Officially protected as a provincial park, the Khutzeymateen is a rugged and remote 44,300-hectare (109,500-acre) tract of wilderness 50 kilometers (31 miles) northeast of Prince Rupert , and is Canada’s only grizzly bear sanctuary. To the Tsimshian people, the area was known as the K’tzim-a-Deen, which translates to “The Long Inlet Surrounded by a Steep Valley.”
To Canadian conservationists the name Khutzeymateen is synonymous with one of their earliest victories — a 1984 decision to set aside an area where grizzly bears would be safe from hunters. The park extends from the upper reaches of Khutzeymateen Inlet to the high peaks of the Kitimat Range, protecting the tidal zone at the head of the inlet where approximately 50 grizzly bears, fresh out of hibernation in May and June, come down to the water’s edge to feed on sedges and grasses.
Through summer, the bears remain in the area, feeding in the salmon-rich Khutzeymateen and Kateen Rivers.
Due to the inaccessibility of the region, most visitors arrive on a guided trip. Prince Rupert Adventure Tours (250/627-9166 or 800/201-8377, www.adventuretours.net ) runs visitors into the area by boat from Prince Rupert  for $175 per person, but most of the six-hour trip is spent traveling.
Overnight tours are run by SunChaser Eco-Tours (250/624-5472, www.sunchasercharters.ca ), which offers trips on a live-aboard motor cruiser. Departing from Prince Rupert and taking a half-day to reach the sanctuary, the trips emphasize bear viewing, but time is also spent exploring other aspects of the area’s natural and human history; from $1,800 for four days.