Top 20 Washington State Trips

Northwest Trek

Northwest Trek

Visit a fantastic wildlife park near Washington's Mt Rainier.

Northwest Trek is 1-hour south of Seattle in Eatonville, in a breathtaking setting with wetlands, forests and lakes. 

Take an exciting 40-minute tram tour through the park to see bison, moose and elk roaming freely.  It's the closest you'll get to experiencing animals in the wild!

There's also self-guided trails to observe animals like bears and wolves in more natural settings. 

Kids will love the fabulous nature play area at Northwest Trek with rope bridges and slides, and a giant trunk to climb inside.  There's also a theater, gift shop and restaurant.  

Northwest Trek is at 11610 Trek Drive East, Eatonville.  Check tickets & hours.

10 best things to do at Northwest Trek

1. Walk along beautiful trails with ponds and bridges, to see the animals at Northwest Trek.

There's a great selection of animals along the walking trails at Northwest Trek, including brown and black bears, gray wolves, foxes, bobcats, cougars and coyotes. 

The paths meander along thickly forested areas, creeks, pools and overlooks, providing plenty of vantage points to observe the animals in a more natural setting than a typical zoo.  The peaceful surroundings are as much a delight as the wildlife.

Check out the education areas for kids like the Cheney Family Discovery Center and Baker Research Cabin, or stop by an Animal Presentation Areas scattered throughout the park. 

2. See an agile cougar jump 20-feet vertically from a stationary position!

3. Observe a pack of grey wolves at Northwest Trek.

Grey wolves usually prey on much larger animals like deer and elk.

4. Get an up-close look at coyotes, who get very vocal at night, often howling at the moon.

5. Peer down into the grizzly bear enclosure and look at their fierce claws.  These solitary creatures usually hibernate for the winter.

6. Spot an illusive barn owl.  They have amazing vision, essential for hunting.

7. Check out the majestic bald eagle, with an incredible 6 to 7 foot wing span.

8. Take the fun 40 minute Tram Tour around Northwest Trek.

The highlight of a visit to Northwest Trek is a 40 minute Tram Tour in the open wildlife section of the park, starting at Horseshoe Lake.   Mount Rainier's spectacular peak can be glimpsed across this sub-alpine lake. 

The guided tour travels along the edge of the lake, through forested areas, open plains and pristine wetlands.   The tram stops at regular intervals to observe bison, moose, elk, deer, bighorn sheep and mountain goats roaming through this natural environment.  The tram gets remarkably close to the animals, enabling visitors a rare glimpse of these magnificent creatures.

Time to board the tram at Northwest Trek!

Look at those spectacular views over Horseshoe Lake, all the way to Mt Rainier.

9. See a herd of moose, the largest of the deer species.

10. Check out the cute fawn, not afraid to approach the bus.

11. The curved horns on the bighorn sheep are a sight to behold, used to engage in fierce combat.

12. Northwest Trek has herds of elk, often segregated by gender.  They are also part of the deer family.

Male elk have antlers, that usually shed during winter.   The antlers can grow to 4 feet high.

This male elk doesn't look too pleased to see the tram.

13. Bison are the biggest mammals in North America, and the males can weigh up to 2,000 pounds!

14. Visit the Forest Theater, restaurant & gift shop.

Enjoy lunch in the restaurant (with a roaring fire during wintertime), or stop by the gift shop for a memento.   The Forest Theater is in the same building as the restaurant.  NW Trek also has plenty of picnic tables and BBQ facilities.

15. Hang out at a play area for kids at Northwest Trek.

The Kids Trek nature play area has a rope bridge attached to a hollow trunk that kids can climb inside.  There's also a jumping mat, slides and shallow stream to play in!

Other things to do near Northwest Trek

The Mt Rainier Railroad is 18-miles south in the township of Elbe.  If you'd like to visit Mt Rainier National Park, drive 50-miles east to the spectacular village of Paradise with soaring views of Mt Rainier.  There's also trails, a restaurant, visitor center and historic lodge.  If you need a place to stay overnight before driving up to Paradise, try one of the lovely cabins at Ashford near the entrance to the park. 

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