This past summer my Grandmother came to visit us. This is a huge blessing as my children adore her, they call her Grandma Great. When she is here they are always in the kitchen baking, learning to sew, or going for walks. This time we surprised Gma Great with a trip to Bearizona and it was simply the time of our lives.
I had read about Bearizona and thought, “Oh, that would be cool to do one day.” I didn’t think “one day” would be the second summer we lived in Arizona. I am so glad we went however since we all had an amazing time. If you have never been, or maybe you are thinking about going, this family gives it 14 thumbs up!
Visiting Bearizona Wildlife Park, Arizona
Get ready to make some memories here and be sure your camera battery is fully charged! You won’t want to miss any of what is in store.
How to get to Bearizona
Bearizona is located in Williams, AZ at the intersections of I-40 and US HWY 64 (better known as Route 66). Still not sure where that is? How about this, its only 25 miles west of Flagstaff and 68 miles from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The signs you see along the road are very unique so its not easy to miss. Plan a weekend trip and visit the surrounding sites. There are plenty of Airbnb options to choose from.
Drive Through Adventure
Upon arrival at this almost 160-acre park, you have a few choices. You can drive through the more than three miles of Ponderosa Pine Forest (that smelled SO good!) to view North American Animals or take a Bus tour. Either route is included in the admission fee. We drove through this time, although, next time I think we will take the Bus tour as you are free to move around as long as the bus isn’t crowded. This is beneficial if the animals are on the opposite side you sat on.
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The caribou was literally right beside the car. We were allowed to have the windows down for this section but not able to reach toward the animals (duh, right?) BUT we could have touched them if we attempted to. That’s how close they were.
I promise this is not a random dog. This was an ArcticWolf.
The Junior Black Bears were rather lazy. I don’t recall any of them wandering around.
White Bison loop is an actual dirt road the Bus Tour takes. You see a lot of these fellas on it.
The American Bison. Holy HUGE! Luckily this was a window UP section. He was SO CLOSE and MASSIVE. I was in awe of the beauty.
See, told you he was THAT close!
Big Horn Sheep and his lone tree.
Moving along, nothing to see here. The Black Bears were not phased by all the cars and my kids were in an uproar to see them right beside us.
These two evidently had some differences to work out.
Our drive was WONDERFUL still. We let the kids unbuckle and move about so they could see better. Most sections of the drive require the windows to be up and doors locked at all times for safety so letting the kids move about in the vehicle was fine by me. Besides the speed limit for the route is a whopping 15MPH.
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Walking Through Fort Bearizona
After you finish the drive-through section do not head home! There is a whole other side to this place. Visit Fort Bearizona where even more animals are exhibited.
This part is a 20-acre walk through area with paths and picnic areas. You can see baby bear cubs and the beavers, otters and even a petting zoo! The best part- it is also included in your admission. They have shows you can attend, places to eat if you aren’t packing your own food in, and its very beautifully put together.
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This Jaguar was not in a good mood. He was pacing back and forth and when my youngest sat by the window the Jaguar was staring him down like a meal. It was a little unsettling. My son, however, thought it was cool.
There are so many places that are perfect photo op spots.
Who doesn’t love a good photo op!
The baby bear cubs were not very playful either. They made a big ole bear pile and didn’t move much.
This Mine Shaft is pretty amazing as well. It contains the animals that are more hidden in natural environments.
Visit The Shops
There are a few little shops you can visit at Fort Bearizona. The main gift shop is rather large and has a restaurant attached to it. It was pretty neat to see. They have a mini train track set up that is operational. You will have a plethora of choices for Bearizona swag, from shirts, hats, shot glasses, picture frames, and SO much more. They also have a kids section so don’t forget the littles.
Isn’t this an awesome entrance to the Main Gift Shop?
This train set is magnificent. It runs nonstop and is a good portion of the shop space.
We did NOT try these as they freaked me out big time but, if you brave enough you can get them online too.
What trip would be complete without ice cream? There was a little pop-up vendor in the picnic area selling ice cream. There was also a Beer Vendor if that’s your thing ;).
We sat down in the shade next to these Daisies. Daisies were my Great Grandmothers favorite so it was almost like we shared this trip with her as well.
Ticketing, Hours and Lodging
Alright- Ready to go? Here is what you need to know.
Admission ranges from $11 for kids to $22 for Adults, they do offer Senior discounts as well. Children under 4 are free. Keep in mind if you have a large family they do not charge more than $120 per vehicle, with a few exceptions.
- Walk-Thru Fort Bearizona
- Birds of Prey show
- Wild Ride Bus Tour
- All shows and animal encounters
Bearizona is open year round but you want to check their Hours before you head out. Generally, they open at 8 am and the last car is admitted at 6 pm.
If you are planning to make a weekend trip of it then you will need lodging. There are quite a few options for hotels in Williams, AZ and a few a little farther out depending on your adventure plans.
My family had an absolutely amazing time and now have memories to last a lifetime. Add Bearizona Wildlife Park to your Bucket list and you won’t be sorry.