A Guide To Animal Ark, Reno

Animal Ark Reno

After indulging in a leisurely hot air balloon ride soaring high above Reno’s Sierra Nevada mountains and pristine Lake Tahoe, hike along rugged Hunter Creek Trail in search of cascading waterfalls. Enjoy tubing, snowboarding, downhill skiing, or cuddling up beside the chalet’s crackling fire at Reno’s well-known Mount Rose Ski Resort before returning to the hotel’s casino to play the enticing slot machines. Escape the clanging slot machines to the nature preserve of Animal Ark to encounter and learn about wildcats, steely gazed hawks, fearsome bears, and wily coyotes. Please check out the following guide to Animal Ark, Reno to take a walk on the wild side with some of Nevada’s own exotic residents.

Things to do/Highlights

Source: Photo by user biofriendly used under CC BY 2.0

Assist in keep this amazing wildlife sanctuary in operation by donating through purchasing souvenirs at the gift shop or by monetary donation. Try to schedule a day when the preserve is hosting special programming events to learn about the specific wildlife and its ecology. Adults and children will find there is never a dull moment when encountering the curious wildlife in their replicated native habitats.

Conservation efforts

While taking in exotic predators, the staff tries to simulate their natural environments by bringing in boulders, native trees, and vegetation to make each enclosure feel like home. Since these animals can’t be released due to safety concerns to themselves and humans, they are used to teach visitors about environmental stewardship. Animal Ark has been a safe haven for exotic wildlife that have suffered serious injury, been abandoned, and simply are too dangerous to be released. Through solar panels and wind generation, the park has been able to keep the climate of the enclosures comfortable year-round. By means of water recycling policies, habitat cleanliness and food preparation has been maintained.

Education on wildlife

Watch as animals are provided with meals enclosed in toys to assist in developing their problem-solving skills. Listen to the park attendees as they give presentations on the various animals housed in the nature sanctuary. Encounter crafty coyotes, fierce-looking bears, and a mischevious tiger in their simulated native habitats. Learn about North America’s elusive bobcat, lynx, and majestic mountain lion from conservationists. Attend educational presentations or arrange to be present during a scheduled feeding to watch animals play and devour their meals. Learn about fearsome hawks, grey horned owls, and other predatory aviators.

What to buy

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Animal Ark has a small gift shop at the premises wherein guests can purchase novelty and souvenir items as well as delight in snacks. Beverages and ice cream are available at the shop, which comes handy especially on hotter days. Visitors will be glad to know that all the proceeds from the shop support the sanctuary.

Travelers tips

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

To be able to get the most out of your experience to Nevada’s exotic wildlife sanctuary, check the website or call ahead to find out important schedules. Since you will be located a decent drive from civilization, it would be best to pack a lunch and to leave pets behind since they could pose as an irritant and possible danger to themselves with the wildlife.


Upon arrival at the admissions booth, be sure to ask when you can witness the trained staff feed the bears, cougars, coyotes, raccoons, etc. Unless the bears are hibernating, they usually have a feeding schedule at 10:30am and 1:30pm daily.

Animal encounters

By visiting early in the morning, it is highly possible to encounter the sanctuary’s nocturnal predators before they commence their daily napping schedules. Encounter steely-gazed Galapagos tortoises, curious raccoons, and stealth leopards while standing safely behind the enclosure’s gate. Watch as bears play with toys given by park attendants to encourage their gathering skills. Enjoy watching as cheetahs sprint stealthily across the sprawling grassland enclosure. Have your children prepare some intriguing questions to ask park attendants during education sessions with the animals.


If planning a leisurely day visiting the exotic wildlife, pack along a picnic lunch to enjoy at the picnic tables. Purchase snacks or drinks at the gift shop as additions to your picnic lunch. During the hotter, dry summer months, make an already pleasurable visit more so by indulging in refreshing, ice cream with your family in the large playground area.

Mobility issues

For those unable to walk along the 1 mile (1.6 kilometres) earthen-and-granite trail, there are golf carts which can be reserved. Older and physically challenged visitors can enjoy travelling by golf cart on the packed dirt trail en route to encounter the preserve’s amazing wildlife. Strollers for those with infants and small children are permitted, however, strollers with small wheels don’t roll well on the dirt trail so please plan accordingly. For the able-bodied visitors, it is best to wear comfortable walking shoes to prevent possible injury while walking along the dirt-and-recycled-granite pathway.

How to get there

Mercury Milan #1
Source: Photo by user Gary Lerude used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Head out on the open road to experience up close and personal wildlife encounters at Animal Ark located just outside of Reno. Enjoy spectacular scenic views of the sagebrush engulfed Sierra Nevada Mountains while voyaging to encounter a wide variety of exotic wildlife. Since Reno is located in the former Truckee Valley in an arid desert environment, driving is the only mode of transportation to reach any nearby attractions including the animal sanctuary, Animal Ark.


Rent a car from one of the rental outposts in the city of Reno to travel within city limits or to venture out to nature retreats and preserves. Travel along US 395 to Exit 78 Red Rock Road before turning right and driving 11.5 miles (18.5 kilometres) to Deerlodge Road. Once you reach Deerlodge Road, continue driving for 1 mile (1.6 kilometres) until you come upon the marked driveway of Animal Ark. Since weather in the desert can be unpredictable resulting in occasional flash floods and unseasonal winter conditions, please call ahead of arriving if you have concerns over inclement weather conditions. This way your plans will not be derailed and you will arrive safely without having to battle sudden snowy blizzards and slick icy roads.

Animal Ark, Reno information

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Animal Ark, Reno

Address: 1265 Deerlodge Road, Reno, NV 89508

Official Website: Animal Ark, Reno

Tourism board: Travel Nevada

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 4:30pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 13 USD

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Writer living in British Columbia who loves to travel and explore new destinations. I also enjoy engaging in new activities during my travels such as Hydrospeeding in France. Solo travelled to...Read more

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