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Does your family love zoos and aquariums? Are you looking for a unique opportunity to see animals? Then you need to visit Bearizona in Williams, Arizona! Here’s everything you need to know to plan an amazing trip!
What is Bearizona?
Bearizona is a wildlife park with two distinct sections.
The first and largest part is a drive thru park where the only thing separating you from the animals is your car. The drive is three miles long and gives you the chance to see a variety of animals. You are allowed to go through this section of the park as many times as you want during your visit.
The second half is a walk thru portion, called Fort Bearizona. This part of the park is more like a traditional zoo. Here, the animals are in exhibits with either fences or windows between you and them.
Drive Thru Section
All of the animals in this section are native to North America. They include black bears, American bison, white bison, Alaskan tundra wolves, reindeer, American burros, arctic wolves, mule deer, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, pronghorn deer, and Rocky Mountain goats.
Inside Fort Bearizona, you will find beavers, raccoons, javelinas, badgers, red fox, a jaguar, elk, grizzly bears, otters, bobcats, and barnyard animals.
Entertainment, Food, and Gifts
In addition to the animals, there are several other entertainment options in Fort Bearizona that will really round out your visit.
There are two different stages where you can see shows and learn more about the animals. You can also get a more up close look at some of the animals during Keeper Chats.
Additionally, you can watch the miniature train in the gift shop.
If you get hungry during your visit to Bearizona, never fear! There are several places to grab something to eat. If you prefer to sit and eat a nice meal while gazing out at the jaguar, head over to Canyonlands Restaurant.
On the other hand, if you prefer something more grab and go, then you can choose from Bearizona Grill or one of a few food kiosks that are situated near the main stage.
Lastly, for that special souvenir to remember your trip, take your pick of a wide variety of gifts at the Big Bear Gift Shop.
Prices and Operating Hours
Bearizona is open 7 days a week year round. It is only closed on Christmas Day. During the summer, the park is open from 8 am to 7:30 pm, with the last admittance at 6 pm. During the rest of the year, the hours vary. Find the hours for your trip on their website.
The admission prices vary depending on whether you visit during the week or on the weekend. During the week, the price is $30 for everyone age 13 and older and $20 for kids age 4-12. On the weekends, it will cost you $35 for adults and $25 for kids. Children 3 and under are free.
We loved Bearizona! It was one of our favorite parts of our road trip through Arizona. Honestly, we had way more fun here than we did at the Grand Canyon.
We loved the drive thru portion of the park. It took us about 45 minutes to drive through it once. While most of the animals were away from the road, we were able to easily see them.
After finishing the drive, we immediately went through for a second time. This time was even better than the first. Almost all the animals had moved from our first time around. And many of them were closer to the road.
As we were driving through the second time, a bear was walking along the edge of the road in front of us. As we tried to go around it, the bear stopped and stared us down. It then moved over to the middle of the road and continued walking.
We also enjoyed walking through Fort Bearizona. It wasn’t busy and we were able to take our time watching the animals without having to fight the crowds.
All in all, we spent about 2 and a half hours at Bearizona. While we thought it was a little pricey, we felt that it was well worth every penny. All of us had a great time here.
Tips for Visiting Bearizona
To make your trip to Bearizona really amazing, here are some tips:
- To see the animals when they are the most active, visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
- Plan to spend at least 2 hours at the park to experience it to the fullest.
- As you are driving through the bears and wolves, keep your windows up and doors locked.
- Respect the animals and give them their space. Remember, this is their home and you are the guest.
- Pets are not allowed in Fort Bearizona, but you can bring them with you through the drive thru part, as long as you keep your windows up.
- Drive through multiple times. You’ll be surprised at how different each loop is from the previous ones.
- Don’t attempt to feed or touch the animals.
- Save Fort Bearizona for after you are finished with the drive thru portion.
- Take your time watching the animals and let your kids explore the area.
Bearizona is located in Williams, Arizona. While this is a small town, it is a great location to visit with your family.
Williams is the “Gateway to the Grand Canyon” because it is one of the closest towns to the Grand Canyon. But, it is also one of the last towns left on the historic Route 66. The town fully embraces both of these claims to fame, as well as its “wild west” past.
Williams is a cute and charming little town. And it has a lot to offer with many restaurants, hotels, and gift shops. Additionally, it is the starting point for the Grand Canyon Railway.
Your family will enjoy spending time here.
Bearizona is a fun and unique place to see animals in their element. We had a blast there and I think you will too! This hidden gem is definitely worth a visit! Enjoy!
Also check out our post on visiting the Grand Canyon with kids.
P.S. Need help finding the best places to go on your family vacations? My Ultimate USA Bucket List for Families will instantly give you 60 of the best vacation destinations for families in the United States! Get it for FREE in the box below and start planning your next trip today! Plus, as a bonus, you will receive my weekly email newsletter full of family trip tips and inspiration!