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Zootour through Washington and Oregon states

Discussion in 'United States' started by Jonas Livet, 6 Mar 2019.

  1. Jonas Livet

    Jonas Livet Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I am currently planning my 2019 American zootour and the first leg will bring me to Washington and Oregon states. Here follows some kind of a first drafted program. What do you think? Any institution to add? Anything of importance missed? Does it all sound reasonable for you? Any advice where to watch wildlife on the way?

    16th April: late arrival at Seattle Airport SEA
    17th April: Northwest Trek Wildlife Park
    18th April: Oregon Zoo (+ Portland Japanese Garden? + Hoyt Arboretum?)
    19th April: Wildlife Safari
    20th April: Oregon Coast Aquarium + Hatfield Marine Science Center + Yaquina Head
    21st April: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
    22nd April: Woodland Park Zoo
    23rd April: Seattle Aquarium + Cougar Mountain Zoo (or Pacific Science Center or Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center) + late flight to Vancouver YVR

    Thanks in advance, your help is much appreciated!

    Jonas
     
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  2. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    The first leg? Where else do you plan to go?
     
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  3. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    You are going to a part of the zoo world that I know really well!

    Northwest Trek has an hour-long tram tour and then probably two hours of walking (at most) and so the whole thing can easily be seen in 3 hours. Of course you could stay much longer if you are going to be taking lots of quality photos.

    Oregon Zoo is under construction right now with 3 high-profile exhibits all opening next year. That means the center of the zoo will be closed off but you could still easily spend 5 hours here.

    Wildlife Safari is a drive-through zoo with a small walk-around section. I'd be shocked if you could even spend 3 hours here and it is quite far out of the way in southern Oregon.

    Oregon Coast Aquarium is excellent and I'm a big fan of the facility (3 hour visit), plus the Hatfield Marine Science Center is only a mile down the road (45 minutes to see it all) and there is a third aquatic facility in the coastal town of Newport called Oregon Undersea Gardens that even has its own guidebook. It is basically one large tank and a visit there is 30 minutes. All 3 aquariums can very easily be done in a day with time to spare.

    Point Defiance Zoo is a great little zoo basically right on the ocean, and there is a brand-new, $51 million aquarium and many rarities around the grounds like Pacific Walrus, Southern Sea Otter, Clouded Leopard, Muskox, Red Wolf, etc.

    Woodland Park Zoo will be a full day.

    Seattle Aquarium can be seen in 2 hours, the Pacific Science Center is within walking distance of the aquarium and the animal-only section can easily be seen in probably 30-45 minutes. Cougar Mountain Zoo is a place that I was at once, 10 years ago, and it's not very large and two hours would be plenty of time there.

    Washington Zoos:


    Cat Tales Zoological Park (Mead)
    Cougar Mountain Zoo (Issaquah)
    Marine Life Center (Bellingham)
    Northwest Trek Wildlife Park (Eatonville)
    Olympic Game Farm (Sequim)
    Outback Kangaroo Farm (Arlington) - the only one on this list that I've not visited
    Pacific Science Center (Seattle)
    Point Defiance Zoo (Tacoma)
    Reptile Zoo & Living Museum (Monroe)
    Seattle Aquarium (Seattle)
    Westport Aquarium (Westport)
    Wolf Haven International (Tenino)
    Woodland Park Zoo (Seattle)

    Oregon Zoos:

    Cascades Raptor Center (Eugene)
    Charleston Marine Life Center (Charleston) - the only one on this list that I've not visited
    Great Cats World Park (Cave Junction)
    Hatfield Marine Science Center (Newport)
    High Desert Museum (Bend)
    Oregon Coast Aquarium (Newport)
    Oregon Undersea Gardens (Newport)
    Oregon Zoo (Portland)
    Seaside Aquarium (Seaside)
    West Coast Game Park Safari (Bandon)
    Wildlife Safari (Winston)
     
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  4. drill

    drill Well-Known Member

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    Washington Zoos:


    Cat Tales Zoological Park (Mead)
    Cougar Mountain Zoo (Issaquah)
    Marine Life Center (Bellingham)
    Northwest Trek Wildlife Park (Eatonville)
    Olympic Game Farm (Sequim)
    Outback Kangaroo Farm (Arlington) - the only one on this list that I've not visited
    Pacific Science Center (Seattle)
    Point Defiance Zoo (Tacoma)
    Reptile Zoo & Living Museum (Monroe)
    Seattle Aquarium (Seattle)
    Westport Aquarium (Westport)
    Wolf Haven International (Tenino)
    Woodland Park Zoo (Seattle)

    Wild Felid Advocacy in Shelton, Washington is the only collection in the Americas with Gordon's wildcat.
     
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  5. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    Wildlife Safari has a lot of good behind-the-scenes tours you can do, and they're really cheap. Definitely drive from there to the coast for the night, though! There's very few places to stay nearby and they are all absolute trash.
     
  6. Jonas Livet

    Jonas Livet Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again for your help. It is as usual very very helpful!!!

    Snowleopard, your lists of zoos for both states allow me to discover a couple of places I was not aware of, thanks for that!

    Any suggestion what to combine with Northwest Trek Wildlife Park? It seems that there will be definetely a lot of time on that particular day... Maybe driving earlier to Portland and having a late afternoon walk within Hoyt Arboretum or any nearby nature reserve?

    Wildlife Safari in Winston seems indeed quite far out of the way and I am not sure it is worth it... Any idea what to combine to make that day more exciting? Any nature place nearby? Or any idea what else to do that particular day between Portland and the coast?

    Thanks for the addition of the Oregon Undersea Gardens. I was not aware of it and it is a great little addition!

    Do you think it would be feasible to combine Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium with any other visit? Maybe Cougar Mountain Zoo for a late afternoon visit? or Pacific Science Center in Seattle? or a walk at the coast nearby for wildlife watching? Slater Museum of Natural History is only opened for a couple of hours in the middle of the day and doesn't seem to be a convenient addition.

    I am looking forward to hearing from you!
    The second leg of the trip will bring me to British Columbia for another 8 days. I am currently checking the various possible places to visit and I will for sure open a specific thread for this soon.

    Jonas
     
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  7. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Northwest Trek Wildlife Park has kind of an awkward setting as it is in tiny Eatonville (pop. 3,000) and far away in a rural area and down a long, isolated road. You could visit from 9:30-12:30 and drive one hour to Point Defiance Zoo (1:30-4) but that would be too rushed unless you could remain on zoo grounds until 5:00 and then it might just be possible to see both in one day. After Northwest Trek I would recommend the Hoyt Arboretum as it is open until 10:00 at night. I've never actually visited but I've heard good things about it. Northwest Trek is only open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at the moment and so you can't really shift it from your itinerary. A third option would be to visit Northwest Trek Wildlife Park from 9:30-12:30, then drive 3.5 hours to Seaside Aquarium and visit that very tiny facility from 4-5. An hour would be plenty of time to see that historic, 1937 aquarium and it's not very good but you and I will visit anything and so I'd recommend it to you!

    You could skip Wildlife Safari completely and instead have a day where you visit West Coast Game Park Safari from 10-11:30, then drive 3 hours to Great Cats World Park and visit that cat zoo from 2:30-4. An hour further south, in California, is the small aquarium Ocean World in the coastal town called Crescent City. There is even a free seal rescue facility called Northcoast Marine Mammal Center just down the road! If you finished your first zoo in an hour then you could actually visit West Coast Game Park Safari, Great Cats World Park, Ocean World and Northcoast Marine Mammal Center ALL in the same day. It would be hard to do but definitely possible depending on traffic...plus it is a nice drive down the coast. I haven't visited them all in one day but I have been to all of these 'zoos' and I reviewed them on my Snowleopard 2015 Road Trip thread. I've been to almost every zoo in B.C, Washington, Oregon and California and if you have any questions then feel free to keep asking them. I just checked my records and I've visited 101 out of the 114 zoos in that part of the world.

    As I mentioned before, one day could easily be Oregon Coast Aquarium from 10-1...then Hatfield Marine Science Center just down the road from 1-2...then an 8-minute drive away is Oregon Undersea Gardens from 2-3. A very easy day and with THREE aquariums in the same city! Newport, Oregon, has only around 10,000 people and Oregon Coast Aquarium isn't very large but the exhibit quality is fantastic. The other two aquariums can be seen in around 45 minutes each but remember that those two are currently not open on Tuesdays or Wednesdays as you are going to visit in the off-season.

    Point Defiance Zoo could be visited from 9:30-1:30...drive 1.5 hours...then The Reptile Zoo could be toured from 3-4:30 and even later as they are open until 6:00. It would be easy to visit those two zoos in the same day.

    Another day could be Seattle Aquarium from 9:30-12...walk 25 minutes to Pacific Science Center and stay there from 12:30-1:30...then drive 30 minutes and visit Cougar Mountain Zoo from 2-3:30. You'd have to squeeze lunch in but you'd easily have enough time.

    I love planning trips and so I'm glad to help @Jonas Livet
     
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  8. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member

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    Northwest Trek (one of America's best and most underrated zoological attractions) is in the foothills below Mount Rainier National Park. Why not drive up there after NW Trek?
     
  9. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member

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    Great Cats World Park is very far away from everything else and as a cat fanatic of course I have been but I am not sure it is worth the drive for you or the average zoo fan. It is fairly small and there are two parts - the part you can explore on your own (which is only around one or two acres) and the rest you visit on a guided tour. They do have a good selection of cats, but unless you're a fanatic like me you can probably skip it. The one cat they have that no one else in the States has (and the reason I went) is a melanistic African wildcat (and thanks to @snowleopard for pointing it out after his visit).
     
  10. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    I think wildlife safari is worth it, but it depends on what animals you like. I did it and sea lion caves in one day, and that was with doing multiple tours there and not being in charge of driving or the schedule. Without tours, you could likely do it and the aquarium in the same day.
     
  11. Jonas Livet

    Jonas Livet Well-Known Member

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    France
    Thanks again for all your great suggestions!

    Here is a more advanced program:

    16th April: late arrival at Seattle Airport SEA
    17th April: Northwest Trek Wildlife Park + Audubon Society of Portland + Hoyt Arboretum (OR Mount Rainier National Park?)
    18th April: Oregon Zoo + World Forestry Center + Portland Japanese Garden
    19th April: Wildlife Safari + Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area + Sea Lion Caves
    20th April: Yaquina Head + Oregon Coast Aquarium + Hatfield Marine Science Center + Oregon Undersea Gardens + Depoe Bay (+ Seaside Aquarium if time allows?)
    21st April: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium + Cougar Mountain Zoo + Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center
    22nd April: Woodland Park Zoo
    23rd April: Seattle Aquarium + Pacific Science Center + late flight to Vancouver YVR

    What do you think?

    Any suggestion about Mount Rainier National Park? Any good trail for a couple of hours after a morning visit in Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and before driving to Portland?

    I will open a new thread about my British Columbia ideas.

    Jonas
     
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  12. Jonas Livet

    Jonas Livet Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    France
    Hello all,

    I am currently looking for old maps of the institutions I am planning to visit, especially for Oregon Zoo, Woodland Park Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

    Oregon Zoo: I have a map from the opening in 1959 and a current map of 2019 but nothing in between. Any help? Is there any map of the previous location of Portland Zoo, especially the third location (1925-1959) where the Japanese Garden now stands?

    Woodland Park Zoo: I have some old maps, especially the 1976 masterplan, as well as maps from 1990, 1995, 2004, 2001 and 2018. Would you have anything older than the 1990s? Especially from the first half of the century?

    Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium: I could not find any other map than the 2018 current one. It would be great to see the development over the decades.

    Oregon Coast Aquarium: I have a map from the opening in 1992 and a current one... but none in between. Any help? Does somebody know where the killer whale Keiko was kept from 1996 to 1998? Is that pool still existing?

    Northwest Trek Wildlife Park: I have only the 2018 map and I would love to find some maps of its historical development since opening in 1975!

    Wildlife Safari Winston: I have the 2016 map and I believe some older maps would exist... but I could not locate any yet.

    Cougar Mountain Zoo: any older map?

    Seattle Aquarium: any older map?

    Your help would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance,

    Jonas
     
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