Wolf Haven was the best experience! The sanctuary provides a sanctuary for captive-born wolves... read more
Wolf Haven was the best experience! The sanctuary provides a sanctuary for captive-born wolves... read more
Never easy when there are a number of children all eager to ask numerous questions on your tour... read more
The wolf haven is all about caring for wolves, not entertaining people. You can learn some interesting facts about wolves. Don't be surprised if you don't see all the wolves.
I felt the price was a little steep.
Wolf Haven was the best experience! The sanctuary provides a sanctuary for captive-born wolves, guided visits and educational programs about wildlife. It was very informative and the best experience. The wolves were very active in the morning and we were blessed enough to hear all of the wolves howl. What a great experience! I would go again in a heartbeat!
Appreciate your feedback and support. We are so glad that you enjoyed your visit to the sanctuary and had the additional experience of hearing the wolves howl.
Never easy when there are a number of children all eager to ask numerous questions on your tour. Wolves we saw were close up but we only saw 3 areas. We would have liked to have seen more areas and got to know a little more about the wolves and the story as to how they arrived at the Sanctuary. Suspect guide got a little distracted answering their questions. Despite this glad we came and wish the Sanctuary and the wolves all the best for the future.
Thank you so much for your review. We agree with your assessment - it's very challenging to lead (and go on) a sanctuary visit when there are small children. For that reason, on our website we clearly state that it is not recommended for younger children who might find it difficult to stand still and remain relatively quiet for 50-60 minutes. Of course every child is different, so parents must make an assessment of their own child's ability to benefit from the visit. Wolf Haven offered child-focused sanctuary visits this summer for the first time and these went well. They are much shorter in length and involve an activity outside the sanctuary. It is very possible that we will continue these in future. Your review is quite helpful. Thanks again.
First and foremost, Wolf Haven is a wolf sanctuary, not a zoo. As they put it "This place is for the comfort and safety of the wolves, not for humans." Or something like that. Where as in a zoo, the animals are on exhibit for humans to see. At Wolf Haven, its for the comfort of the animals. If they decide they want to be in the far back and not visible, that's their right.
Time to visit: I would recommend going the earliest they allow. Animals are more active in the morning so there is a higher chance they will be out and about.
They said they have 62 wolves at the sanctuary but we'd probably only be seeing about 12 of them which are the most comfortable with people. And we did see all 12.
They book small groups to go in at a time for 1 hour and then the next group goes in. They are very clear to try and remain quiet and help keep it a calm atmosphere for the wolves.
You will be guided around a loop with a guide. You have to stay with the guide. They try to house at least 2 wolves in an area at a time. The areas they are kept in is a nice size. All the wolves there have a story about how they came to the sanctuary, their personalities, etc. I enjoyed hearing about each of them rather then just looking at an animal with no background.
In the course of an hour you will be taken around the loop to about 5 areas and introduced to all of the wolves there. Again, you won't be seeing all 62, only about a dozen.
I think some people who are expecting a zoo-like experience may be disappointed because it may feel "short" but, it only costs $13 so I wasn't too disappointed. I love wolves and I enjoyed hearing all the stories about each of them. I was happy to support this wonderful organization.
Photos: I would recommend having a telephoto lens. You can certainly zoom in with your cellphone but the pictures may get more grainy. A number of the wolves come right up to the fence and you are about 5 feet from the fence so you can get good photos from there. But if they are further back in their areas, you may not be able to without a telephoto lens. Remember, this place is for the comfort of the wolves, not the humans.
There is also a Remembrance Field where they have buried wolves who have passed away over the years. You can also buy stones if you had a wolf or wolf-dog that you would like to have remembered.
Bathrooms: They only have port-a-potties.
Gift Shop: They do have a gift shop.
Food/Drink: You are not allowed to take food or drinks inside. You will be asked to leave it at the gift shop and pick it up when you get done.
Parking: They have a large gravel parking lot. Its free to park.
Finding it: I used Google Maps and it found the place easily. There is a big "Wolf Haven" sign out front (see my pictures) so you'll know when you are there.
Wow - you did an excellent job describing our sanctuary! Really appreciate your attention to detail and respect for our hands-off philosophy with the wolves.As for food and drink, visitors can take bottled water, but that's it. Also, the pavers can be purchased for other reasons besides remembering a wolf or wolfdog - many people want to memorialize their beloved dog or cat or even family member.
Thank you very much for coming to visit, writing this very informative review and providing useful information for future visitors (and your photos are great too!)
Saw their online ad, and had to visit. Glad we did, Be prepared, they do not have any food on site, but there are several fast food places nearby. Allow several hours, the guided tour is about an hour long, but very informative. The gift shop has a nice selection of things. You will get to see about a dozen wolves, coyotes up close, and learn their background. They also have a wilderness area you may walk around, and a remembrance area as well. Could have stayed half a day, but did not plan this trip well. We will return for sure.
This is all very nice to read - thank you! You're right about the option to stay half a day if you'd like. You can also just come for the 50-60 minute scheduled visit and immediately depart, if you prefer. Some people bring their lunch and eat at one of the picnic tables, basking in the sunshine (when we have it during the summer months in the Pacific Northwest). Right now (May), native prairie flowers like camas, paintbrush, buttercup and violets are blooming.
My wife had guest with us down in Portland so we made the 1:45 hour trip up here to see wolves. It would not be on top of my to do list but I liked it too. They all howled twice while we were there. The guide told us its not that common, they must like us. Trains nearby or some other distraction can cause this.
It is a real challenge to get good photos through chain linked fencing. I used my DSLR with a 250 zoom lens. If you focus right, you can blur the fence and get an acceptable photo.
Thanks for writing about your visit. We see quite a few visitors from Portland, which is great! You were very lucky to hear the wolves howl, not once, but twice! It is a rare and magical experience to hear 60+ wolves howling in unison. Thanks again for making the journey to Wolf Haven and writing about it.
This is a sanctuary for wolves that educates the public through tours. We learned a lot about the many wolves there, both the species and their individual stories of how they came to be at the sanctuary. We saw most of them, only one group was a bit shy and hard to see near the back of their enclosure.
Wear comfy shoes for the walking tour. There are a few benches throughout if you need one. You will be walking and listening to your tour guide throughout with plenty of time at each enclosure. Our guide was very informative and friendly.
Plenty of parking is available in a dirt lot. Portable toilets are located between the parking area and the gift shop. I'd suggest you get there early and use the restrooms before the tour as going back out once the tour starts would be difficult.
We really appreciate that you wrote such a detailed account of your visit and walk through the sanctuary. It is useful to prepare those who may have not been to Wolf Haven before and aren't sure what to expect. We will pass your compliments along to our guides, who are all trained volunteers here. Thank you so much for your visit and for taking the time to write such a thoughtful description of your time at Wolf Haven.
I found Wolf Haven while searching for things to do near Olympia. It was a wonderful and informative experience. The staff was very friendly. The wolves are beautiful. We got to hear all the wolves and coyotes howl which was AMAZING!! I recommend taking the time to visit.
Thank you Lisa. I found Wolf Haven International the same way, 17 years ago. We had recently moved to Tumwater, WA, and while looking around the area, my husband and I discovered Wolf Haven. Went on a guided visit to see the wolves and learn about them -
and never looked back! Kim, Wolf Haven staff
My hubby reserved this event for us months ago. I am so glad he did! It was a very informative and relaxing evening at Wolf Haven. This was the only Midsummer's Night that was not an overnight camping event and it was an adult only event limited to 20 people.
Our adventure began with a walk through the prairie to the "Grandfather" tree which is an amazingly complex 300+ year old tree. This was followed by dinner that was impressive. It was catered by a barbecue place in Olympia and included BBQ turkey and pulled pork, salad, mac and cheese, smoked portobello mushrooms, grilled red potatoes, and rolls. The food was outstanding and there was more than enough for seconds. After the relaxing dinner, we went into the sanctuary where we saw and learned about the wolves and their stories along with the mission of Wolf Haven. With such a small group at a relaxed pace, we had a lot of opportunity to ask questions. At the end of the sanctuary walk, we all got to howl hoping to get the wolves to howl. This was fun and within no time we had the place howling. With 62 wolves on site (most not on the visitor tour), it was amazing to hear them howl. Very cool! After our sanctuary walk, we took a short break where coffee, soda, water and baked goods were available for dessert. They too were excellent. After a short break, time to ask more questions and learn more about the wolves, we then went to the administration building where we learned more about these incredible animals as we watched short videos showing some of the more memorial and informative wolf behavior/events at Wolf Haven. As we left at 9:30 we were all given a parting gift which included a desk calendar and a wall calendar along with more information about the wolves and a copy of their "Wolf Tracks Magazine". This event was 4 1/2 hours and worth every cent of the $50 per person price.
If this sounds like an event you would enjoy, I suggest looking ahead to the dates in 2018 and setting your phone to remind you when tickets go on sale. These events sell out SUPER fast. You can also just buy tickets for a variety of dates to have a tour of the sanctuary, which is very cool as well, but also can sell out quickly.
Don't miss this opportunity to experience these amazing animals and while your at it, adopt a wolf as well!
Susan, we were all blown away by your detailed description of A Midsummer's Night! Thank you very much for supporting Wolf Haven by attending this summer event and taking the time to write such a thoughtful review. The regular Midsummer Night's are $75 per person, because they include an overnight, breakfast in the morning and another trip into the sanctuary, but as you mentioned, you were here for the evening/adults only event, which cost less. So glad that you came here to show your support for wolves and wildlife - and that you got to hear a group howl!
Went here as a kid. I returned with my husband and kiddo. So cool. We went to the 11:30 tour. The 10am is when they're most active, but we still got a lot of activity. It helped that it was overcast and mid 60's for most of the tour. Plan ahead and book your tour online cause they do fill up fast. You can bring water bottles, but nothing else.
You visit a total of 6 habitats each housing about 2 wolves on average. The first 3 we visited had 2 wolves each. The first 2 had 1 wolf pacing the fence near us and the other wolf sitting down by the fence. The 3rd had both wolves very active at the fence! They came and fed them while we watched. Pretty neat. The next 3 we visited had activity in the far back, but not near us. As we were ending our tour, there was a wolf howl and a few joined in! So pretty to hear. Doesn't happen often as they won't let you provoke a howl like they let us do when I visited as a kid since that can actually agitate the wolves.
The tour is 50 min long which could be long for young kids. They recommend the tour for kids over 8. Our kiddo is 5 and although she did lose interest every so often, she had a blast and learned a lot about wolves.
We took a walk through the wolf cemetery and then had a picnic on one of their handful of picnic tables. We ended up standing because there were a lot of huge ants crawling on the tables. Yuck! Try and use the restroom before you go to Wolf Haven as there are only outhouses.
Thanks for writing this realistic summary of a visit to Wolf Haven. It's great that the wolves howled while you and your family were there - as you mentioned, that doesn't always happen. Glad too that you were able to see several of the wolves; especially during hot summer months, it's best to try and come in the morning, like you did. Also during the summer, we sometimes have ants, bees, spiders (but also butterflies) sharing the prairie with the humans. Nature at its best!
stumbled on this by accident and their billboard said tours Fri-Monday... so we signed up (MUST pre-register!) its a cost of $20 but well worth the money. a guide gives a 50-60 minute tour and it is very informative! you get to see and learn about wolves, coyotes and their lives!
Well we were Wowed by your review! Thank you so much for being a curious, engaged traveler and finding us. Our admission fees are actually lower than what you quoted ($12 for adults/$10 seniors, active military and students; $7 youth) - the 50-minute guided visit is a fun, informative way to see wolves and learn about their complex, fascinating world.
Thanks for writing!