet to read reviews.) Thank you for your additional time, & sharing your experience, driving around.
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