Hiking South Chilcotin Mountains

Our Wild Neighbours – Part 1

Tyax Lodge and the surrounding areas of BC are home to some iconic Canadian animals. From small birds through to grizzly bears, this area is home to all size of creatures. A visit to Tyax Lodge is taking a step into the wilderness. The creeks and lakes are streaming with fish. The treetops are bustling with eagles and owls. While in the remote, distant peaks and valleys, bears and wolves roam.

In this first part of a two-part article, we’re going to take a look at some of the birds and bears that live in this region.


Mention Canadian wildlife to anybody and immediately they’re going to think of bears. Bears are synonymous with the Canadian wilderness and Canadian culture. The mountains and forests around Tyax Lodge, and BC are home to some of the most well-known bear species. So don’t be surprised if you see some bears in the far distance when you’re mountain biking at Tyax Lodge!

Grizzly Bears

Grizzly bears live in the most remote parts of the mountain ranges around Tyax Lodge and the Gold Bridge area. Grizzlies fish for trout in the streams, hunt for marmots and forage for skunk cabbage and berries. They are solitary animals who love to live in regions far away from humans and other disturbances.

Black Bears

Black bears are a much more common sight than grizzly bears, in fact, they are the most common bear in the world. They are smaller than grizzlies and have a more pronounced pointed nose. They also love to fish as well as having a large number of berries, nuts, and fruits in their diet.

Kermode Bears

Now, this is a rare one! Kermode bears have near legendary status, particularly in First Nations folklore. They are sometimes referred to as ‘Spirit Bears’. Kermode bears are an uncommon variation of black bears, with only a small percentage of them having white fur. It has been noted that their white fur could help with fishing. White bears are harder for fish to see that their black fur counter-parts.


There’s no shortage of birds at Tyax Lodge. From small, plentiful ptarmigans to wise owls and large birds of prey, Tyax Lodge has it all. So next time you’re out for a hike at Tyax Lodge keep an eye on the skies above you!


The ptarmigan is a common sight in the mountains around Tyax Lodge. They are a small-medium sized game bird who make their home in the higher reaches of the mountains.

Their feathers molt as the season changes and help to camouflage them with their surroundings. In winter they are mainly white with a black tip on their tails, while in summer their feathers are a mottled brown. This helps to hide them from larger birds of prey in the area.

Birds of Prey

Numerous birds of prey hunt from the skies of British Columbia. Golden eagles and bald eagles nest high in cliffs. They hunt smaller animals and can be seen swooping for marmots and squirrels.

Keen observers will also be able to spot gyrfalcons as well. These are the largest members of the falcon family. Their plumage coloring varies greatly within the species. They can be found with pure white feathers, to a speckled brown, with some females having all black feathers.


Some of our most common year-round residents are owls. Great grey owls have piercing yellow eyes and incredibly accurate hearing. They hunt at night from low-hanging perches and use their excellent hearing ability to locate their prey. They are one of the very few species of owls that dives into the snow to attack their prey.

The great horned owl is the most widely distributed owl in the Americas. Their coloring depends on where they live. The great horned owls in this part of BC have a patchy dark brown and black plumage. They get their name from their distinctive ear tufts that resemble horns.

Make sure you check out our next article which will cover fish, horses, moose, and beavers!


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