Bearizona: Where Wildlife, Conservation, Education & Special Encounters Come Together

A beautiful Black Bear
A beautiful Black Bear | Source
Portrait of an American White Bison
Portrait of an American White Bison | Source
Majestic American White Bison
Majestic American White Bison | Source
Follow my steps...
Follow my steps... | Source
American Kestrel
American Kestrel | Source
American Badger
American Badger | Source
Pretty Red Fox
Pretty Red Fox | Source
Playful Raccoon in a tall Pine tree
Playful Raccoon in a tall Pine tree | Source

"Look deep into Nature, and then you will understand everything better."

This profound and simple quote from Albert Einstein offers us an irresistible invitation. And I know a place where you can do just that.

Just west of Flagstaff, Arizona, Williams is an historic, nostalgic, and quaint little town with lots of charm. A hop beyond its artsy old Route 66 strip, on the town's outskirts, is Bearizona, a wonderful wild-life park situated amid 160 acres of towering Ponderosa Pines.

The Park has three miles of accessible road you can drive through and observe many of the larger animals roaming about. There is also a twenty acre section where visitors can walk around various habitats and see many smaller animals.

Bearizona opened in May 2010, and the staff and volunteers welcomed their very first bear cub, named Doc, on Feb. 28, 2011.

Bearizona’s Mission is, "to promote conservation through memorable and educational encounters with North American wildlife in a natural environment."

In support of this mission, the organization observes best practices for environmental, economic and social sustainability, while caring for Black Bears, Bison, Dall Sheep, Mountain Goats, different kinds of wolves (I saw beautiful Arctic and Tundra Wolves), Bobcats, and several other large animals.

The exhibits which house the smaller animals had Bear cubs, Badgers, Javelina, Foxes, Raccoons, and several other kinds of critters.

The Park is open year round, with their schedule as follows:

January - February: 7 Days a Week. Open: 10:00 am - 5:30 pm

June - August 15th: 7 Days a Week. Open: 8:00 am - 7:30 pm

All Other Months: 7 Days a Week Hours Vary

You may visit their website or call (928) 635-2289 for more information. They are also on facebook.

Given the open feel of the Park, and the freely roaming animals, it was quite fun to watch them. There were few other people there, so we took lots of time to enjoy and observe.

Some young bison crossed the road in front of us, so we stopped. At which point they came right up to our Jeep and started licking the hood. Chuckling, I imagined there was salt on it from the road; but when one feisty youngster started chewing on the door handle, we decided to very slowly and carefully mosey on.

All of the animals and birds we saw were healthy and active. I was so taken with the Park that I created two combination greeting card series with my photos, and a portion of the proceeds from the sales of these cards will be donated to the Park. You may see other photographs from the Park at:

I am looking forward to returning soon, and highly recommend it as a wonderful educational adventure for the whole family.

"There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story."

This stirring quote by Linda Hogan invites us to pay attention to nature and the earth in a special way, a gentle way, a still and patient way. A leisurely drive and a sun-splashed stroll through Bearizona is a marvelous way to learn part of the story...

Linda Hogan's writings reflect her deep love of the natural world, profound respect for her heritage & traditions, and an unflinching call to stewardship in lig

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Comments 5 comments

Billi 3 years ago

Great photos and a wonderful adventure, Linda. Your love of nature really shines through this beautifully written article.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Nature is as beautiful as it gets, Linda, and your pictures have captured it all. You live in an "enchanted" place.

Linda Compton profile image

Linda Compton 3 years ago from The Land of Enchantment Author

Thank you, Sir William, for your kind comment! So glad you like my photos :~) We are blessed aren't we!

Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON


I am glad to hear about this place, which is perfect for my family travel destination. Parks like these can protect our natural heritage that we can then pass on to our next generation. I hope that the park is able to breed endangered animals like gray wolves and is also able to reintroduce them into the wild territories.

Voted up.

Linda Compton profile image

Linda Compton 3 years ago from The Land of Enchantment Author

Dear Suhail & Your Dog,

Thank you for taking time to read and comment. Yes, by all means, take your family. I'd love to hear what you think of the experience after your visit. Safe travels, L.

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