Last November we took a trip up to Northern Arizona to visit Santa at the North Pole Experience. We wanted to make it a nice extended weekend trip, so I found another fun place to visit in nearby Williams.
Bearizona is a drive-thru wildlife park. We weren’t sure what to expect since we were only familiar with traditional walk-through zoos. It turned out to be a pretty cool concept!
As you drive into Bearizona you are greeted at a gate where you receive a map and pay for admission. Prices vary by age ($10-$20 and kids under 4 are free), with a max $100 cost per car. At first we thought it was a little pricey (although similar to Phoenix Zoo admission prices) but after experiencing it, we think it’s a great value. It’s definitely a unique way to experience the animals.
Bearizona Wildlife Park Review
The animals are kept in separate habitats that you slowly drive through. They are even fed near the road so they naturally congregate close to your vehicle. When you want to stop and watch for awhile you just pull over to allow any following cars to pass. It’s basically a big loop that you can keep driving all day long if you want.
I thought seeing the American Bison and then their White Bison counterparts was pretty cool. The boys really liked the Black Bears and Alaskan Tundra Wolves, I am not sure if it’s because they are dangerous animals or because they were the ones that got up close and personal with us!
Speaking of up close and personal with dangerous animals, Bearizona is very clear with their rules and warnings. There are lots of signs reminding you to keep your windows rolled up and doors locked.
I’m pretty sure the locked door thing is to prevent overexcited children from opening doors because animals can’t open doors.
You can see the wolves and bears were right next to our truck. It was cool (and a little creepy) that the wolves even followed our vehicle a bit. We were so close we could have touched them! Of course we couldn’t really pet them because our windows were safely rolled up with the doors locked…. Just in case they were extra smart bears! Hey Boo Boo, how about a picnic basket.
After you are done driving the loop you can stop by Fort Bearizona. Fort Bearizona is a more traditional zoo setup. It’s small with just enough animal exhibits for the kids to kill off some energy without wearing the adults out! Plus it’s a great chance to grab a snack and use the restroom. Speaking of snacks, we actually had brought our own in the car and ate while we drove the animal loop.
We will definitely visit Bearizona again. It’s unique and the boys really enjoyed it. If you are looking to take a trip to Northern Arizona, I recommend the Courtyard by Marriott Flagstaff which was fabulous and convenient for both Flagstaff and Williams.
Disclosure: We were provided complimentary admission for review purposes. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.