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About - Bear River State Park

Description:

Bear River State Park is a day use only park comprised of 324 acres. It is home to small herds of bison and elk and boasts several miles of both paved and packed gravel trails. The Bear River State Park Visitor Center is home to numerous wildlife displays that showcase Wyoming’s impressive array of wildlife. It also provides visitors with State of Wyoming tourism information. Bear River State Park is located south of I-80 at exit 6 in Evanston, WY. The Bear River State Park Visitor Center’s address is 601 Bear River Drive, Evanston, WY 82930.


History:

Bear River State Park was established in 1991 and was named after the river that runs through it. Trappers called it the “Bear River” because of the many bears that frequented the area. Native Americans named the river “Quee-ya-paw” for a tobacco root that grew along its banks. Indians and trappers often held rendezvous in the area, including one in 1825 near Burnt Fork, just 50 miles southeast of the park.

The park includes 324 acres with 1.2 miles of paved trails, an arched footbridge that crosses the Bear River allowing access to a natural area with another 3.0+ miles of packed gravel trails on the west side of the river. The 1.2 miles of paved trail is connected to the Bear River Greenway offered by the City of Evanston, where another mile of paved trail allows visitors to easily gain access to the Ice Ponds, Bear River Pavilion, the Memorial Tree Grove, Bear Tails Fire Circle and downtown Evanston. Uinta County property located to the southeast of the park, offers multiple trails for mountain biking including a pump track. The trails are also great for hiking and wildlife watching.

Bear River State Park features a captive herd of bison and elk kept for public viewing and education. The elk have called Bear River State Park home since April 1,1995. To lessen fighting and to eliminate the potential for offspring, we only keep bulls on the park. The two original elk that came to the park are on display at the Visitor Center. Our bison have been a part of the park since the park opened. Our herd consists of a mixed aged group of females, or cows, and at least one male, or bull. Due to the limited amount of pasture we have available, we try to maintain our herd at 7 to 10 adult animals. Generally beginning in April, our cows will start calving. We keep our calves at Bear River State Park until they are old enough to take care of themselves. The bison are rotated through two pastures to allow the grass to rest and regrow and better utilize the available forage. Typically we move the bison to the east pasture in mid to late May, and then return them to the lower north pasture in late August.

 
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Site Status

 

Bear River State Park is open year-round!  Check out our hours of operation to find a great time to come visit!

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Hours

 

Park Hours:

  • October 1st - April 30th: 8am to 8pm, 7 days per week
  • May 1st - September 30th: 8am to 10pm, 7 days per week 

Visitor Center Hours:

  • 8am to 5pm, 7 days per week (except a few winter holidays)
  • Closed for lunch during the winter months (usually from 1pm to 2pm)

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