Thornton Creek Hatchery
Thornton Creek Hatchery
4.5
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
About
Duration: More than 3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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Tours and Tickets

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles99 reviews
Excellent
70
Very good
17
Average
6
Poor
2
Terrible
4

Michelle H
Harwich, UK397 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022
Visited the hatchery hoping to see black bears, unfortunately we were a couple of weeks too early. We did get a fly past (twice) by a bald eagle. The hatchery is very informative and we learnt a lot about salmon. Dave is a very interesting character and he enjoyed sharing his knowledge with us which also included mushrooms, which he is very passionate about. Although it is free to visit they do ask for donations as they have very limited funding. We thought the hatchery was well worth the visit (even without the bears) and we were more than happy to make a contribution.
Written October 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Melinda C
13 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020 • Couples
Sadly, even though this site indicates this venue is open, it is not, sure to Covid. 😕
Would of loved to of seen this, maybe next trip
Written November 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Redkitewatcher64
Andover, UK1,848 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
Stopped off here after a recommendation on a boat trip that this was a great place to see bears. Very well sign posted from the main town , but only a very small car park so at busy times like at weekends it is very difficult to park. there were cars parked all along the road, so recommend driving down to the hatchery and turning around and parking facing out as it makes it easier to get out. We visited in main bear season and there are a lot of warning signs outside to warn you of the potential of bear encounters. We didn't visit the exhibition or the hatchery due to limited time , just deciding to look at the falls. There was a lady at the gate talking to visitors and had a bucket asking for suggested donation of $10 , but very few people put anything in. You walk along the path to a viewing platform which overlooks the waterfall. It was very crowded on the day we went and the path and platform are very narrow and it was difficult to walk along or be able to see through to the waterfall. It would probably benefit from having a wider platform maybe tiered. One of the issues were photographers that claimed the spot at the front and refused to move , several people said they had been there for hours . It would have been fairer if people took turns so that everyone got a chance to see. When you got to the front the views of the bears were great., we watched two walk along a a fallen log and fish by the waterfall. Later they walked along the river path along side the viewing platform. All of the platform and path is surrounded by a high wire fence, so although the bears can get close you are safe. Have to say although it was great seeing bears we preferred our visit to the Quinsam river where we were on our own and had unrestricted views of bears
Written November 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Spiderdog
Cheshire, UK7,720 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
We were on a road trip and staying in Ucluelet during the salmon run season.
Visited following several recommendations and we arrived at 10am just as it was opening.
There was excitement as volunteer staff had seen a couple of black bears and a wolf in the previous half hour!
We were lucky enough to visit when it was quiet and we spent quite a while watching two bears ( Mother and a young bear) while they were in the water catching salmon.
You can view the river from a raised boardwalk and we got some good video which we have watched a lot since.
The volunteer staff are very helpful and knowledgeable and we were happy to make a donation as no entrance fee is charged.
A great place for bear watching if you are there at the right time.
The overall setting makes it a good place for viewing wildlife but there is now limited opportunity for public access as they don't want wildlife to become too tame or used to humans.
Written November 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jane G
Cambridge, UK76 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
The site itself is really just a small hatchery run by dedicated volunteers. I found the volunteer guide interesting and learnt a bit about salmon. However the vast majority of people were there to see black bears. There was a mother and youngster there in the waterfall pool. The boardwalk is quite short and there was at least 20 people, jostling for position at the end of the walk which has a high chain link electrified fence to protect visitors. Despite seeing the bears I found the experience rather upsetting due to the numbers/behaviour of other visitors. It was a wet Tuesday at about 11am, maybe we were just unlucky
Written October 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mervyy27
Nanaimo BC80 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
We read about the bear sightings at the hatchery this time of year and checked it out! Beautiful scenery and weather today made it a spectacular day. Volunteer was very knowledgeable. Saw one bear but others noted there had been 3 separate visits that day and we were not there at low tide which is the best time.3 cubs were seen earlier in the day. As a photographer the shooting was awkward with several other picture takers there but otherwise good. The road is rough but not a problem if you go slow! Will come again!
Written September 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tony P
Norwich, UK276 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
We were told about this place whilst travelling in another part of BC, The hatchery is interesting and anything to improve the salmon cycle has to be worthwhile. But went to see bears - black by the pool under the waterfall. Good sightings and of free swimming chinook too
Written September 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kirkland_Greg
Montreal, Canada4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
This is a "must visit" if you are in the Torino/Ucluelet area during the salmon run (September through mid-November). Am told it is best after a rainfall, which was the case, as this facilitates the salmon's entry into the creek. We saw a few making their way up to the falls, which is the end of the run and with binoculars were able to see a bunch (50+) in the pool at the foot of the falls. Of course, this makes them easy pickings for the bears which also congregate in the area during this time. We were fortunate enough to see four bears during our visit... so majestic. They were quite active, traversing the full length of the creek (about 100 yards) for an hour or so.
Written September 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rick B
British Columbia, Canada126 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
The access road is a little rough for the last km but fine for most vehicles as long as one takes it slow.
Most of the Chinook salmon that come to Thornton Creek were still out in the bay on our September 9 visit, but a few had come in after an earlier fall rain. We got the story of the hatchery from the attendant and enjoyed looking at the facility and the fenced boardwalk bordering Thornton Creek. I was fortunate to see a small black bear retrieve a half-eaten salmon from the stream side and spend a few minutes eating before dragging it into the lush rain forest. There was a constant cacophony of crows, ravens, Steller's jays, and a lone turkey vulture. The attendant said the best time to visit would be following a rain as that brings the salmon in.
We saw 7 black bears including a sow with 3 cubs on the beach the day before from our kayaks.
Written September 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

123bird123
7 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
We drove all the way there after checking their website saying it was open until 3pm. At 11am we arrived to an old sign saying no bears were there and we could still visit if the gate was open. We drove down a narrow road to a closed gate. Despite it being during visiting hours. There was no where to turn around once you got to the gate! Ironically we saw a bear cross the road on the way out. But their website is not up to date and we wasted a portion of our holiday. Not cool.
Written July 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Thornton Creek Hatchery - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions about Thornton Creek Hatchery

Thornton Creek Hatchery is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.


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