I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest for decades and never ventured down to Northwest Trek. Time to make amends.
Frankly, it’s a bit of a haul from Seattle. Ben has turned into a professional backseat driver and told Chris to turn around (because he was going the wrong direction) about fifty times. In the future I’d rent a little cabin nearby and pair this with a weekend adventure at Mt. Rainier.
There are two areas in the park: the self-guided walking part and the tram ride. Both are included with the entry ticket.
I liked the tram best: it’s gorgeous countryside and the animals are fun to spot hiding in the woods.
Or not hiding at all:
The moose are the most reclusive and according to our fuide, it’s a grand success if you spy one of them. One of our fellow passengers gets the 'eagle eye' award for his moose locating skills:
The 435-acre area is entirely fenced, although some small ‘visitors’ can come and go at will. A few years ago a mountain lion made itself comfortable within the zoo and dined on 10 (!) hoofed creatures before he was escorted off the premises.
The elk herd taking a dip.
The zoo is comprised entirely of “NW” animals, which includes much of Canada and Alaska as I’m fairly certain that we’re lacking moose here in Washington. I was going to include grizzly bears in that last sentence except I googled it and found out that there are, indeed, brown bears here in good ole WA. Who knew?! Not me....
I was aware of the hordes of raccoons that inhabit our state.
If you go:
Depending on how busy the place it, it’s worth dropping off someone at the entrance to pay and get your tram tokens. We dilly-dallied around in the car and when we finally made it up to the ticket booth, the next available tram was 50 minutes out. Fortunately you can spend your time doing the walking part of the zoo so you won’t be waiting in line for that time.
There are lots of lovely places to picnic on the grounds so bring food.
There is a slight discount for Pierce County residents. As a non-PC resident, I thought the rates ($20/person) were ever-so-slightly too high. But I’m also kind of cheap. Thrifty sounds better, doesn’t it? I’m not cheap, peeps, I’m thrifty. Ben was $10 and Emma was free.
There is also a zip line (additional fee) for the adventurous.