Before the COVID pandemic started, Northwest Trek had tram tours that took visitors through the free-roaming area, where they could see animals native to the Pacific Northwest. Now tour has transformed into a drive-through experience called the Wild Drive.
At the Wild Drive, visitors book their timed tickets online for the one-hour tour. When they arrive, they line up behind a guide car in a designated area. The guide leads the caravan through the free-roaming area, talks about the wildlife seen along the way, and talks about ways humans can help protect wildlife.
I’ve taken the tram tour and bought a ticket for Wild Drive shortly after these tours started. Although both experiences were fascinating and fun, my favorite is the Wild Drive. It was nice to have a chance to see the animals from the comfort of my car and bring my mother. Because my mother has trouble walking and climbing stairs, the tram ride would not be an option for her. I also felt that we could get a closer look at the free-roaming area at a more relaxed pace.
The Wild Drive schedule is posted on Northwest Trek’s website through September, and the schedule varies every month. The cost is $75 per car, up to eight people, for Northwest Trek members and $90 per car for non-members. Admission includes entry into the park where more native animals are on display.
For more information and to reserve a date and time, visit nwtrek.org/visit/tours/wild-drive. Tours often sell out fast, especially on dry sunny days, so book as soon as you can if you want to go on a certain day.
Northwest Trek is located at 11610 Trek Drive East in Eatonville, Washington, 34 miles southeast of Tacoma and 137 miles northeast of Portland.