A group of us drove down to Alamosa from Denver to visit the Colorado Gator Farm. Three guys in our group had signed up for the gator wrestling class. Everyone who came down had an unbelievable, unforgettable time!
You can get close (almost too close) to all of the gators with the regular price admission. Admission is $15, but you can find discount coupons in town. Feeding the gators is cheap too at only $1 or $2 per bucket of food. There are free-roaming tortoises on the grounds that can be "petted".
Everyone who goes on the regular tour gets to hold a little alligator that sort of serves as the farm's "pet". They will take your photo with your camera but also with theirs. They do offer prints of the photo taken by them. Prices in the gift shop seemed reasonable (for example $.99 for a 20 oz bottle of Aquafina water).
This is a working farm so it does smell a bit - but I thought it would be worse. I can imagine it's quite unpleasantly hot in the summertime. Be warned, there is not a ton of shade. Bring sunscreen. Also, the bathroom facilities are quite spartan and borderline gross. Try to go in Alamosa (18 miles south) before you come up.
If you are crazy enough, I would definitely recommend signing up for the alligator wrestling class. They do it Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays and will take up to 4 people in a group. The class costs $100 per person, and runs approximately 3 to 4 hours long. It's a cheap price for a truly unique and unforgettable experience. Just think of the stories you'll be able to tell your friends - that you wrestled an alligator.
The instructor takes some amazing up-close, in-the-action photos for you, and they burn them to CD as part of the class cost. Their photos are really awesome since they're taken literally a few feet away from the action. I was actually impressed by how well their pictures turned out.
The three guys in our group absolutely loved the gator wrestling/ handling class. They start you out on the smaller ones, then move up to the middle ones (strong & fast), then finally a big one (slower but stronger). Of course there is a waiver to be signed by all since you're handling wild animals. But for the most part, I didn't feel like the guys were in any real danger, and if they were, it would have been due to their own overly-energetic stupidity. Also, they will let you stop at any level/weight-class you don't feel comfortable with.
The instructor Jay was great. He was really laid-back, but he puts on a good show for the crowd too. He's only 165 lbs himself, so he is by no means a huge guy. He said he's had 100 lb women in the gator pens that have completed the class without problems.
I think if you just happened to pass through here on a normal weekday, you might find this place "just ok". But if you happened to pass through while there were "regular everyday people" (like our 3 guys) in the pens with the gators, it would be an awesome experience to see. All 3 guys in our group said it was a huge adrenaline rush.
Overall though, Colorado Gators was a great experience for our group. I can't wait to go back again! I might even sign up for the class next time - it looked fun!
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