The Pacific Northwest has its’ zoos and game farms, but animal lovers with tender heartstrings might be looking for a different experience. Consider visiting a nonprofit like Wolf Haven, which rehabilitates displaced and captive-born wolves—e.g. someone brought home a kick-ass wolf instead of a boring old dog, then learned the hard way that she’s not into cuddling. These animals aren’t equipped to be in the wild, so given that they need help, this facility is as natural as possible.
Here’s what you can do during your memorable time at Wolf Haven:
Take a guided tour. This is actually required, since you can’t just wander in and say hello to the razor-fanged residents. Besides, the tour guides are highly educated on the different species (gray, Mexican gray, red, wolfdogs, and coyotes) and they know these animals like family. The wolves will come out to say hello, but you can’t pet them, and that distance really illustrates that any wolf is a wild animal at heart (their jaws are designed to crunch through bone, after all). No reservations are needed for the 50-minutes tours, which cost $12 and leave hourly. There are restrooms and a few snacks for purchase, but no other facilities, so feel free to bring a picnic.
Spend a “midsummer’s night.” The opportunity to camp overnight at Wolf Haven is only available a few times each summer. Your $75 ticket includes two tours, a walk through the countryside, dinner by the campfire, breakfast the next morning, and the very cool experience of hearing the wolves howl at night (probably, though technically they can’t guarantee it). For the comfort of the wolves, capacity is limited and tickets tend to sell out.
Adopt a wolf. It only costs $25 to adopt one of these majestic creatures, but you can also patronize the gift shop, supporting the organization while also going home with a mug, calendar, earrings, or other cute wolfy gifts.
Find yourself traveling closer to the Rockies? Check out Colorado’s Mission Wolf.
Have you toured a facility like Wolf Haven?