The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling: Grizzly Peak at Disney California Adventure Park at Disneyland Resort

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

Grizzly Peak at Disney California Adventure Park at Disneyland Resort

One of the most notable icons at Disney California Adventure park is the 110-foot Grizzly Peak. Many guests are familiar with Grizzly River Run, the white-water rafting adventure at the mountain’s base, but today I want to share with you a little bit of the magic behind the peak itself. The history of Grizzly Peak is a combination of lore and, of course, Disney imagination.

According to Walt Disney Imagineering, no one is quite sure when the first people arrived at Grizzly Peak; however, petroglyphs and rock paintings throughout the area suggest that these people believed that all living creatures were kin to humankind. It didn’t matter if you were four-legged or two-legged, everyone walked as brothers to teach each other lessons and offer guidance on their journeys. There was one animal that they held in particular esteem: the grizzly bear. These early people believed that the territory all around them reflected the bear’s personality – the mighty granite peaks, the tall, proud trees and the roaring waterfalls.
Grizzly Peak at Disney California Adventure Park at Disneyland Resort

According to legend, long ago a coyote met a grizzly bear on top of the mountain. Because the grizzly was such a powerful creature, the coyote asked him to watch over and protect the land. One day, people came upon the mountain and tried to chase the grizzly bear down. Despite this charge, the bear held his ground. When the coyote saw that the bear was alone against the surrounding people, he turned the grizzly into stone so he could never be driven away. To this day, people claim they can hear the bear’s spirit in the wind when traveling through the caverns of Grizzly Peak.

Have you seen any of the rock paintings or perhaps heard the grizzly bear’s spirit while white-water rafting down Grizzly River Run?


  • You know when I look up I don’t see a Grizzly Bear but a Coyote? So, am wrong? Bears ears are rounded and Coyote ears are pointed?

  • imho this “Storytelling” post should become a regular, weekly post. It’s that good!

    • Thank you, Dustin! I’m glad you enjoy the series. It’s fun for me because I learn a lot, too!

  • Supreme blog post indeed Erin. And great story, I love the storytelling that Disney puts into each and everything in the parks and its products and services. Grizzly Peak is an icon of DCA, and a great area of the park. Thanks!

  • Hi Erin!

    What an incredible job the Disney Imagineers have! They do a remarkable job of ‘storytelling’ and forwarding Walt Disney’s legacy in so many ways.

    They never ever leave any stone unturned. I love how everything, everywhere has a meaning and a purpose and such great lengths are taken to achieve this. Never any corner cutting.

    As always, I’m positively incredulous!

    Thank you for sharing,
    Best regards

  • My old home!

  • This is what I love about the Disney Parks and the Disney Franchise: The Storytelling. Everything you guys create has a backstory and even a “little bit of pixie dust” to makes us soar into this world. Hope one day get to see Grizzly peak in person.

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