The Wildlife Safari is just a short hop from downtown Winston, Oregon and the beautiful bronze cheetah that watches over passersby at the junction of Routes 99 and 42. The Wildlife Safari is one of Oregon’s premier family destinations, open year-round. If you take our Safari Loop ride, your family can burn off some of your car-travel energy and see some wonderful, scenic farm and ranch countryside, before visiting the Wildlife Safari. The Safari also offers visitors an RV park if that’s your mode of travel.
Take Oregon I-5 exit 119 towards Winston, Oregon on Route 99. Drive about 2.1 miles to the Wildlife Safari exit on the right, or if you prefer to park in Winston proper, drive about 1/2 mile further on 99 to the bronze cheetah at the junction of Routes 99 and 42. Find a place to park and get ready to ride.
The Wildlife Safari Loop ride can start anywhere along the route, but the map displayed below shows you beginning near downtown Winston. The ride winds through some developed areas before turning northeast into quiet ranch and farm country for about half of the trip. As riders cross the South Umpqua River, they might want to pause for a few minutes to enjoy the sight of the river channel and nearby farms. Once across the bridge, riders arrive at the edge of the community of Green and turn east through some quiet developments and then a busier road until they reach Route 99 at a stoplight. Turning south, riders continue on the bike path next to the highway for 2 miles, passing some historic bridges and crossing the South Umpqua River again, until they reach The Ark building and just up the hill from it, find the entrance to the Wildlife Safari.
Safari Road is narrow and winding, so watch for traffic and make sure riders ride single-file safely. After about 1/2 mile, riders face a challenging climb up Safari hill for another 1/2 mile and then a short, almost level ride to the park entrance kiosk. From here, you can buy your tickets and take a guided tour by Safari vehicle through the animal enclosures (bikes aren’t allowed among the animals). Leave enough time to visit Safari Village, a large interpretive area with natural history information, animal shows, and food service…even camel rides!
If you have small children or inexperienced riders, we suggest that you ride when traffic around Winston, Oregon is light. The climb up to the Safari entrance along the narrow, occasionally steep Safari Road can be a challenge for some riders. So, your party can complete the loop with a trip up to the entrance, or you can pass up the entrance and visit the Safari by car.
While you are in Safari country, consider a short side-trip to visit the internationally known Abacela Winery. Lodging and food are also available in the Winston area, including Safari-themed motels and both basic and specialized restaurants. Drive-through espresso stands make waking up a little easier, too. Groceries and other supplies are available in town.