Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where are you located?

    North American Bear Center
    1926 Highway 169
    Ely, MN 55731

  • Is your facility wheelchair and stroller accessible?

    Yes, all of our exhibits are on the ground floor. We have two wheelchairs available for use at a first come first serve basis. Our outside Behind-the-Scene tour path is packed gravel and accessible. A member of our staff would be happy to help anyone that may need assistance. To access our outside observation deck, you will have to climb 12 steps.

  • Can I bring my dog or pet?

    Only ADS Service Animals are permitted inside our facility. Since temperatures in the summer months can be high, we do not recommend leaving your dog or pet in your vehicle unattended.

  • Can I leave and re-enter with my admission?

    Yes, your admission is good for the entire day. You can come and go at your leisure as long as you have your wristband. We also have an outdoor pavilion, so feel free to bring along your picnic lunch. No alcoholic beverages or smoking is permitted.

  • Is there an additional charge for the Behind-the-Scenes tour?

    No, it is included with your admission and you can go on as many as tours as you’d like.

  • Is everything indoors?

    No, the Behind The Scenes Tours take you outside for 20 to 30 minutes (rain, cold, or shine) so, dress for the weather.  We also have a Nature Trail and Flower Gardens for you to enjoy.

  • Is photography and filming permitted?

    Yes, you can take as many photos and videos of our facility and bears for your personal use. Tripods are prohibited. Any professional or commercial photography must require permission in advance. Contact us at 218-365-7879 for details.

  • How much time should I allow for my visit?

    We recommend you allow at least 1-3 hours for your visit. However, since your admission is good for the entire day, you may want to come and go based on our Program Schedule.

  • Why is the last admissions one hour before closing?

    We want to make sure you have the best experience possible.  The last behind the scenes tour starts one hour before closing and last around 20 to 30 minutes (see 2024 Programs for more information).  After the tour, you will then have time to explore the rest of our facility.

  • Are you open year round?

    No, since we allow our bears to naturally hibernate we close in late October and reopen in early April. We are open year round for Groups and Custom tours. Contact us at 218-365-7879 for details. Click here for our hours.

  • Is there parking for RV’s?

    Yes, we have ample parking for RV’s and campers during business hours. No overnight parking permitted.

  • Where can I stay and dine in the Ely area?

    There are many motels, resorts, and restaurants in the Ely area. Visit Ely’s Chamber of Commerce for local accommodations and places to dine.

Help support the North American Bear Center

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit that relies entirely on the support of visitors, merchandise sales and people like you. We do not receive any state or federal funding.

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