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What to Expect from Your Visit to Bear Country USA?

Planning to visit Rapid City, SD? Don't forget to take your kids to the 8-mile away wonderland, Bear Country USA!

Bear Country USA encompasses 250 acres of the serene and picturesque Black Hills landscape, which features towering pines and rolling meadows. It's home to the most extensive collection of privately owned black bears across the world. It offers you a unique look into the life of about 20 species of North American mammals while you sit comfortably inside your car.

It's conveniently situated near Rapid City, Keystone, Sheridan Lake, and the Mt. Rushmore National Memorial, making it easy to find. It will hardly take you 8 miles to reach the park from Rapid City. It's open from Spring through late November.

Here's everything that you can expect from your visit to Bear Country USA:

Animals at Bear Country USA

The park is home to an extensive array of North American mammals born captive and can't survive in the wild. The park environment allows them to live in large natural exhibits, which imitate a wild environment.

The park houses the following animals:
  • Black bears
  • Grizzly bears
  • Arctic and timberwolves
  • Bighorn sheep
  • Bison
  • Reindeer
  • Mountain lions
  • Badgers
  • Beavers
  • Buffalos
  • Bobcats
  • Canadian lynx
  • Elk
  • Coyotes
  • Porcupines
  • Raccoons
  • Red fox
  • River otters
  • Skunks
  • Rocky mountain goats
The larger mammals are allowed to roam freely throughout the drive-through area, while the smaller mammals and those younger than a year stay within the Babyland area.

Drive-Through Park Area

The park provides you with a drive-through experience where you can see the large mammals, particularly black bears, roaming freely in their natural habitat. When you arrive at the park, you will drive up to the admission booth and from there, you will drive straight through the wildlife loop. You will get to witness animals frolicking about on the road, climbing trees, and lounging in large pools.

It's best to arrive near the opening time since the animals are more active during the morning's cooler hours. It will take you about 20 to 30 minutes to drive slowly through the loop. The longest and most fun part of the loop is the black bear area, where you will get to see them everywhere. It might be tempting to roll down your window to get a closeup picture of the bears, but the park strictly prohibits any such moves.


After the drive, you can park your car and enter the Babyland area. As suggested by the name, it is home to all the smaller, less-than-a-year old mammals and the smaller species. The best part about this enclosed area is the adorable baby bears! The yard is full of wrestling, frolicking, rolling, and climbing baby bears. You can observe the bears and other animals in their natural habitats while you stroll on foot. Even though you can take your pest through the wildlife loop, you can't bring them inside Babyland. Only service animals can enter this area.

You can spend as much time as you want in this enclosed space. You can also visit the park gift shop to shop for a variety of the Black Hills souvenirs.

Bear Country USA is inarguably an enjoyable place to explore with your loved ones. You must bring your kids to the park when you visit Rapid City, SD, or the surrounding areas!


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