Bearizona Wildlife Park

5 Reasons You’ll Love Bearizona Wildlife Park In Williams

Wolves, bears, and bison oh-my! Brace yourself for the thrilling ride you’re about to take through Bearizona Wildlife Park located in Williams, Arizona. The park allows you to drive through the habitats of several different North American species as they sleep, play, and even approach your car.

For the longest time I thought Bearizona was home to only black bears…but I was so wrong. During my visit I realized they not only allow you to drive past other mammals such as Reindeer and Burros, but they also have a walk through portion just like a zoo!

I’m excited to share with you 5 reasons you and the family will love visiting Bearizona while painting a picture of what to expect, when to visit, and more.

Bearizona Wildlife Park entrance.

1. The Drive Through Portion Allows Up Close Experiences

What sets Bearizona Wildlife Park apart from a typical zoo is that is has a drive through portion which allows wolves, black bear, bison, goats, and more to approach your car as you pass by. Sometimes they even stand or lay in the road, blocking your way!

It is a more personal experience that allows us to witness their natural behaviors in open spaces. I was able to spot a bear snoozing in a treetop, another bear using a trunk as a butt scratcher, a baby bison feeding, and a wolf block every single car until he sniffed it and granted passage.

This is the number one reason visitors visit Bearizona. And let me tell you- it is worth it!

Wolves at Bearizona Wildlife Park.

This part of the Wildlife Park was thrilling and if you have little ones they will love it too- all from the safety of your car.

It is a little difficult to snap great photos of the animals, especially when the rules are to have the windows up for safety. You can tell the quality of some of my photos are not well because I was shooting through the windows which we should have cleaned prior to our visit…oops.

Visitor Tip

Clean your windows before visiting and remove anything in the car that creates a reflection in them. This will help you get better quality photos through the windows!

Bearizona bears.

2. You Can Drive Through As Many Times As You Want

Maybe your first pass through the habitats was too quick or you feel like you missed out on some activity. No need to worry because Bearizona allows you to drive through as many times as you want!

I love that the park allows us to do this because it provides us with a better experience and makes it worth the entrance costs. When you’re the one driving you have to keep eyes on the road to look out for the cars in front of you and be sure not to hit any animals. It is an important job! But it is nice to have the opportunity to swap seats and have the chance to sit back to observe the second time around.

When I visited we drove through twice because the first time was so thrilling we wanted to do it once more. But instead of doing it right away we walked the walk through portion, then returned to drive through just before leaving the park for the day.

Junior Bear at Bearizona in Williams, AZ.

3. There Is A Walk-Through Portion

Once you exit the drive through portion you’ll enter a large parking lot where you can park, get out to stretch your legs, and explore even more.

Known as Fort Bearizona, the walk through portion of the Wildlife Park is just as exciting as the drive through. This area houses animal exhibits, a restaurant, large gift store, and vendors to buy drinks and snacks from.

While it isn’t as large as your typical zoo, they are just about there. You get to see fox, porcupine, grizzly bear, otters, racoon, bobcat, and even panthers! This is an added bonus that I wasn’t expecting during my first visit.

For a full list of animals check out the Bearizona animals page!

Fox at Bearizona Wildlife Park.
Bobcat in Fort Bearizona.
Grizzly Bear in Bearizona.

4. The Animal Exhibits Are Some Of The Best

You know when you visit some zoos and feel bad for the animals because they’re crammed in their little coops and don’t seem happy? Well, you won’t feel that way in Fort Bearizona because the exhibits are some of the best I have ever seen.

Bearizona Wildlife Park knows how to design spacious, interactive exhibits that allow the animals to spread out and run around. It seemed like the animals were relaxed, playful, and happy because they had everything included that they would have had in their natural habitat.

The exhibits were so beautifully designed that they allowed visitors to have better experiences too. You get to see the animals from multiple views- even when they’re sleeping! My favorite part was the grizzly bear exhibit which has a dark, cave-like portion for visitors to walk through. On the other side of the glass is a den built for the bears to curl up and sleep in. It felt as if we were in the den with them.

Jaguars, Bearizona Wildlife Park.

5. It Is A Family Friendly Place!

Bearizona seemed to think of everyone in the family. They have a beer & cocktail bar for the adults, face painting for the kids, and animal encounters for all. Inside Fort Bearazona the pathways are paved and wide enough for families to walk together or push strollers.

During my visit kids were running around with excitement, each with their chosen animal painted on their face. Everyone seemed to be in high spirits, even those like us without children. The atmosphere was simply enjoyable and a place you wanted to be.

How Long Does It Take To Drive Through Bearizona?

I’d allow yourself 45 minutes for the drive through portion of Bearizona. The speed limit is very slow and you have to be careful for the animals. Per the park rules you’re not supposed to stop your vehicle at all. Of course some cars do which causes a traffic jam and takes up more time (don’t be that person)!

Some animals do get in the roadway and block traffic, though. This is natural and while it might take up more time it is also exciting if you’re the front car!

Best Time To Visit

Williams experiences all 4 seasons which means the season you visit could be a different experience than during others. Luckily the animals are used to living in all types of weather and seem to enjoy it, so they are active year round. My next visit will probably be during the winter because I’d love to see the animals enjoying the snow!

The best time of day to visit Bearizona Wildlife Park is in the morning right after they open because the animals seemed to be most active. You also can beat the crowds! When I visited they were fed late morning-early afternoon so many of them were walking to their feeding areas. It was early October so the temperatures were cooler and absolutely beautiful.

Otters, Bearizona, Williams AZ.

Recap On Visiting Bearizona Wildlife Park

Bearizona is one of those places I’ll be visiting again. I arrived not exactly knowing what I was getting myself into. All I knew was that I could drive through to see some bear and wolves…but it ended up being so much more than that.

What I love most about this Wildlife Park is that it is designed for the animals first. They seemed to have everything they need and were very content with their habitats. They were spacious and we were still able to see every single one of them from the different angles.

I can’t explain enough how much I enjoyed my time. I hope you’re able to visit and see for yourself!

I’d love to hear from you!

Have you visited Bearizona before, or been someplace else like it? Share in the comments below!

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