animal ark reno nevada

The Animal Ark, a Local Moms Review

Lions, tigers, and bears…. yes, please! The Animal Ark is just an hour outside Reno, Nevada.  It makes for the perfect mini adventure!

What is the Animal Ark?

It is a local nonprofit organization that is a wildlife sanctuary.  The Animal Ark has been open since 1981 and since its opening has been home to abandoned, injured, or unreleasable wild animals.

The animal ark is approximately a 1-mile trail that is on dirt.  You can navigate it with a stroller but an umbrella stroller won’t roll on it.  Red wagons are available for free on a first come first serve basis.

animal ark cheetahs


The Animal Ark is home to a variety of animals.  Including a bear, cheetahs, turtles, a mountain lion, and more.


Tuesday through Sunday: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (weather permitting). For weather-related conditions please check their social media.  Closed Mondays.


Day passes available to purchase in person or online. The cost is $14.00 for adults, $12.00 for seniors (62+), $9.00 for children (3-12), Free for children ages 2 and under.

Memberships are also available for purchase.

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The Animal Ark hosts events throughout the year.  The Cheetah dash is a popular event, along with camps and other events throughout the year. Reservations are required for these events.

Birthday Parties

Have a birthday party at the Animal Ark! Package options and themes available. Party packages start at just $220.


Snacks, some beverages, and ice cream are available for purchase at the gift shop, but it isn’t allowed inside the Animal Ark. They do have designated picnic tables available to eat at! Pack a picnic to enjoy at the end of your visit!

animal ark sparks

Our Animal Ark Experience

We definitely recommend checking out the Animal Ark if you haven’t. We make a trip annually. My kids loved seeing the animals and learning about them.

We usually get there right at opening at 10:00 am and spend a few hours exploring.  We then make our way out and enjoy a picnic before the hour drive home.


Get there early.  Plan on arriving when they open.  The heat during the middle of the day can make a lot of the animals hide in the shade.  So getting there early will help you see them during their active morning.

They feed the bears at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm daily so try to plan your trip around that. Your kids will love watching the bears get fed.

Pack water, sunscreen and sun hats, there is limited shade along the trail.

Have Fun

Have you been to the Animal Ark before?  What tips or recommendations do you have?

Kacey Queen Headshot

Kacey Queen is a co-founder of Nevada Moms

Kacey received her bachelor's in Psychology while cheering for the University of Oregon. They moved to Reno in 2014 and have loved it ever since. She is a dedicated homeschooling mother to her three children.

She serves on the board for Northern Nevada Health Systems, and Northern Nevada Sports and Recreation, and she is passionate about her community.

Kacey loves exploring with her family and finding family-friendly events and activities! A few of her favorite things include family adventures, exploring the outdoors, working out, local coffee shops, and dessert!