Bear Country USA

Before visiting Mount Rushmore, we decided to check out Bear Country USA in Rapid City. Its a 250 acre animal park where you can see bears, buffalo, wolves, reindeer, elk, mountain goats, and more. We were prepared for it to be a huge tourist trap – and it didn’t disappoint.

Wall to Bear Country USA

Wall to Bear Country USA

It was a whopping $16 per person and there was a long line of cars waiting to drive in. We decided to give it a whirl anyways, since both of us were eager to build up our collection of animal photography.

Bear Country USA

Bear Country USA

We felt like we were on a ride and Disneyland and expected to hear a voice saying “Keep your arms and legs inside your vehicle at all times, and keep the windows rolled up and doors closed” followed potentially by a “or you will be eaten.”

The first section of the 1 mile driving loop was game – elk and reindeer.

Nice Rack

Nice Rack

I love this shot of the reindeer – he has quite a snout!

Reindeer at Bear Country USA

Reindeer at Bear Country USA

The next section was wolves, which we didn’t actually until the bear section of Bear Country USA, when a wolf came right up to our car.

Wolf

Wolf

After the wolves we got a chance to see mountain goats. They were very human looking.

Blurry Mountain Goat in Bear Country USA

Blurry Mountain Goat in Bear Country USA

And some more bighorn sheep.

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep

There was a log jam of cars around the mountain lion section, which you could hardly even see from the road. This was about the part of the park that made me uncomfortable – Bear Country USA had clearly not given them enough space to roam as they were caged in to a small area. We passed about 3 cars and continued on our way to the bears.

This guy had a major itch he was trying to get to the bottom of.

Bear at Bear Country USA

Bear at Bear Country USA

If I had an Indian name I would be this – Resting Bear. Looks comfortable, and warm.

Resting Bear

Resting Bear

We bypassed quickly the buffalo section since we had already gotten our fill in the actual wild. That said, we couldn’t resist a pic of this massive mound of bufaffo poop. It looked EXACTLY like the prairie pie cookie we bought in Chugwater.

Buffalo Poop

Buffalo Poop

Bye bye Bear Country USA.

therestlessroad

About therestlessroad

The tar in the street starts to melt from the heat And the sweats runnin’ down from my hair I walked 20 miles and I’m dragging my feet And I’ll walk 20 more I don’t care And I’ll wander this world, wander this world Wander this world, wander this world all alone I’m like a ghost some people can’t see Others drive by and stare A shadow that drifts by the side of the road It’s like I’m not even there And I’ll wander this world, wander this world Wander this world, wander this world all alone Well I’ve never been part of the game The life that I live is my own All that I know is that I was born To wander this world all alone, all alone Some people are born with their lives all laid out And all their success is assured Some people work hard all their lives for nothin’ They take it and don’t say a word They don’t say a word Sometimes it’s like I don’t even exist Even God has lost track of my soul Why else would he leave me out here like this To wander this world all alone And I’ll wander this world, wander this world Wander this world, wander this world all alone –Jonny Lang, “Wander This World”

3 thoughts on “Bear Country USA

  1. JJ1

    Yummy.

  2. It has been likely 20 years since I visited Bear Country USA. I too was prepared for a huge tourist trap experience, but I have say, it was a boat load of fun. This was mainly due to the dozen or so cubs playing in an enclosure at the end of the tour. I’m not kidding, my husband and I stood there watching them play for about 30 minutes with big grins on our faces. They were fascinating and adorable.

    • Yes, totally agree! It definitely WAS a tourist trap, but one that we enormously enjoyed because we also got some fab photos, and the animals were too cute! A personal favorite was a young bear sunning itself on a log, rolling over again and again and casually scratching itself. Adorable.

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