Owner Courtney Ferguson started Yellowstone Bear World in 1998 with 13 bears. Today, more than 60 grizzly and black bears and other wildlife like bison and elk inhabit the property, making it one of the biggest wildlife attractions on your way to or from Yellowstone National Park. Open seven days a week after May 8, it’s just 80 miles south of West Yellowstone, Mont., and 5 miles from Rexburg, Idaho.
“It’s a family operation,” says Ferguson, noting he, his wife and daughter operate it.
For him, it’s more than an operation. It’s a place for him to share what he loves. Yellowstone Bear World aims to be the leader in wildlife education and to “motivate and increase public awareness in the management of natural resources …”
Yellowstone Bear World is Idaho’s no. 1 drive-through wildlife attraction featuring free-roaming animals of North America. View grizzly and black bears, moose, elk, deer, bison, mountain goats and wolves from the comfort and safety of your personal vehicle or RV. Other amenities include a petting zoo, amusement rides, educational exhibits, café and gift shop.
None of the bears are kept in cages but live in a free-roaming type environment with many acres for the animals to live.
“The best part for me is just to see the excitement and being able to share that with all the visitors who come out,” Ferguson says. “To see wildlife in its natural habitat, it’s is very rewarding to share that with people.”
Grizzlies are one of Yellowstone’s iconic animals that many don’t get to see while in the national park. At Yellowstone Bear World, you will see them up-close and in the middle of their daily activities most people never see. In addition to these incredible animals, you’ll also find elk, bison, white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose and mountain goats.
Yellowstone Bear World also features one-of-a-kind activities.
Bottle-Feed a Bear Cub
If cuddling a baby bear cub is at the top of your bucket list, Yellowstone Bear World can make your dream come true. Three times a day starting on Memorial Day, both adult and children visitors are able to assist a staff member in bottle-feeding and petting a baby bear cub. While there are limited spots set aside for walk-ups, reserve your space for bottle feeding online in advance to guarantee you will be able to participate. Call the reservation hotline at (208) 243-2273.
“I would definitely recommend the bottle-feeding experience,” says Ferguson. “Three times a day, we bottle-feed the bear cubs here. It’s one of our most popular experiences here. It’s really a neat experience to offer to the people.”
The cost is in addition to park admission. Feeding times are subject to change but are daily at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
While visitors can drive through the park in their vehicle, they also can go on a Wildlife Excursion. On this tour, you will ride on a Yellowstone Bear World Wildlife Excursions Tour truck to get a closer look at the wildlife. This is the only experience where you can feed the adult bears in the park. You’ll see all kinds of animals including Rocky Mountain elk, bison, timber wolves, arctic wolves, black bears and grizzly bears.
Another fun activity for the whole family are the park’s amusement rides. There are five of them, and they are included in your admission. Try out the “Log Roll’r Coaster” and, after seeing the bears, check out the “Bear Affair” and “Huckleberry Bounce” for some family fun. Kids under 36” must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information:
6010 S Bear World Road, Rexburg ID 83440