Despite the fact that I grew up in Seattle, I had never been to Northwest Trek Wildlife Park until this summer and I have to tell you: it is amazing – everything you’ve heard and more.

I definitely recommend, if you can afford it, to splurge the extra $40 for the Keeper Tour – where one of the Park’s specialists takes you on about a one-hour tour while he feeds the animals.

It’s like being on a jungle safari. In fact, it’s not like it – it IS a jungle safari. I could hear the rumbled breathing of the gigantic bison as it pondered eating just inches from the truck.

Watching the adults’ behavior (the animals, not your fellow tour members) is impressive, but it’s hard not to be smitten by all the baby animals in the 435-acre Free-Roaming Area – a natural habitat for hooved animals.

There are:
· Six bison calves
· Four Roosevelt elk calves
· One woodland caribou calf
· Two bighorn sheep lambs
· Several deer fawns
· Dozens of goslings

“The newborns help us tell the story of animals that are native to the Northwest and highlight conservation successes like that of the American bison,” said Northwest Trek Zoological Curator Marc Heinzman.

In addition to the tram tour through the Free-Roaming Area, you can simply walk around and see black bears, gray wolves, red foxes, coyotes, bobcats, Canada lynx, river otters, beavers and more.

There’s also a nature-inspired Kids’ Trek playground, and a zip line, which my daughter and I found to be the perfect way to finish a great day. For more information, go to