What Is Northwest Trek


It’s a Jungle Out There!  Famous quote from (who knows who?).  Since no one really knows who first made that comment, we are left up in the air about it.  On the other hand, we do know the answer to :  What is Northwest Trek.

Northwest Trek is one of those places that has the flavor of an open air zoo.  But it’s not one that you’ll wear yourself out walking all over the place,  trying to see and locate the animal exhibits.  Just jump aboard the Tram, sit back, let the Northwest Trek guide take you to those animals, up close and personal.

You’ll Love The Ride

Why not consider an outing for the day, either with the children, grandparents, friends or relatives that come into town for a visit?  Taking the Trek Tram will be enjoyed for all who come on board.

Want something more?

Northwest Trek is located in Eatonville, Washington.  Address is : 11610 Trek Drive East, Eatonville, Wa.  98328     Usually you can get into the park  as a walk – in and purchase tickets.  On the other hand, why not give them a call first?


What To Expect 

Either the tram or keeper truck will give you that “eye to eye” contact with northwest wildlife, but in a safe environment.  Moose, elk, bear, deer, buffalo, mountain goats, and sheep including all sorts of smaller wildlife will keep you twisting and turning in your seat, not wanting to miss seeing any of them.

The tram takes you through the tour, which is excellent by the way….. but….. the keeper truck will allow you to enjoy being with, and watching, the keeper truck driver as  they make his/her rounds while feeding these animals.

Keeper trucks resemble a flatbed, open sided, pickup truck that carries animal hay, straw, alfalfa, grain and so on, in the flatbed area.  That is where you’ll be riding also.

Buffalo a.k.a. Bison

Buffalo a.k.a. Bison

Use Your Camera

The folks at Northwest Trek take into consideration that many do not get the opportunity to see wild animals in their natural habitat.  Each tour guide on the photo-tour, which is a unique tour in itself, will allow only 13 people onboard.

That gives you all the room you need in order to move around freely while taking photos from anywhere on the tram.  The Free-Roaming area is where you will be taken.  From there, you can take photos to your hearts content!

Elk Sparring?

In the human world of professional boxing, each boxer has a person that they practice with.  That person is called a ‘sparring partner’ to keep the professional boxer in condition.  Usually there are several of these sparring partners for each boxer.

In the animal world of elk, there is no such thing as a ‘sparring partner’ except another male that wants to take away the female elk (cows) away from him.

When you take the Elk Bugling Tour, you can expect to not only hear elk bugling, but will be seeing the two males (bulls)  locking horns and ‘sparring’ with each other, fighting for dominance of the herd (cows).

Elk Sparring for the dominance of the herd (female cows)

Elk Sparring for the dominance of the herd (female cows)

Overnight Camping At Northwest Trek

Seeing glowing animal eyes at night when we least expect it can be a bit scary to say the least.  However, when we are, once again, within the safe confines of our night-time-tram, we’ll be able to enjoy that wild animal ‘eye-shine’ and be relaxed.

Staying overnight can be a great experience for all.  Not only are there tours to see the animals, but there are games, crafts, and other activities for all to enjoy.

Enjoy ‘tenting’ it?  What about a  ‘campers only’ tour?  Both are available for you to choose from.

Sitting around the campfire enjoying your s’mores and watching the kids experience their first try with making these gooey delights will be entertaining.

Northwest Trek Wedding?

Yes, that is correct.  Many folks choose to have their marriage vows taken place right here in the “Trek” along with wild animals and beautiful flora as their background.

Beautiful back drops

Beautiful back drops

Give the folks at the above mentioned phone number a call and find out the details.  They are wonderful people to work with.

Petting Zoo, Too?

Walking into the entrance, you’ll be greeted by many of the friendly four legged “folks”  along with some two-legged ones as well.   Deer, (usually fawns), squirrels and birds of all sorts are just a few of these friendly “folks.”

What About Those “Creepy Crawly Things?”

Oh, one more thing.  If you are a person that does not like snakes, then this is the place you’ll enjoy.  Why?  Because there are pretty much, NO SNAKES to worry about.  Especially so, at least, none that are poisonous.

On the other hand, from time to time, you make come across a little none poisonous garden (garter) snake.  If you did, that would be amazing though.   Why so?  Because these little creatures are so timid that they hide and scurry away at the approach of any sound.

Share your experience with us here in the comments below.

Written by :   Tom McDaniel Be sure to click SHARE

Images by :  animalfactguide,dreamstime,publicdomainimage,allposters

Point Defiance Park Zoo and Much More

Point Defiance Park Zoo and Much More…..imagebyweedist

Point Defiance Zoo is a unique blend of animals.  You’ll see the aquarium, along with sharks, reptiles and seals that can either frighten or amaze every person that comes to this easy to locate, zoo.  What is Point Defiance Zoo?

Fort Nisqually is one of those amazing things that can give us a look back in time when the Pacific Northwest was still “in the raw” with developing settlements.  It’s very worth while to consider stopping there and learning of it’s living history.

There is much more to see and enjoy throughout the Point Defiance Park.   Regardless of the time of year, you’ll find yourself in a different setting.  Spring, you’ll be amazed with the blooming flowers, along with leafy trees.

Summer, the paved trails throughout the park make it great for families.  Even those with small children or toddlers in strollers.  If you do decide to hike the trails, then be sure and take in the beach front.

Just be sure to drive down to the water as the hike back up to the main road can be a challenge.  You’ll see for miles, out over the water and enjoy the folks on shore going about their routines of barbecue cook-outs.

What To See First

I would suggest that you get a Point Defiance Park Map.  If you are driving or perhaps riding a bicycle, why not go through the entire park first.  Then you’ll have an overall view and idea, of what the park is all about.

Fort Nisqually is one place that you’ll definitely want to stop and walk through.  I’ll put up another blog page just on that aspect of the park soon.

Point Defiance Zoo - Aquarium Map

Point Defiance Zoo – Aquarium Map

Point Defiance Zoo Hours

Daylight savings has to play a part in the opening and closing times of the zoo.   The following schedule is the Point Defiance Zoo’s  normal operations throughout the year.

Jan – Apr   Hours are :  9:30 am  to  4:00 pm

May – Sep   Hours are :  9:30 am to 5:00 pm and sometimes till 6:00 pm

Oct – Dec   Hours are : 9:30 am to 4:00 pm

Point Defiance Zoo Admission

Prices vary according to one’s age.  Here are the general guidelines for entrance to the zoo.

Two years and under…Free

Three and Four years…$8.75

Five through Twelve years…$13.00

Thirteen through Sixty Four years…$17.00

Over Sixty Five years…$16.00

Be sure and ask about the group discount if you come in as a family or with friends.

Point Defiance Zoo  address :   5400 North Pearl Street    Tacoma Washington 98407

One more thing to keep in mind is that all zoo parking is FREE !  

 Swim With The Sharks

If you are like most people, we are entranced with the power, and ferocity of sharks, especially the monstrous Great White Shark.  As long as they are in the open ocean, and we are on dry ground, we are not overly concerned with what they do.

But…have you ever considered “swimming” with these monsters?  This unique aquarium has made it possible for anyone to do so.  Whether we are a seasoned certified scuba diver, or a novice, we can “swim” with the sharks.

Certified divers can use the scuba equipment on hand while those of us (including me) don the underwater “dry diving suit” that go right over our street clothes.  Nothing gets wet but our face, hands and hair.

Oh, yes, and one more thing to keep in mind for the adventurous soul.  Novices (like me) are placed in a shark cage that is then  lowered into the shark pool.  Whew !   I was getting a bit nervous there for a few seconds.   🙂

Swimming with the Sharks Point Defiance Zoo

Swimming with the Sharks  At Point Defiance Zoo


Hotels Near Point Defiance Zoo

So you’ve decided to come see the zoo and aquarium have you?  Then you’ll need a place to stay while you are visiting the Greater Seattle/Tacoma area.  Here are a few hotels along with address’ and prices.  This will make it easy for you.

Rodeway Inn    3100 Pacific Highway East  Wa 99,  Fife Wash.  $57.

Days Inn located at the Tacoma Mall area… 6802 Tacoma Mall Blvd,  Tacoma Wash.  $54.

Travelodge of Fife   3518 Pacific Highway East, Fife Wash. $64.

Econo Lodge Fife   3501 Pacific Highway East, Wa. 99 Fife Wash.  $50.

Days Inn Fife    5601 Pacific Highway East, Wa. 99, Fife Wash.  $90.

Holiday Inn Express 8601 South Hosmer Street, Tacoma Wash.   $103

Comfort Inn   8620 South Hosmer Street Tacoma  Wash.  $127.

Red Lion Hotel   8401 South Hosmer Street Tacoma  Wash.  $129.

Quality Inn    5805  Pacific Highway East  Fife Wash.  $140.

Hampton Inn     8103 South Hosmer Street  Tacoma Wash.  $385.

Which ever you choose, you’ll enjoy the atmosphere of this amazing city of Tacoma.  It too, has a charm all it’s own.  Seattle/Tacoma have a “sister” type relationship between them.  Each city of which is unique in themselves.

Written by :  Tom McDaniel Be sure to SHARE this site!

All photos are a part of the Point Defiance Zoo Aquarium Brochure

Woodland Park Zoo Entrance

Woodland Park Zoo Entrance


To answer the question of : what is Woodland Park Zoo, you really need to see it.  This unique zoo is one of the best in the country.  Plenty of room for the animals with wide open spaces.  Walking through the broad paths, is a real pleasure.

The first time I visited Woodland Park Zoo was when I was just a little boy in the Bellevue grade school system.  For a few weeks, our teacher (Mrs. Bennett) sent out permission slips for the parents to sign and bring back the zoo entrance fee for all of us kids.

After several weeks all the permission slips and fees were in.  Onto the school bus we went.   All of us recall entering the zoo grounds through the Woodland Park Zoo gates and immediately realizing that this was almost like a “strange new world” of wild animals.

BoBo the gorilla was one of the main attractions of the zoo.  Sadly though, he is no longer with us.  🙁

Tiger at the zoo

Tiger at the zoo…Taking a “cat nap”

Where Is The Woodland Park Zoo Located

The zoo is easily found.  You can either grab  a local Seattle map and look up the address or just plug it into your GPS.

Zoo Address :

5500 Phinney Avenue North, Seattle, Washington 98103

or you can give them a call at  206-548-2500…

ask for directions, time they are open, and prices of entrance fees…or…you can just read a bit further down and find it for yourself.

By the way, while you are in the area, be sure and take a trip around the Green Lake walking path.

After your walk, why not stop over at Beth’s Cafe for one of their great breakfast, lunch or afternoon snacks.  You’ll love it…



Woodland Park Zoo Hours

Since the zoo is open pretty much every day (except Christmas, Dec. 25), you can count on just arriving at one of their many gates, and entering the zoo.

Jan. 1 through Apr. 30 the hours are 9:30 am till 4:00 pm.  However, since no one else is allowed into the grounds after 4:00 pm, don’t be alarmed that you’ll be locked into the grounds.  The gates for exiting the zoo grounds will stay open till 5:00 pm.

From May 1 through Sep. 30  the hours change a bit.  They are 9:30 am  to 6:00 pm every day.  The zoo grounds stay open till 7:00 pm.

What Is The Cost Of Entrance

At the time of this writing, the entrance fees are $19.95 for adults of 13-64 years of age.

Children from 3-12 years of age is $12.25

Then those little ones under the age of 3 are free.

Don’t forget to ask for the 65 and older discount or the disabled discount.

Another feature that the Woodland Park Zoo has is the yearly pass.  Adults are $49.00 ,  Children (3-18) are $17.00 and then the Flex Guests are $67.00.  If you enjoy the zoo, then be sure and take advantage of these great pass prices!

W.P.Z. Map

Woodland Park Zoo Map – Click For Larger Size

How About The City Pass

Don’t like waiting in lines?  Only going to be in Seattle for a short while?  Then the city pass is for you.  Plus you can cut off an additional 47% of the cost.

You not only get access to the Woodland Park Zoo, but also the Space Needle, the Seattle Aquarium, Argosy Cruises Seattle Harbor Tour, along with either  the Pacific Science Center…or…The Museum of Flight.

Give the zoo folks a call at the number above and find out all the details.

How Did The Zoo Get Started

The Seattle area is know to be a unique location in itself.  However, it is also known to be conservation oriented, especially when it come to a clean city and animal husbandry.

Guy Phinney (1852 – 1893) had a 179 acre estate that was named Woodland Park Estate.  He was a lover of wild exotic animals which he would, from time to time, have brought into this estate.

It included deer, black bear and even African ostriches.

Watch for ferocious animals !

Watch for ferocious animals !

At his death in 1893, this property sat in limbo until the city of Seattle purchased it from his widow in 1899.    From there, it became part of the municipal parks system and was now under the supervision of the Dept. of Parks and Recreation.

The zoo began to develop slowly.  The Lion House was added, then the Beaver Pool.

However, in 1932, there arose a huge uproar by city dwellers.  Though trying hard, they were destined  to lose the battle at stopping the 6-lane highway (Aurora Avenue) from cutting directly through the center of the park (zoo) causing a separation of the zoo from the lower part of the park on the eastern side.

Why this road system?  In the 1930’s jobs were scarce and times were hard.  City officials could keep a large workforce busy and foresee future growth of the city.

Finally, after WW II, the Woodland Park Zoo got a real financial boost.  Some three quarters of a million dollars (in 1948) and then another four million dollars (in 1968) allowed zoo officials the opportunity to have more natural habitats incorporated into the zoo.


Zebra and Friends

The Lowland Gorilla exhibit was one of the first to reflect this zoological conservation for “as close to a natural habitat” as could be replicated in a city surroundings.

Lowland Gorilla taking a break from Junior

Lowland Gorilla taking a break from Junior

Mom and Junior at play

Mom and Junior at play

Don't Forget Me Too !

Don’t Forget Me Too !

The Woodland Park Zoo Today

The Zoo today has one of the very best, if not the absolute best, reputation for excellence found throughout the entire United States zoo system.   It’s education to all visitors and it’s exhibits are second to none.

The 1,100 plus animals that currently live at the Woodland Park Zoo bring in more than one million visitors from around the world to view this amazing zoo.

Tropical Rainforest Building At The Woodland Park Zoo

Tropical Rainforest Building At The Woodland Park Zoo

How about you?  Have you been to the Woodland Park Zoo?  Leave me your comments below about your enjoyment of this greatly appreciated animal exhibit.

Written by :   Tom McDaniel Share this site