You know those hot summer days when all you want to do is stay inside with the air conditioning running? Those are the days we’ve been having recently. Although it seems like those days drag on and on, here in Washington, it will be raining again in no time so, even though I’d love to stay inside, I know how vital it is that I get my boys out of the house while we can. Thankfully greenery is abundant here so finding a fun outdoor activity with shade is totally an option. Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is one of those places so we decided to go!
I hadn’t been to Northwest Trek since I was a little girl and it was pretty much nothing like I remembered – in a good way! There was a giant play structure with a water feature that both boys loved (Caleb even thought it would be a good idea to try to strip down to nothing to go in the water…), the Northwest Trek tram is, of course, the highlight of the visit, and all the fun animals you get to see are awesome! Although it was fantastic to go while there was amazing weather, it’s definitely a place you can go in the Pacific Northwest dreariness and it would be just as fun!
Northwest Trek Wildlife Park Family Guide
Northwest Trek Location and Cost
Northwest trek is located about an hour from Tacoma in Eatonville, WA. Basically in the middle of nowhere… Which makes sense since it’s a 723-acre wildlife park and needs room. Currently prices are $23 for Adults, $21 for Seniors (65+), $15 for Youth (5-12), and $11 for Tots (3-4). Kids two and under are free. It was a little odd for us to have to pay for Caleb since most places are free for three and under but it just showed us what our life’s going to look like in under six months when he turns four. The good new is that there is a $3 discount per ticket if you get them online. So definitely do that!
Northwest Trek Animals
There are SO MANY animals at Northwest Trek! A lot of the wildlife is in the 435-acre free-range area but there are also some (like the big cats, wolves, and bears) in enclosures. We had a lot of fun walking through the stroller friendly trails looking for the animals in their homes. Josiah is in a stage where he roars at every animal (because of course he does) so he had a blast finding the animals and roaring at them. I think our highlight was getting to see the gorgeous white wolves eating their dinner. Caleb’s been learning a little bit about the food chain so it was fun to talk to him about why the wolves were eating meat and why we eat meat. Everything is a learning opportunity!
Northwest Trek Tram
The #1 highlight of Northwest Trek is the tram ride! You hop on the tram for a 40-minute tour of the free-range area and, during that time, see all sorts of animals. On our ride we saw bison, mountain goats, caribou (a few even got close enough that we could have touched them if we weren’t told not to), elk, bighorn sheep, and various birds. I wasn’t expecting to see as many things as we did since it was so hot but there was enough shade near the trail that a lot of the animals were hanging out there! Sometimes tour guides can be super annoying but this one was great! He was super informative and did a great job pointing out the animals for us!
Caleb’s favorite part of Northwest Trek was the play area. Once he got bored of animals he started pestering us to go back to the Kids’ Trek area. Three year olds are obnoxious. 😉 I’ll be honest, though, this kids’ are was awesome! It was full of slides, climbing areas, dirt, and trampolines. Caleb could have played for hours. The water feature was also fantastic! It was cool and refreshing but shallow enough that even Josiah could crawl around in it without us worrying about his safety. I had brought a change of clothes for both boys and would highly recommend it if they’re going to get wet. And like I said above, your kids might want to strip down to their birthday suits… Probably don’t let them do that. #ThreeYearOldsAreWeird
Extra Stuff You Want to Know
There are so many fun extra things at Northwest Trek that we didn’t even do. There’s a zip line, science camp, discovery center with reptiles (we were so bummed we didn’t know about this ahead of time), and there’s going to be an amazing eagle sanctuary in the near future. We’ll definitely be going back to experience all those exciting features! Northwest Trek Wildlife Park has a cafe with tasty food but they also allow you to bring your own food into the park so, if you’re looking to save money, that’s the thing to do. Water bottles are a must and snacks are great too!
Have you ever visited Northwest Trek Wildlife Park?
Which Northwest Trek animals would you like to see?
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