Visiting Northwest Trek Wildlife Park
Mountain Goat, Elk, and Bears, Oh My!
If you're looking for a variety of animals to photograph, and you don't have the time to wait and get lucky while hiking, Northwest Trek is a good alternative. Here you can take a 50-minute tram ride that loops through 435 acres of free-roaming mammal habit, get up close and personal with some of the smaller animals in the forest animal viewing decks, and more.
The afternoon we visited was quite hot and sunny. The tram tour consists of three linked cars with two rows of seat along each windowed side. The front car housed the driver and tour guide along with passengers. Our guide gave tidbits of history, information on the park, anecdotes and directed our attention to animals around the vehicle through the overhead speakers. Being a hot day, most of the wildlife were wisely seeking shelter in the shade and water.
As we waited in line to board, velvety antlers peeked in and out of view as a male caribou and a couple of females made their way alongside the tram, almost entirely out of view. Once on the tram we were able to get a few images of these guys as they brushed by. Off we went. The property was rather impressive, not only for its size, but also the varieties of habit available. First and second growth forests, meadows, wetland areas, lakes and ponds and numerous hills. On the grassy meadows were bighorn sheep grazing and resting. In the water we spotted geese and ducks, but also elk staying cool. As we wound through the paved roadways, we saw the mother moose and her young one keeping cool in the shade and away from any potential dangers.
Just near enough to see, but not near enough to get good pictures of, were the bison in an upper meadow. We spotted several deer along the way as well. One of the lakes had a pair of snow geese at the water's edge and a mountain goat keeping cool in the mud.
Once the tram ride was done, we followed the signs to other animal exhibits. Owls, a turkey vulture, otters, beavers, a wolverine, a fisher, gray wolves, cougar, bobcat, lynx and so much more. This part of the park hosts the animals in enclosures. All easily viewable behind glass, netting, fencing, etc. There were a great number of families with children, some walking, some in strollers. The park also has a nice playground for the kids to enjoy.