Located just a five-minute drive from downtown Williams, Arizona, Bearizona is a 160-acre wildlife park that offers visitors the opportunity to observe a wide variety of animals in various approximations of their natural habitats. Here you can drive along a three-mile road that winds through the majority of the park in your car; take a guided bus tour along similar terrain; or get out on foot and enjoy walking the wonders of Fort Bearizona—a lovely 20-acre space that has a selection of kid-friendly activities that the whole family will enjoy.
Bearizona History and Background Information
Bearizona has been delighting visitors of all ages to the greater Grand Canyon area for nearly a decade now. At nearly 160 acres in size, Bearizona is large enough to serve as a home for a great many different animals. Obviously, given its adorable name, bears are the stars at Bearizona. Here you will love getting remarkably close to these majestic creatures—and you will especially enjoy watching the cute bear cubs play with each other. However, don’t let the name fool you: Bearizona is much more than just bears. The park also contains such fascinating creatures as bison, wolves, elk, big horn sheep, jaguars, otters, and even a wide selection of birdlife—including such species as falcons, hawks, and owls.
What’s at Bearizona
There are three ways to tour Bearizona. Option #1 is to travel through the splendid landscapes via the comforts of your own vehicle. Bearizona contains three miles of roads that you can travel along as many times as you like, all at your own pace. Option #2 is to stroll through Bearizona on your time. Experiencing Bearizona in this fashion provides you access to Fort Bearizona. This interactive park space is laid out with a path of walkways that provide you up-close-and-personal views of several exhibits containing smaller—and even baby!—animals living here. Other favorite attractions available to park patrons traveling through the space on foot include the “Bearizona Barnyard” petting zoo and a great many different guided tours and talks. Option #3 is to take the “Wild Ride” bus tour through the grounds. This 50-person bus is free with admission to the park, but only runs four times a day. Led by a Bearizona staff expert, the Wild Ride bus tour is a fun way to see—and learn—about all the sights and sounds you’ll encounter while in the midst of this wild landscape.
Bearizona is also home to two different food options. Visitors wanting something fun and casual should check out Bearizona Grille. Located right near the entrance to Fort Bearizona, this small establishment sells a mix of ballpark favorites like hot dogs, bratwursts, fries, nachos, pretzels, popcorn alongside beverages such as soft drinks, beer, and wine. If you are in the mood for something a bit more adventurous, you might want to try Canyonlands. This brand-new establishment features a two-story covered deck that offers diners a spectacular view of Bearizona’s remarkable jaguar exhibit. The menu here has options for everyone, as it highlights several different kinds of salads, burgers, sandwiches, soups, and even pasta dishes. There is also a kids’ menu that has favorites like mac & cheese, grilled cheese, and chicken strips available.
In nearby Williams you will find an even greater assortment of additional amenities and attractions. Located just five minutes west of Bearizona down historic Route 66, the Williams area includes such places of interest as the Grand Canyon Railway Depot and Route 66 Zipline, as well as a terrific selection of dining options that include the Historic Barrel & Bottle House, Cowgirl Coffee Cake Co., and Grand Canyon Coffee and Café. There are several suitable local accommodations available in the area, including the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, La Quinta Inn Williams-Grand Canyon Area, and the Best Western Plus Inn of Williams.
Tips for Visiting Bearizona
- Bearizona’s hours of operation vary throughout the year, according to season. Make certain to check the park’s website for the most current hours before visiting.
- Bearizona conducts a number of unique programs each day. These special events include the popular “Birds of Prey” show, as well as several different talks hosted by the park’s various animal experts. These shows are something you won’t want to miss; however, just as Bearizona’s hours of operation vary seasonally, so too do these showtimes change from time-to-time. As a result, it is a good idea to plan what shows you want to see ahead of time, so that you make sure you catch them.
- If you want to maximize the number of different animals you can see during your trip to Bearizona, it is best to visit either early in the morning or in the late afternoon, as these are the times of day when most animals at Bearizona tend to be the most active.
- Visitors that drive through Bearizona are permitted to have pets with them, so long as those pets remain in the vehicle at all times. For visitors traveling on foot through the park, pets are not allowed near the animal exhibits.
- All vehicles touring Bearizona must be enclosed. However, if you travel to Bearizona via motorcycle or bicycle, you are eligible for the park’s “courtesy car” program—this provides you access to an enclosed vehicle that you can use to tour the grounds, all at no additional cost!