Tracking Wolf Country – From Birds to Big Critters: Cougar, Bear, Elk and the Teanaway Pack

July 26-31, 2015 Expedition starting in elk country south of Seattle WA and traveling over Mt. Rainier into the territory of the Teanaway Wolf Pack

Participants marking tracks along the shore.

Current Enrollment: Open/Available for adults while a youth camp version also runs simultaneously.

This expedition begins at Sahara Creek Horse Camp near Mt. Rainier, then travels over the North Cascade Mountains and into the territory of the Teanaway Wolf Pack.

Become a detective in order to follow clues and solve mysteries that would otherwise have gone unnoticed in nature. Amazingly, animals reveal themselves to all who can read their stories in the earth. As you will see, tracks can tell us about the size, health, emotions, history and even intentions of animals which would otherwise remain hidden all around us. Never feel alone in the forest again as you learn to communicate and understand the sights and sounds which birds use to point out predators, to quarrel with their neighbors, or to sing with appreciation. This week you will enter the world of animals, becoming that which you follow.

On Sunday evening, you’ll receive an intensive training on wildlife tracking, which includes understanding prints, but moreso, understanding everything that’s going on around you in nature, from the language of the birds, to trailing animals from their dens. Monday, we’ll spend the day on the great river sand bar where tracks of animals amaze, including a resident herd of Roosevelt Elk, active beavers in a pond they created in an old river channel, plus coyote packs, mink, river otter, abundant raptors, and more. Tuesday, we’ll walk into bear country, where myriad berries cover old clear cuts, and learn to trail through terrain you would previously had thought would be impossible to see tracks, and in the afternoon, you will have to navigate overland to a secret location, marked on your topo map, where there is an incredible array of black bear dens in burned-out, old-growth trees. On Wednesday, we drive to the snow line to enjoy alpine meadow flowers and the animals they attract before heading down the east slope of the Cascades to camp in the territory of the Teanaway Wolf Pack where we will set up wildlife cameras along their favorite travel routes.  On Thursday and Friday, we will track the Teanaway Wolves and in addition, gain an understanding of how to track animals in dry pine forests and sagebrush canyonlands where we will be exposed to triple the number of birds and other animals as compared to the west side of the mountains.

Course Goal & Skills Covered:

Sizing up bear scratch marks on an Alder Tree

The goal of the this course is to help you learn our regional ecology and in particular, its zoology through the skills of tracking. We will simultaneously be learning to identify birds and other animals there while understanding their dependence on the region’s plants and plants that specialize in its habitats.

Skills covered during this camp session include, but are not limited to:

• Tracking & Birding
• Sensory Awareness & Stealthy Movement
• Understanding Birds & Mammals of the Pacific Coast
• Understanding Insects, Beetles, Arachnids, Anthropods, Reptiles & Amphibians
• Understanding specific ways that animals depend on certain plant communities for their survival.

Black Bear print we found in snow, which can linger all summer in the high elevations of the Cascade Mountains

• Mimicking at least 10 birds, including their song, alarm calls, companion calls, and aggression calls.
• Articulating the needs of animals, both in writing and public speaking, especially regarding the endangered species of your region.
• Managing a survey of animals to learn how many are in an area.
• Camouflaging yourself and your documenting gear in any environment.
• Finding lost people and the art of human tracking.
• Communicating clearly and working well with teams.
• Drawing & Naturalist Journaling of Wildlife.
• Camping & Hiking.
• Orienteering with Map/Compass, and Natural Navigation.

Course Instructors

Wolf Camp Co-Owners Kim & Chris Chisholm Kim & Chris Chisholm will be lead instructors with staff assistants.

Pick-up, Drop-off and Airport/Bus/Train Options:

Arrival Options on Sunday:

Complimentary Arrival Option: Meet us at Sahara Creek Horse Camp, 262nd Ave E., Ashford WA 98304 on Sunday between 5:00-5:30 p.m. and help us set up camp from 5:30-6:00. We will start at 6:00 sharp with an introduction to the week, followed by final camp set-up and orientation from 6:30-7:00, at which point we recommend family/friends depart. Participants should eat a full, healthy dinner before arriving, unless traveling by airplane or train, in which case dinner is included in your pick-up fee. Participants arriving directly at our campground location are also encouraged to bring hors d’oeuvres or a pot-luck dish to share with others during camp set-up time.
$60 SeaTac Arrival Option: Book your Airport/Bus/Train Arrival into Seattle-Tacoma on Sunday in time to meet our pick-up vehicle at 2:00 p.m., but be sure to call or email us with arrival times before confirming your plans. Pick-up at baggage claim unless unaccompanied minor, then at unaccompanied minor waiting area.
$35 Tacoma Bus/Trail Arrival Option:
Book your Bus/Train Arrival into Tacoma on Sunday in time to meet our pick-up vehicle at 3:00 p.m.
$35 Puyallup Arrival Option:
Meet us at the Wolf Campus, 1026 14th St SW in Puyallup on Sunday between 2:30-3:00 p.m. so that participants can travel with us to our camp location.

Weekend Departure Options:

Complimentary Friday Teanaway Campground Departure Option: If you would like to depart from or be picked up in the Teanaway Wolf Pack Territory, meet us at the Twentynine Pines Campground for pack-up between 2:00-2:45 with final departure by 3:00.
Complimentary Friday Cle Elum Departure Option:
If you would like to depart from or be picked up at the Cle Elum Safeway, 804 W 1st Street in Cle Elum on Friday at 3:45 p.m.
Complimentary Friday Evening North Bend Departure Option: Get dropped off next to the North Bend (WA) Safeway in the McDonald’s parking lot on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
$20 Friday Evening Bellevue College Departure Option: Get dropped off across from Bellevue College at the St. Andrews Lutheran Church parking lot, 2650 148th Avenue SE, Bellevue WA 98007 on Friday at 5:00 p.m.
$35 Friday Evening Seattle Amtrak Departure Option: Get dropped off at the Seattle Amtrak Train Station, lower level next to the big CenturyLink Field parking lot at the end of S. King Street on Friday at 5:15 p.m.
$50 Friday Evening Puyallup Departure Option: Depart from the Wolf Campus, 1026 14th St SW in Puyallup on Friday between 6:00-9:00 p.m. after participants travel back home and have dinner with us.
$95 Saturday Morning Puyallup Departure Option: Participants can stay overnight with us on Friday and then depart on Sunday before 12:00 noon from the Wolf Campus in Puyallup.
$115 Saturday SeaTac Airport Departure Option: Participants can stay overnight with us on Friday in Puyallup, and then get dropped off at the Airport, Bus or Train Stations in Seattle or Tacoma on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in time for afternoon flights.
$125 Saturday Evening Puyallup Departure Option: Participants can stay overnight with us on Friday night and depart Saturday evening after dinner in Puyallup.
$165 Sunday Morning Puyallup Departure Option:
Participants can stay overnight with us on Friday & Saturday nights and then depart on Sunday before 12:00 noon in Puyallup.
$180 Sunday Afternoon SeaTac Departure Option:
Participants can stay Friday & Saturday nights with us, and then get dropped off at the Airport, Bus or Train Stations in Seattle or Tacoma on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. in time for afternoon departures.
$195 Full Weekend Stayover Option:
Participants can stay the entire weekend and join us for next week!

To add transportation and weekend stayover options, just increase your registration deposit amount below by the amount listed above with a note of explanation. Thanks!


Tuition for Summer Expeditions is $595 if you complete registration at least one week prior to the start date, or $600 thereafter if space remains available. To reserve your spot and lock in the earliest registration discount, make a $175 minimum deposit and your balance will be due upon arrival.

You can also receive cumulative discounts of $10 per additional friend/family member attending together, $10 per additional expedition you attend, and $10 for successfully referring others to attend. The only additional expenses you may incur for this course are that you will need specific camping gear, although we have plenty of extra just in case. You will also need health insurance, but check with us for recommendations on inexpensive temporary insurance if necessary. Also, please see above for optional pickup/dropoff and weekend stayover choices.

Registration Options:

Check/Mail/Email Registration Option: Print out and complete our Microsoft Word Registration Form for each participant and send with a check deposit payable to the Wolf College, 1026 14th St. SW, Puyallup WA 98371. You can also email us a completed registration form and pay using your preferred method.

Credit/Debit Card Registration Option: Just call us at 253-604-4681 or 425-248-0253 and we will take your registration securely over the phone.

Or Use PayPal to register online securely with a credit/debit card or via direct withdrawal from your bank account. Click to Choose Your Deposit Options:
Group Preference:
Participant Name(s) & Age(s):
Phone(s) & Pick-up/Drop-off Point(s):

Our refund policy is that deposits are not refundable unless your registration is not accepted. If you cancel after making additional payment, you may receive a credit for a future program, minus a 25% administration fee of total payments made, in case of emergency. You will receive a full refund if your program is canceled and not rescheduled at a time that you can attend. No refund (and not necessarily any credit) is given if a participant is inappropriate at the program and asked to leave.

Course Preparation: Agreements & Packing List

Click here for our Expedition Agreements

Click here for our Summer Expeditions Packing List

Not ready to register yet?

Email us to be put on our our list for this program in the future. We always keep your information absolutely private, and will never share it. You can also like our facebook page to keep in better touch.