Bear Country USA (Rapid City)

Destination #5: North and South Dakota

Nestled amidst over 250 acres of towering pines and rolling meadows just eight miles south of Rapid City lies Bear Country U.S.A. This is one of those drive through wild animal parks that I remember as a kid.  On our leisurely three-mile drive through several enclosures we encountered black bear, elk, reindeer, deer, cougars, bobcats, rocky mountain goats, bighorn sheep, deer, sheep, and buffalo. All the animals are uncaged and roaming around. The wolves were particularly interesting as they are much bigger than you imagine they are -at least from what I’ve seen on TV.  They kind of look like a dog but they are enormous.  The bears were pretty comical lounging and scrounging for goodies to eat and all I could think about was Yogi’s voice from the Saturday morning cartoons …Hheeeyyy Boo Boo.  Afterwards we headed to the visitor center where they had a few baby animals and a little petting zoo. After driving around and just looking with the windows closed, everyone needed to fulfill that urge to pet something and the petting zoo fit the bill perfectly.  Bear Country USA was fun and educational for everyone, and I highly recommend it—you’ll learn all about the native animals in the region!

Destination: North and South Dakota

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