Welcome to Bear Claw Lodge

Bear Claw Lodge is the base for exploring one of northwest British Columbia’s most stunning mountain valleys: Kispiox Valley (Gitxsan for “The Hiding Place”). Imagine a valley where the world’s largest strain of wild Steelhead and Salmon spawn in pristine mountain fresh streams where you may get the chance to see Grizzly and Black Bear fishing. This is a place where mountain goats scale the craggy flanks of snow capped peaks, and the call of the wolf echoes through old growth forests. The valley is home to ancient village sites and trails that hearken to a time before European contact, when the Gitskan people travelled and traded throughout this bountiful region. Historic ranches and homesteads are a living testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of early settlers.

With 15,000 square feet of post and beam craftsmanship, Bear Claw Lodge overlooks the famed Kispiox River and is surrounded by mountains.  The lodge has hosted fishermen and heli-skiers from around the world for more than ten years, and in 2014 it expanded into the late spring and summer months with a variety of outdoor experiences (including its popular eco-wild camps) targeting summer guests and families interested in sustainable, remote, eco-luxury experiences.

Proud Recipients of the Green Tourism Certification

We are very proud of our latest accolade!

Through our hard work, and our eco-friendly practises, we have been awarded the world’s most recognized & credible sustainable tourism certification. Over the last few years, Bear Claw has initiated many changes including: running off the grid with a solar system, an extensive recycling program, enlarged our garden, and upgraded our composting. We are proud that we do not use any fertilizers or chemicals, other than what our horses produce.

What is Green Tourism?

More than 2,300 hospitality businesses across the globe are growing their business and reducing their impact on the environment. Beginning in the UK in 1997, Green Tourism launched its assessment and certification program as a way to help hotels, restaurants and tour operators and tourist attractions improve their sustainability and become recognized for their efforts. Green Tourism is currently growing across Europe and North America.

One of the first sustainable tourism certification programs in the world, Green Tourism has remained one of the most sought-after eco-labels and certification programs.  Unlike many other sustainable business certification programs who allow self-assessments and grading, our members are assessed on-site by trained sustainability experts, who review everything from energy efficiency to food sources.  This thorough assessment process gives our members insight into how to further reduce their businesses’s impact on the environment, how to best manage future projects, as well as personalized expert advice in the field of green business.

To find out more, please visit: www.GreenTourismCanada.ca

MEET THE TEAM

We are a team of dedicated professionals, ready to do what ever it takes to make your visit the best it can be.

Gene Allen

Gene Allen

Owner / Guide

Gene was a Director on the Quality Waters Strategy Board, and a part of the Skeena Fisheries Angling Committee, Wild Steelhead Society, and the Skeena Watershed Coalition. He’s involved with the Land Resource & Management Plan for the Forest District and the Swan Lake Wilderness Area. Gene is a past president of the British Columbia Rodeo Association and won the Lifetime Achievement Award in Rodeo and Rodeo Person of the Year.
Gene is a fishing guide, coordinates the mountain pack trips and is involved in every aspect of the Bear Claw Lodge.

Joy Allen

Joy Allen

Owner / General Manager

Joy has always had an active life with horses, competing in both rodeo and horse shows. She conducted barrel racing clinics for many years and was the Director of Women‘s and Children’s events for B.C. rodeos.
Joy has served as President of the Kispiox Valley Rodeo Club for nearly 30 years and is the Vice President of the local Community Association. Joy won the "Today’s Woman Award" for Community Enrichment for the Yukon and B.C. Interior, and was the first recipient of the Hank Vogel: Rodeo Person of the Year Award in B.C. She initiated the Conservation Camps for kids at Bearclaw and continues to be actively involved in all facets of the lodge programs.

Kaleigh Allen

Kaleigh Allen

Marketing Manager

Kaleigh is a well rounded outdoors woman, a rafting guide, experienced horse woman, a former rodeo competitor, and schooled in South Carolina and Germany. Kaleigh is a certified Swift Water Rescue tech, has her first aid and transportation, boating license, food safe, helicopter safety, and many other certifications making her a valuable asset to the company.
She has an avid interest in the Conservation Camps and helps kids learn to have an appreciation for the outdoors. Kaleigh also beat the Mantracker, on the popular tv series. Kaleigh is one of Bear Claw’s chefs and helps coordinates the outdoor recreation. Kaleigh works to source local ingredients, helping create amazing Northern BC cuisine.

Danielle Bradford

Danielle Bradford

Guest Services

Danielle is a Bear Claw Lodge old timer and is known for her contagious smile! Danielle was born and raised in Smithers, BC and is passionate about Northern British Columbia conservation and the outdoors.
Danielle is active in all facets of the lodge whether it be maintenance, guest services, or anything to do with the outdoors. She has her first aid, swift water rescue, and is Bear Claw’s Bee Keeper!
Not only are her karaoke skills outstanding, but her personality, talents and experiences she has gained through the years have made her an exceptional person and Bear Claw family member!

Jim Allen

Jim Allen

Owner of Kispiox Fishing Company

Jim is a world renowned steelhead fly fishing guide. Jim has rod days on the Kispiox, Skeena and Bulkley Rivers and guides fishermen throughout the year. He was the trip leader for the ‘Skeena Swim’ where Ali Howard swam from the Sacred Headwaters to the Pacific. Jim is also very active in our Eco-Wild camps. He is the owner of the Kispiox Fishing Company, offering a first-class guiding service.
Jim is a fourth generation Kispiox Valley Homesteader. Although he’s guided the flats of the Bahamas, the trout streams in Chile, and fished many other places in the world, his real passion is guiding in the Skeena River System.
The firewood we burn all winter is horse-logged by Jim and his team "Princess and Skeena".

Shannon McPhail

Shannon McPhail

Executive Director of SWCC

Shannon is involved in conservation as the Executive Director of the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition which was rated one of the 2010 top ten organizations in Canada.
She is a founding member of the Citizens Concerned about Coalbed Methane, currently working with the provincial government on regulation reform in the oil and gas sector. Shannon has worked with local First Nations in hopes of building a robust cultural tourism and conservation economy.
Shannon helped successfully negotiate to have proper bridges installed on the upper Kispiox that resulted in more than 18,000 more salmon in the system. She is a strong supporter of youth and has been instrumental in designing the curriculum for our Eco-Wild Camps.

Tori Silver

Tori Silver

Guest Services

Tori Silver is a Bear Claw lodge "old-timer", she started working at Bear Claw when she was 10 years old and has worked off and on ever since throughout the summer and fall.
Tori is keen on sports, the outdoors, conservation and youth! Tori is a part of our guest services team but is also one of our eco-wild and conservation camps councillors. Tori has several certificates from bar tending to first aid and transportation. She is a favourite among our eco-wild and conservation campers. She is currently in university in Kelowna studying to become a teacher and fortunately spends her summers working at Bear Claw!

Sammy Sage

Sammy Sage

Camp Councillor/Guide/Guest Services

Sammy is active in all facets of Bear Claw Lodge whether she is guiding a trail ride, on the river, hanging out with our kid campers or helping out in the lodge. Sammy is a well rounded outdoors woman and employee. Sammy has her bachelors degree with honours in bio-resource management focused agricultural, equine science, environmental science and business. Sammy also has her level 1 first aid and a lot of experience in the outdoors and on ranches.

Emma Williams

Emma Williams

Camp Councillor & Guest Services

Emma is a well rounded outdoors woman and an outgoing member of the Bear Claw team. She is an avid swimmer, enjoys basketball and being in the outdoors. She has her Level 2 First Aid, Bronze Medallion Life Guard, and is fluent in French. Emma‘s dad Donny is one of our steelhead guides and one of the top fly-tiers in the world. Although we love having Emma work in the lodge she’s also an asset on and in the river!

Tanis Fuller

Guest Services/ Camp Councillor

Tanis is from the Hazeltons and has been working for Bear Claw since 2016. Tanis is very athletic and enjoys playing soccer and horse back riding.

Connor Arnason

Connor Arnason

Outdoor Services/Camp Councillor

Connor is one of our newest team members at Bear Claw. Connor grew up in Fraser Lake where he played hockey and has learned a lot about athletics and outdoors. Connor has his Level 3 First Aid, Bear and Cougar Safety, Swift Water Rescue Technician Level 1, and his Food Safe.
Connor is an avid outdoorsman and thoroughly enjoys all types of outdoor recreation. Whether he takes you on a trail ride, or you enjoy a day on the river with him, his genuine attitude and knowledge of the outdoors will have you enjoying every second!

Cole Bender

Cole Bender

Camp Councillor

Cole Bender started as a "kids camper" and showed such a keen interest in the outdoors and for conservation that he is now one of our councillors. Cole has his Level 1 Wilderness Survival First Aid, Core, he is fluent in French, an avid skier, biker, and fly fisherman, and is on the BC Biathlon team, (top in his age category). In 2017 Cole podiumed in all 10 of his provincial races. After all the provincial races he finished top senior boy in B.C. for the 2016-17 race season. At nationals in Canmore Alberta Cole got a 5th, 6th and two 3rds! Cole has also been invited to train with the olympic biathlon team for Canada.

Tiaan Fourie

Tiaan Fourie

Camp Councillor

Tiaan was born in Terrace, B.C. in 1999. He grew up following his parents example and took interest in fishing, archery, and karate. He is also an avid outdoorsman, and because of this has pursued activities such as going on safari in Namibia, mid-winter camping on a mountain peak in interior B.C., and snorkeling along the sandy beaches of the Punta Colorada. In 2013 he attended the Shawnigan Lake Boarding School on Vancouver Island, where he joined a competitive Cross-country team, worked as a stage technician for the drama students, became a leader in his dorm house, and eventually graduated with honors and the highest possible accolade in English Literature. He now attends the University of Victoria and aims to finish his undergraduate degree in Microbiology.

Renzo Zenardo

Renzo Zenardo

Camp Councillor

Renzo Zenardo started coming to Bear Claw Conservation Camps 5 years ago. In 2017, he came back as a camp councillor. Renzo has his First Aid and is a life guard. Renzo is extremely athletic and enjoys the outdoors. He is a successful swimmer, having won several medals including gold at Provincials.

Max Beertema

Max Beertema

Camp Councillor/ Guest Services

Max is from the Kispiox Valley area. Like most of our staff, he started out as a kids camper and then came back to work for us. Max is currently attending TRU and majoring is hotel management. Max has several certificates a few including level 1 First Aid, World Host, WHIMIS, Food Safe, etc. Although Max is great in the lodge and a wonderful host, he is also great in the outdoors whether he guides a horseback trip or a kayak trip.

Alana Wadley

Alana Wadley

Guest Services

Alana Wadley is one of the longest standing employees at Bear Claw lodge, having started work here in its very first year of operation. She was born and raised in the Bulkley, and Kispiox Valleys and is deeply rooted in the community. When not working at Bear Claw, she is busy raising her two children with partner Jim Allen (Owner and Operator of Kispiox Fishing company), and enjoying the bounty that is the Kispiox Valley.

Amelie Lafortune

Amelie Lafortune

Massage Therapist & Guest Services

Amelie‘s interest and love in her work was significant since the very beginning of her massage practice. She exceled as a student at The Vancouver School of Bodywork and Massage where she graduated at the top of her class. She has been practicing since 2007 and has spent most of her career in the most pristine locations of heli-ski and fishing lodges around B.C. Before her massage practice, Amelie graduated from a 3 year program in Orthopedic Orthotics and Prosthetics. She also has an extensive background in the hotel and hospitality industry. When she is not working you’ll find her travelling around in search of good waves, good people and good vibes. She also finds a lot of happiness being around horses and maintaining health through yoga, running and being outdoors.