Sunday at Bearizona

I woke up early on Sunday, and Mosha had gone to the lake to fish some more, so I went back to bed for a few hours. Once he was back, we both showered and checked out of the hotel and headed off to Bearizona, which was only one exit away off the freeway.

Entrance to Bearizona

Bearizona is located on about 120 acres of forest and split up into two areas: the 3-mile drive through park and the walkthrough area. We decided to drive through once first, then we parked and took the free bus tour through the drive thru area since they have high, open windows, and when we drove through in our vehicle, we weren’t able to have our windows down in the wolves and bears areas.

The first area we drove through had Rocky Mountain Goats, Dall Sheep and Reindeer. When we were in our vehicle, the reindeer ran right next to Mosha’s open window, startling him and causing him to yell, “AW NAW!!” (which I thought was absolutely hilarious.)

We continued onward to encounter some American Burros and other deer.

Next up, we saw both White Bison and traditional brown American Bison. We learned that the White Bison occasionally give birth to brown bison, but they are still considered White Bison. Also, the reason why their fur looks matted and why they have some bald spots is because it is the season where they are shedding their winter fur for their summer coats.

After passing through the Bison area, we came to what I thought was one of highlights of this drive: Alaskan Tundra Wolves and Artic Wolves. When we were in our vehicle, we didn’t even realize we were entering the wolves area until a worker started yelling over a loud speaker for the “SUV to roll its windows up!” That was my window, guys. Unfortunately, I forgot that the passenger window motor needs to be replaced, so the window rolls down, but it sometimes doesn’t want to roll up. So the lady is yelling at me to roll my windows up, while I’m yelling back that I am trying to, when I look up and spot a huge Alaskan Tundra Wolf walking in front of my car…followed by another, then another, and another.

I ended up popping the panel off the door to hold onto the window motor to get it to go up faster, which (thankfully) worked right as the wolves decided to trot by my window. Apparently they have been known to jump into a window, and mind you, they are carnivorous, so that’s not an ideal situation to be in.

We continued on to see more wolves, and even got to witness them howling, which was an amazing experience.

img_0211

This is the wolves howling so loudly that we could hear them, despite having our windows up!

_DSC5646

Alaskan Tundra Wolf

_DSC5648

Sleepy wolf

_DSC5649

Beautiful creature!

Following the wolves, we were able to see both junior Black Bears and adult Black Bears. Some of the bears we saw did have brown fur, but they are still considered Black Bears. A lot of these bears where laid out sleeping near trees, and we learned that they almost always like to have some part of their body touching a tree, as it makes them feel secure as they rest.

_DSC5625

Apparently the bears will climb on cars if you stop for too long.

_DSC5626

Junior bear sleeping on his back

_DSC5630

Look at those adorable paws!

_DSC5652

A brown junior Black Bear

_DSC5654

Another sleeping junior bear

_DSC5656

This junior bear was knocked out…

_DSC5657

…until he heard us approaching.

_DSC5673

Adult Black Bear

_DSC5676

Sleepy adult Black Bear

_DSC5678

I love the brown on his nose

_DSC5683

This bear was sleeping in a small cave.

_DSC5686

Apparently he pooped in front of the cave to let other bears know that they aren’t allowed inside.


After the drive thru, we were able to catch the 1:00pm showing of Birds of Prey, where the featured birds are allowed to free fly back and forth during the show. At one point, both Mosha and I were brushed by a low-flying hawk. I think had I not had my face in the camera and actually witnessed the bird flying at my head, I would have freaked out. Thankfully, I was looking through the camera and only felt the wings hit my hand and side of my head.

When we finished the Birds of Prey show, we walked around to see the animals located in the walking area, which included quite a few animals.

Bear Cubs

River Otters

_DSC5737_DSC5735

Jaguar

Peacock, Swift Fox & Bobcat

We ended our day at Bearizona browsing the gift shop (which is huge), and then having lunch at the Canyonlands Restaurant, a 6,000-foot dining area on site. Inside the building there are canyon walls and ancient ruins covered in wildlife replicas. There is even one wall near the ordering kiosk that features a 3-D painting of the Grand Canyon. We both ordered the Mac and Cheese meal, and it definitely surprised us with how delicious it was. It was especially nice that the pasta was whole wheat grain, meaning that it conformed to my dietary restrictions.

 

Macaroni and cheese, grilled chicken & garlic toast

 

Even though we weren’t able to bring Andrew with us, I am very glad that we still decided to go. It was a lovely getaway, even if it was only for two days. I had a ton of fun at Bearizona, and we plan on coming back with Andrew later this year (maybe when it’s snowing!).