Jul 16

Bear Country USA – Rapid City

Big Horn SheepKaren and I were on our way to Yellowstone National Park for our summer vacation and had decided to go through South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore.  If you have ever driven on Interstate 90 you know about the massive amount of bill boards that are posted every other mile.  Well, after the tenth time we had seen one of the billboards, it finally caught our eye.  It was for Bear Country USA and its drive- thru wildlife park.  Neither of us had been to a drive-thru animal attraction since we were little kids so, I did a little research online to see if there were any reviews on this particular park at tripadivsor.com, and we eventually came to the conclusion to give it a chance.   We are sure glad that we did.

I had already been to the Yellowstone area twice in my life once when I was little, about 5 or 6, and then a college buddy of mine (who’s now my brother in law!) went with me on a road trip and we back country camped in the Wind River Range.  With both of those experiences I had probably 12 days of visiting the greater Yellowstone area under my belt and had not once seen a bear in the wild.  I was determined to see a bear so Bear Country USA was going to be it for now and then I’d hope that Karen and I would be able to view one in the wild later when we hit Yellowstone.
Black Bear

Well we sure got to see a lot of bears, almost too many bears if you could ever say that.  At the drive thru park there were mountain lions, buffalo, timber wolves, big horn sheep and grizzly bears along with many other animals.  The most impressive thing was the amount of black bears.  There were so many you could not count them all.  While seeing all those black bears was pretty exciting it just seemed like there were way to many in one spot.  I think they could half the number and it would still be just as awesome.
Baby Bear

The neatest thing in the park is seeing the baby bears.  There were at least 15 baby bear cubs all running around climbing trees and wrestling each other.  They were so cute Karen and I walked around the small animal/baby area twice.
Baby Black Bears

Bear Country USA is a must see if you are in the Rapid City area.  It may seem a little pricey at first, but it is worth it!  It is not as good as seeing these animals in the wild, but at the same time the chances of seeing all these animals in the wild on one vacation is pretty slim to none.  The containment area for the animals is a lot bigger than they would have in a zoo, but seeing them in the wild is so much better.  We recommend that you stop at Bear Country USA and then head on over to Custer State Park for a much wilder setting.

to see other animal attractions like Bear Country USA click here.
Timber Wolf

Bear Country USA
Located at 13820 S. Highway 16 just South of Rapid City between Rapid City and Keystone
Cost as of 2011 Adult $16, Seniors 62 and over 13, Child $10 and Maximum for private vehicle is $55.
For more information visit their website at http://www.bearcountryusa.com/
Bear Country USA

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