Bearizona Wildlife Park is a drive-through wildlife sanctuary in Williams, Arizona, along Historic Route 66. And it needs to be on your list of places to take your kids.
We found out about this attraction on our way to the Grand Canyon. We saw it on a billboard and thought, “That looks like a fun pit stop!” Being that we love spontaneous adventures, we decided to go for it! We were not disappointed!
Bearizona Wildlife Park is home to elk, bison, wolves, bears, and more! This sanctuary is committed to conservation and preservation. Some of the animals, such as the grizzlies, are rescues.
As the sign in the photo below tells, these grizzlies were orphaned after their mother had a conflict with a hiker and did not survive.
Tickets to Bearizona can be purchased online ahead of time, or you can buy them at the gate- which is what we did.
Tickets are $20-$35 per person, depending on whether it’s a weekend or a child versus adult ticket. The admission price includes parking, the drive-thru, and the walk-thru areas.
The drive-thru is the first part of the park. You will be driving 3 miles through the ponderosa pine forest, right through the animals’ natural habitats!
Vehicles have to be completely enclosed (no open-top convertibles or Jeeps!) Bearizona Wildlife Park drive-thru differs from others we’ve been to (such as Tennessee Safari Park) in that there’s no feeding or touching the animals allowed here.
We came first thing in the morning, so most of the animals were pretty active.
The first animal we saw was a reindeer, literally so close we could reach out and touch it (But don’t! Remember, it’s not allowed!) Its antlers were so big! This was the perfect start because the kids were immediately captivated!
Driving on, we saw wolves- one who followed us down the road for a little ways.
After the wolves, there were bears. So amazing to get to see these animals wandering up so close! You will be driving right through the enclosures, so expect animals to be wandering right out into the road!
You can drive through the park as many times as you want before exiting, although we went through just once. It took less than an hour to drive through the park.
Fort Bearizona – Walk-Thru Wildlife Park
After that, we parked and walked in to Fort Bearizona, where the walk-thru zoo, gift shop, and restaurants are located. This area is more like a typical zoo.
At the black bear habitat, one of the bears was up in a tree, which was so fun to see! Apparently, this is a favorite spot for this one, so make sure if you go, you look up! We also saw raccoons up a tree in another area!
There were several small animal exhibits, like the badger and porcupine. There were also larger animals such as grizzlies, jaguars, and elk.
At random times, the staff does what they call “Surprise & Delights”. You might be surprised by an animal encounter, with educational information! Unfortunately, we missed all of those on this trip. However, there was a staff member at the elk area who was pointing out which elk was which.
After checking out all the exhibits, we went through the huge gift shop, where both kids got a bear hat.
We all had such a good time here! It’s such a beautiful and well-maintained park, and we love a place committed to helping animals! All the animals’ habitats were big and open and natural. It didn’t feel like a place that just cages up animals to make a buck.
Important Information about Bearizona Wildlife Park
Hours: (as of October 2022, hours vary by season)
Open Daily: 9:00 am – 5:30 pm, last car admitted at 4:30 pm
Address: 1500 E. Route 66, Williams, AZ
- Pets are allowed in the drive-thru portion and in the parking area, but cannot enter into the walk-thru portion of the park- including service animals.
- You may bring in outside food for picnicking.
- Anything protruding from your vehicle has to be removed (bicycles, luggage, coolers, etc.) There is a spot provided at the entrance to leave these things.
Are you heading to the Grand Canyon, or doing a Route 66 road trip? Maybe a little trip to Flagstaff? Add Bearizona to your itinerary- you won’t regret it!
Other related articles:
- Our Wild Day at Tennessee Safari Park
- Essential Road Trip Tips for Families to Stay Entertained and Sane
- The Best Hiking Carriers for 3-Year-Olds
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