" What To Expect " Video
Visit The Sanctuary
The Sanctuary's two primary missions involve rescuing and caring for animals - and educating people about the Captive Wildlife Crisis. To that end, we invite people who want to learn more about the work we do to visit our unique facility in person.
However, the Sanctuary is not a Zoo and offers a completely different experience than what most people are used to. Our rescued animals live in large acreage open habitats and are never forced to remain front-and-center just so people can see them easier.
Yet, our elevated walkway (which is more than 1.5 miles long) spans across numerous habitats and provides plenty of opportunities for our guests to see many of the rescued animals closer.
It is very important for people to come to the Sanctuary for the right reasons, and not just for entertainment. With more than 150,000 people visiting yearly, it's obvious the Sanctuary is an amazing place to visit and learn - yet, we purposely do not strive to attract the 1.5 million visitors that would normally go to the Denver Zoo.
Instead, the vast majority of visitors to the Wild Animal Sanctuary come to experience an incredibly serene setting where Tigers, Wolves, Bears and Prides of African Lions get to roam freely after having been rescued and rehabilitated.
The Sanctuary has a general entry fee for adults and children that is designed to cover the cost of hosting visitors. Zero percent of the entrance fees go toward supporting the animals - so it is important for visitors to know that DONATIONS are the only funds that actually help the animals.
Every Lion, Tiger, Bear, Wolf and other large carnivore living at the Sanctuary was rescued from an illegal or abusive situation and desperately needs your help to survive. Visiting the Sanctuary is a privilege, and requires a serious commitment by people in order to be part of the solution to the Captive Wildlife Crisis.
THREE WAYS TO VISIT:
GENERAL ENTRY VISIT (standard paid entry) -
People who want to visit in order to learn about the Sanctuary, the Captive Wildlife Crisis and possibly consider becoming an active supporter.
ACTIVE SUPPORTER VISIT (free entry for supporters)
People who donate on a regular basis unrelated to visiting the Sanctuary (i.e. have adopted an animal, pledged or provided other tangible in-kind donations in the past 12 months and continue to meet the certain requirements).
"Active Supporters" of the Sanctuary can visit the facility free of charge and can bring up to 3 guests if they like.
MEMBERSHIP VISIT (Yearly Membership Packages)
Individuals and families can purchase yearly memberships that fit their specific needs. Three basic levels cover the majority of visitation for most people who would like to visit the Sanctuary on a regular basis throughout the year.
GENERAL VISIT COSTS:
Adults (ages 13 to 69) - $30 per adult + unspecified animal care donation (whatever you consider appropriate to help the animals)
Children (ages 3 to 12) - $15 per child + unspecified animal care donation (whatever you consider appropriate to help the animals)
Children (0-2) - No entry fee or donation required
Seniors 70 and older who demonstrate they are interested in becoming an Active Supporter at some level can visit once without charge, though an animal care donation is required; thereafter it is the normal daily rate of $30 plus an animal care donation.
Seniors who are not interested in helping the animals in any capacity will need to pay the normal entry fee
Entry is usually paid for at the Sanctuary, but tickets are available online as well. Cash, checks, Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover, and Debit Cards all gratefully accepted.
In the event of snow storms or other extreme weather, it’s always a good idea to call before coming.
Schools and Private Groups
Please visit these special pages for detailed information by clicking on “Schools” or “Group Tours.”
Days & Hours
DAYS: The Wild Animal Sanctuary is open daily for visitors except for:
New Years Day - Independence Day (4th of July) - Thanksgiving Day & Christmas Day
HOURS: Our Sanctuary is open from 9:00 AM to Sunset each day. For specific sunset times please go to bottom of page or click here
*Note - NO DOGS ALLOWED (including service dogs) on the property at any time, even in your car. Learn more about our no-dog policy here.
Since it takes three to six hours to go through our entire facility, we recommend all visitors arrive no later than 4 hours prior to posted closing times (see times below). Many people arrive late and are forced to leave prematurely due to the Sanctuary having to close - so please plan to come early - we stop allowing entry into the Sanctuary 2 (two) hours prior to closing time.
UBER and/or TAXIS are not a good option - as they will bring you to the Sanctuary - BUT NEVER COME BACK TO PICK YOU UP!
How Do I Get There?
For a map and directions, please click on “MAP to Facility.” (it's NOT a good idea to use your GPS - as they usually guide people the wrong way onto dirt roads...
The Wild Animal Sanctuary
2999 County Road 53
Keenesburg, CO 80643
Traveling to see us? Click Here for local hotels
We open every day at 9 AM and close the facility at sunset (exact closing times are posted near bottom of page). However - please note - given that it can take a minimum of four hours to see the Sanctuary - even if you go really fast through the facility - you need to plan wisely. We have no choice but to ask visitors to leave at closing time which greatly-frustrates visitors who show up too late to access the entire facility. There are no refunds or rain checks for people who arrive late - or who choose to enter when bad weather is imminent .
During July and August the temperatures can be hot, making the animals inactive, so we suggest you take advantage of our Wild Nights program.
What Should I Bring?
Get a detailed list here - or read the following:
Hats and Sunglasses are helpful, and always dress for changing weather - as it can be very hot - very cold - and everything in-between - since there is almost always a breeze up on the walkway.
Binoculars are a great way to see better anywhere you go... so plan to bring yours. We do have binocular units available for purchase or rent... However, if rental a unit becomes damaged during the rental period, the renter will be required to purchase them at a significant cost.
Video and still cameras are always great, as they can help record your visit!
We have Wagons, Wheel Chairs and Power Chairs for rent, so you can avoid having to haul yours here - but please be aware - the Wagons, Wheel Chairs and Power Chairs are limited in number and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Renters will be required to sign a waiver as well as leave a set of car keys with the Welcome Center staff during the rental period.
What Can I Expect When I Visit? See Video
Your first stop at the Sanctuary will be our large 48,000 sq. ft. Welcome Center. You’ll be welcomed by TWAS staff and volunteers, where you will check in and watch a short orientation video about the Sanctuary’s work, as well as the rules and regulations. From there, you will proceed to walk on ramps, the Mile Into The Wild walkway, and observation decks up above the animals.
Our walkway system spans a large portion of our 789 acres of animal habitats, so most visitors stay three to four hours minimum, but you are welcome to stay as long as you like while we’re open. All ramps, walkways and decks are ADA, wheel-chair and stroller accessible.
At the southern end of our facility, you will walk above animals who are in more traditional enclosures (during their transition period until they are ready to move into large acreage habitats with others of their own kind), and you will view many others in large species-specific habitats along the 1.5 mile walkway.
TWAS has more than 520 Lions, Tigers, Bears, Leopards, Mountain Lions, Wolves, Hyenas and a few smaller carnivores such as Servals, Bobcats, Lynx, Foxes, Coyote and Coati Mundi. We also have rescued Horses, Donkeys, Ostrich, Emu, Camel, Yak & Alpaca, as well as Cats, Dogs, Parrots and other Birds. You’ll get to view most of the animals enjoying life in giant habitats or large enclosures, complete with all kinds of enrichment structures, such as lakes, pools, platforms and other animal “jungle gyms,” as well as “boomer balls” they can roll around or swim with.
On top of the Tiger Roundhouse is our enclosed Education Center…a round building that features videos by National Geographic, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet that show incredible rescue stories as well as other interesting information about the Sanctuary. There is abundant information about the Sanctuary’s mission and operations.
There is also a restroom in the Education Center - as well as numerous men's and women's restrooms at ground level inside the Welcome Center and near other structures along the walkway.
As you walk on the Mile Into The Wild Walkway, and its connected observation decks, there will be informational signs posted at habitats and other important areas of the Sanctuary. We also have Tour Books that are given to visitors at no charge.
Each of the main observation decks has picnic tables and chairs - as does the rest area at the foot of the south-end ramp. You are welcome to bring your own picnic lunch... and there is a wonderful Cafe/Restaurant located in our Welcome Center. We also have a fully operational snack bar at the south end that offer a wide variety of food, snacks, and beverages.