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Northwest Trek Animal Park

Northwest Trek Animal Park

Eatonville, Washington

Getting to NW Trek is a slog, driving down 161 via Puyallup's South Hill is like driving Aurora from Shoreline to Sea-Tac. But it is worth it, all the more so if you plan to visit the Paradise side of Rainier.

I was there for the first time Christmas Eve with 3 Nephews. This is supposedly a great time to visit as the leaves are off the trees making visibility better - antlers are also still to drop though that won't be long. New to the Park are several Moose, and according to the guide we were the first to see them - on our dusk drive, starting at 3:00.

Unlike normal zoos the park specializes in NW critters - which makes the whole native habitat attempt work very well. The park puts the most publicity on its tram, but the predator displays are just as good. There are cages, but they are very well done - we saw virtually every species, save the Foxes, including both Grizzly and Black Bear. The smart use of water and electrical barriers bring the critters closer than you would think safe, and the covers at each area make a rainy day visit quite enjoyable for an acclimatized local.

I learned a new word on this visit -'kerpuscular" (sp?) - which means an animal that is active only at dawn and dusk. The last tram of the day, 3:00, may well be the best, in that regard.


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