• Grizzly bear cub, Canada

The best time to go to Canada

The best time to go to Canada is between June and October. Whilst Canada is perceived as a year-round destination, the temperatures of the summer months lend themselves to more of the outdoor activities for which Canada is renowned, although there are huge regional differences to consider, highlighted below, as well as best times to view specific wildlife. Generally, in the south, the summer period is between late May and early September, whilst in the north, this is a much shorter season between mid-June and mid-September, after which snowfall can begin.  Winter months are characterised by darker and colder weather, but are of course perfect for winter sports. 


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Bear Cave Mountain Camp, Phil Timpany, Canada

When to go by Region

British Columbia

This westernmost province of Canada has some of Canada’s warmest weather and a temperate climate for exploring the outdoor scenery and wildlife of the area. The mountain ranges and thick forests of BC are rich in wildlife such as deer, wolves, cougar, and of course the black and grizzly bears.  The optimum time to view the bears is during the salmon spawning season from late August to September, when they can be seen swiping salmon from the rivers and fattening up before the onset of winter.


The shorter summer period can be warm, with temperatures known to reach 30ºC, but with some rain at times.  The majority of snow tends to fall when the temperature is not at its lowest during the winter season, which is generally cold and dry.  It is one of the world’s best places to experience the the natural phenomenon of Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), which are at their most impressive from January through March when skies are clearer.  Churchill’s setting within the transitional zone between the Arctic tundra and the Boreal Forest also makes it ideal for wildlife.  Up to 60,000 beluga whales can be seen in the summer months, particularly between July and August, along the shores of the Hudson Bay.  Those looking to witness polar bears in their natural habitat should aim to visit October to November, when they arrive on the tundra nearby Churchill before the ‘Big Freeze’ and winter hunting season.

Bear Cave Mountain Camp, Phil Timpany, Canada

When to go to Canada if you want to see...

Grizzly Bears: June to October is the best time to see grizzly bears throughout British Columbia.

Spirit Bears: As with the grizzly bears, the best time to see the spirit bears is the summer when you can cruise the coast of B.C.

Whales: In the summer you can see lots of different whale species, including humpbacks, orcas and beluga.

Spirit bear safari, Canada

Canada Monthly Overviews

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Best time to go to Canada if you want to experience ...

Coastal Exploration: During the summer you can cruise the coast of BC in search of spirit bears, humpback whales, orcas, and more. 

Tracking Wild Grizzlies: From June to September the salmon head upstream to spawn and grizzlies can be seen fishing, foraging, and playing. 

Northern Lights: The impressive light display is best in winter months in Churchill, when the sky is dark enough for them to be visible. 

Trackig Polar Bear: The best time to track polar bears in Canada depends on where you go, Churchill is best in October – November, then further north it is best to go in summer. 

Alaska Grizzly Bear


Canada Day is a huge celebration across the country on and around 1st July, with events such as Bella Coola Rodeo and ‘Bay Dip’ in Hudson Bay renowned for marking the start of summer. The Bella Coola Valley Fall Fair in September is also a fun affair, with everything from ringtoss to axe throwing, and if you’re in Vancouver in August, the nine-day MusicFest Vancouver is worth catching.

Polar bear cubs, Arctic

Your Next Steps

View our Canada safaris, or talk to one of our specialists for more details on travelling to Canada. Please note we recommend a budget of from £7,000 / $10,000 USD per person for our style of trip to this destination.