Updated: December 2017

Yellowstone Bear World Review:

If you want to be guaranteed to see bears (both grizzlies and black bears), then head out to Yellowstone Bear World. Lots of people are mistaken to the actual location of this wildlife preserve as the name is a bit misleading. The park itself is in Rexburg, Idaho - not all that far from Yellowstone, but still it's not in Yellowstone National Park. On our recent trip in the summer of 2012, we were heading to Yellowstone with our kids but wanted to give them a chance to see some bears before we even got there. Yellowstone Bear World is well worth the money, especially if you have never seen grizzly or black bears up close. The great part about Yellowstone Bear World is that you can drive your own car through a designated roadway within their facility that lets you get within inches of these huge bears. They do ask that you keep your windows closed, but we were still able to get some incredible photos of all the animals as we drove around.

The drive-thru wildlife park is truly a great experience for younger kids. I would say it's much different than a zoo since you are in your vehicle driving past the animals and it feels like you are a part of their environment. My kids were a bit scared, but after a few minutes of realizing the bears weren't going to attack our car, they seemed to relax and enjoy the ride. It's best to get there first thing in the morning, the park opened up at 9AM the day we were there, and we were 2nd in line to get in. You drive up to the entrance, pay your admission fee, and then they open up the gates to let you enter the grounds. You will drive past bison, elk, mountain goats, deer, wolves, black bears, and of course the monstrous grizzly bears. Another reason to go first thing in the morning is that is when the animals tend to be active - it's cooler in the mornings than in the late afternoon when they may be seeking shelter from the heat. Once you pay your fee you are allowed to drive through as many times as you like within that day. We did a 2nd drive thru after visiting their petting zoo and gift shop. Another huge attraction at Yellowstone Bear World are the bear cubs. You can do a bottle feeding (offered 3 times a day) and actually sit down with the bear cub while you feed them with a bottle. It's best to sign up via their website at http://www.yellowstonebearworld.com/ in advance as they were SOLD OUT for that activity the day we arrived and I didn't realize you can book the event online. The feedings are usually offered at 11AM, 2PM, and 5PM. You can also call them at (208) 243-2273 to make reservations over the phone. If you are so inclined, they have something called the Curator Tour which allows you to get into a special vehicle driven by the park attendant that takes you through the animals and you are allowed to feed the adult bears - they get right up next to the vehicle. Pricing is described below for all these extra events they offer. The petting zoo is FREE with your admission and is a nice way to get close to deer fawns or elk calves. You can also view the bear cubs in their designated play area - it's right across from the Petting Zoo entrance. We watched the cubs wrestle and climb up their structure - too bad we couldn't do the bottle feeding as I'm sure it's a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Bear World Rates and Hours:

What is the entrance fee to Yellowstone Bear World? Adult tickets are roughly $16 and children are $10. They do offer group rates and season passes if you live in the area. What about the other activities like beer feeding? The bottle feeding experience is $35/person plus your price of admission. Their hours are seasonal and for most of the summer they are open from 9AM to 6PM. and they are open 7 days a week. Check their website for the latest on hours, prices, and bottle feeding availability. When we left the site at about 10:30AM there was a line waiting to get into the main entrance, so our advice is to get their early and be one of the first ones through.

Location and Yellowstone Bear World Map:

The address is 6010 S Bear World Road, Rexburg ID 83440. If you are in Yellowstone National Park, the bear preserve is roughly 2 hours from the west entrance. Just head out on Hwy 20 from Wyoming and you can't miss it. See the map for the location below or do a search on Google maps for exact mileage for your travels.

yellowstone bear world map

Main sign at the entrance to Yellowstone Bear World.

Two Elk sitting in the grass.

Grizzly - see the giant claws.

A great example of how the bears own the road.

Wandering black bear.

Grizzlies taking a break.

Following a black bear.

Black bear cubs playing.

More playing for the cubs.

A deer fawn in the petting zoo.

Petting Zoo at Yellowstone Bear World.

The only moose we saw - hiding between the petting zoo and the exit to the bears.

Bear World.