Wondering what to expect at Bearizona in Williams, Arizona? This wildlife park is a popular stop for families, and it's a good addition to a Grand Canyon, Route 66, or Northern Arizona trip.
My family visited Bearizona on a Spring Break trip to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. My kids were a little old for it (ages 14 and 16) but they still like zoos and animal experiences. Our whole family enjoyed Bearizona and we definitely recommend it for anyone who loves zoos and animal experiences.
Here are my tips for making the most of your visit to Bearizona.
What Will You See?
Bearizona has two sections – a drive-through wildlife park and a walk-through wildlife park. Here's what they are like.
The drive-through section of Bearizona is what makes this wildlife park especially fun. We've spotted bears in national parks and it's always exciting because we never know when or if it will happen. And it's always too short.
At Bearizona, you are guaranteed to see lots of bears and other animals from your car. They're so loveable! They'll be roaming in safe, natural habitats, with no risk that you'll surprise them or they'll surprise you (which is always my worry at national parks.)
Here are a few of the animals we saw.
- Black bears
- Arctic wolves
- Bighorn sheep
There are fences between the animal habitats, but there are no fences between your car and the animals. You'll be reminded in multiple ways to drive slowly, lock your doors, and keep your windows rolled up for safety.
There are a couple of circular pullouts along the driving route. If you see animals there and it isn't too crowded, drive these loops as many times as you want. We saw several bears on one of these loops and we drove it three times before going back to the main road.
There is no guarantee that you'll see all the animals. Some were out of view when we drove through. However, there are so many bears that you shouldn't have much trouble spotting them.
You can drive through as many times as you would like while you are inside Bearizona. Once is enough for most visitors.
Consider taking the Wild Ride Bus Tour through the drive-through section of Bearizona instead of driving your own car. A trained guide will give you extra information on the park and its animals, and feed them treats to improve your photo opportunities.
The bus tour is included with admission. Unfortunately, it's not currently available due to COVID-19, so we were not able to try it ourselves.
We found ourselves in a parking lot at the end of the drive-through section of Bearizona. We quickly found a space and walked in.
The walk-through section of Bearizona feels like a zoo – just not as large. There is a nice variety of animals in natural habitats. It's clean and updated, with restrooms, shopping, restaurants, and anything else you might need.
My favorite exhibits were the otters and the bear cubs. They are so cute and playful!
We also enjoyed watching some of the other animals even more than we expected. The porcupines had just been given a pile of vegetables as we reached their habitat. Who knew that a porcupine eating corn on the cob could be so adorable?
You may also see Bearizona employees walking around with animals that you can interact with. This is an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about these fascinating animals.
How Much Time?
We spent about 3 hours at Bearizona. The drive-through section takes about 30 minutes and is over much too soon. I didn't realize that we could drive through twice, and maybe I'd have talked my kids into it if I'd known.
Most families will spend 1-2 hours in the walk-through section. It won't take much time to walk to each of the exhibits, so take your time and enjoy the animals. Between the otters and the bear cubs, I could have stayed all day just to watch them play.
When to Go
You can have a good experience at Bearizona just about anytime it's open. But if your schedule is flexible, here are some suggestions.
- It costs less to visit Bearizona on weekdays, not weekends.
- The weather is usually best in spring and fall.
- Summer weekends will likely be the most crowded times to visit.
- The animals are often more active in the morning, especially in the summer.
We visited on a weekday afternoon in the spring and had a great time. Bearizona was busy, but it did not feel overcrowded.
How Much Does Bearizona Cost?
Admission is per person and ranges from $20-$35, depending on age and weekday/weekend.
Kids ages 0-3 get in free. Kids' prices are for ages 4-12.
You can buy Bearizona tickets online or in person.
The most reliable way to save a few dollars per ticket is to visit Bearizona on a weekday. You can also save money by bringing your own picnic and snacks instead of buying them inside the park.
I searched for Bearizona discounts on its website, Facebook page, and elsewhere online. They do not seem to be available all the time. If you're a local with tips for saving money at Bearizona, please share in the comments!
Disclosure: My family received complimentary admission to Bearizona for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.
How Do You Get To Bearizona?
Bearizona is located in Williams, Arizona. Williams sits at the junction of Interstate 40/Route 66 and Highway 64/the road to the Grand Canyon. It's about:
- 30 minutes west of Flagstaff
- 60 minutes south of the Grand Canyon
- 70 minutes northwest of Sedona
- 2.5 hours north of Phoenix
Most people drive their own car or rent a car to visit Bearizona. It's the easiest way to get around this region.
Bearizona is mostly an outdoor activity, so you'll want to dress for the weather and wear sunscreen. The good news is that the weather in this part of Arizona is pleasant most days.
Summer temperatures are usually in the 80's (F). Williams gets snow and rain in the winter, but daily high temperatures are often above freezing (32 F).
We visited in early April and the weather was pretty much perfect. Not too hot and not too cold.
Bearizona has two restaurants: Canyonlands Restaurant and Bearizona Grille. Canyonlands is a large restaurant with a full dine-in menu. Bearizona Grille is more casual, with outdoor seating and portable fare.
You can bring your own food into Bearizona. Look for spaces with picnic tables and grass.
There is one large gift shop inside the walk-through section of Bearizona. You'll need to walk through it to see the jaguars and reindeer. There are lots of fun things to see and buy.
I collect Christmas tree ornaments and found several to choose from.
My family had a great time at Bearizona. Most families who enjoy zoos and wildlife tours will probably enjoy Bearizona too.
I hope that our experience helps your family plan a great trip.