Guests relish this exciting time of year, when every day brings a sense of discovery and newness; newborns with wobbly legs initially stick close to mothers, until they gradually build confidence and dare to venture farther afoot on their own.
Visitors best ogle the new babies on the naturalist-narrated tram tour, which comes along with the price of admission and takes place on comfortable people-movers that glide through the park.
The park welcomed some new additions in summer 2015 — Photo courtesy of Ingrid Barrentine / Northwest Trek Wildlife Park
Northwest Trek's newest resident – a healthy moose calf – was born on July 17, 2015, which also happened to be the park's 40th birthday.
Guests can take a signature, 50-minute, narrated Discovery Tram Tour through the 435-acre, free-roaming area for a chance to spy the moose calf and mom.
Other recent additions that have park-goers cooing include five newborn bison calves, three bighorn lambs, four elk calves and a caribou calf.
This expansive gem of a site, home to more than 200 species of indigenous wildlife, invites visitors to stroll along paved paths through lush forests. (The trails are wheelchair and stroller friendly.)
Northwest Trek – located in Eatonville between Tacoma and Mount Rainier – was founded in the late 1970s by a retired Tacoma pediatrician and his wife, who donated 715 acres to create the park.
Here, you can see massive predators like grizzly and black bears, wolves, cougars, wolverines and foxes, plus snowy owls, river otters, bald eagles and other Northwest native animals in naturalistic exhibits.
The Cheney Family Discovery Center provides interpretive nature education for kids, and the Fir Bough Cafe is the perfect place to rest and refuel for further explorations.
Visitors find five exhilarating zip line and challenge courses up in the trees — Photo courtesy of Northwest Trek Wildlife Park
Those seeking adventure can soar high above the tree canopy on five exhilarating zip line/challenge courses. None of the courses are merely the traditional harness-in-and-slide-along kind of zip line; all require a healthy dose of mental toughness and physical agility.
On up-close morning Keeper Tours, animal-lovers can gaze into the eyes of a moose or get within a few feet of a bison.
Sleepover opportunities exist here, too, thanks to Family Camp sessions that include a private tram tour, games, crafts and other exciting activities. (Since this year's Family Camps have sold out, go ahead and look to next year's calendar!)
No matter how you decide to explore this unique wildlife destination – in a manner that's tame or one that gets the adrenaline pumping – we guarantee an experience you won't soon forget.