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.

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.

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!

Kirsten Marleau

Kirsten Marleau

Guest Services

Kirsten was born and raised in Smithers, BC. She grew up spending a lot of time skiing and enjoying the outdoors. After two years of university focusing on health sciences and nursing, she booked a flight to Thailand and spent time backpacking until moving to Australia for a year where she worked as a nanny. Kirsten was a ski instructor on Hudson Bay Mountain and a Swift Water Rescue Technician. Her incredible organizational skills make her a valuable asset in the Bear Claw family. We are lucky to have her at Bear Claw Lodge sharing her outdoor knowledge with our eco-wild campers and being a part of our guest services team!

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. We are lucky to have Connor on our team, although our youngest member, he is very qualified. He has his First Aid and Transportation Endorsement, 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!

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!

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.

Eve Jones

Eve Jones

Massage Therapist

Our wonderful masseuse trained in Hawaii. Eve brings her special techniques to relieve muscle soreness from a day of heli skiing or fly fishing, helping our guests stay both relaxed and refreshed.

Eve features the Lomi Elli Special, using smooth stones oiled and heated to body temperature, which are then used to massage the muscles providing a sense of deep release and relaxation. Other popular massages that Eve practices for guests include the Lomi Lomi and the Cowboy. Eve enjoys horseback riding and travelling to warm countries. Eve leads the stretching classes in the early mornings during heliski season.