Yellowstone Bear World

October 21, 2017

We (Jenny, Shanna, Cheryl, Regina, and Katrina) started the day at 8:00 a.m. by loading up the car and heading for Yellowstone.  I had thought it would be good to do a few things such as stopping at Bear World and the Wolf Discovery center to find out what they were like so I could make informed recommendations.  I invited Cheryl & Regina along just to add to the fun and because I have so much more luck seeing animals in the park when they are with me.

Two turkeys in a fenced enclosure outside of Bear World

Yellowstone Bear World
Exit 328 on Highway 20 South of Rexburg ID

I wanted to go to bear world to suss out whether or not it would be a good place to take people. Why would we go and with whom.  I definitely have answers.

My camera takes photos really fast so here are three from a sequence of a bison rolling and rising.

Rolling Bison


Rising Bison

Dusty Bison _JLS7424b.jpg

The first answer came as we pulled up and paid our entrance fee(s).  They have a big sign that says that no photographs taken at bear world can be used commercially without the permission of the owners of bear world.  This means, that if you are a professional photographer you probably ought to give this place a pass.

Black billed magpie

Another answer came as we talked to the ticket guy.  There is no stopping along the drive loop though the speed limit is 3 mph,  and you must keep your windows up at all times.  This also prevents photography.  I know that this is a really popular place and I’m sure that if they didn’t have these rules it would take hours and hours to finish the tour.  So it makes sense to set these limits to keep people moving through the park.  We went on the last day it was open in the fall and there were still a few but only a few cars there when we were.  So yeah, I broke a couple of rules in the deer area and paused briefly.  The rules are very important in the bear area. Even deer can be problematic so windows up is a rule to follow.

Up close _JLS7764

You are allowed to go around the loop as many times as you want, just exit the gift shop parking lot back into the loop.  This could be fun for people who have never seen the bears, elk, moose, or deer that are common in Yellowstone. This is especially true if you are heading for Yellowstone national park where the animals may be hiding from you.

White tailed deer

Elk _JLS7769

The best part of bear world is the petting zoo, where there are deer and goats and chickens etc.  Just before you enter the petting zoo part there is a small open air exhibit of juvenile bears (at least that’s what was there this time) along with a bridge over the river that held a swan and ducks. In the summer there is a food vendor and a few amusement park rides.  This would be very fun for children.

Bear foot

Bear face _JLS7470

The ‘Oh my gosh bear’

Bear play _JLS7454

Mute swan

The animals in the petting zoo were very sweet.  If you have small children or even animal loving adolescents this is a great place to visit.  I was also able to use my long lens to get photos of animals farther in the park.

Young elk _JLS7703


Itchy _JLS7707

Moose family

There are a lot of bears.  One of the things that is available to you is to join a tour where they take you around in a super tall vehicle with an open surround.  This vehicle can and does make stops and allows you to feed the bears by tossing food down.  It comes at an additional cost.

As of Oct. 22 2017, pricing is “$11.95 per person or $45 maximum per group (limited to 7 people). Curator Tour is in addition to admission price.”  There is a special carload price available and season passes. Standard entrance pricing: Adults (Ages 11-64): $19.95 Seniors (Ages 65 and over): $18.95 Children (Ages 3-10): $10.95 Toddlers (Ages 2 & Under): free

This is a shot of one of a groups of bears from the petting zoo.

Bear pile _JLS7702

In the fall I find lots of cats in the fields, they just stand out against the short yellow stalks of wheat and grass.  I was happy this cat looked at us long enough for me to get a picture.  We saw lots of others, but none of them wanted to pose long enough for my camera to get into action.


So who am I taking to this zoo?  Anyone who wants to see animals, children, families, day trip that’s only an hour from Pocatello.  I’ll warn them ahead of time about the photography difficulties.

Birds of Bear World:

  • Black billed magpies
  • Northern flickers
  • Red tailed hawks
  • Crows
  • Turkeys
  • Mute swan
  • Chickens
  • Mallards

— Jenny

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