Tips For Visiting California Wolf Center
If you’ve been thinking about visiting California Wolf Center, this post is for you! Here you’ll find tips for preparing for your visit, what to expect while you’re there, and ideas of what you can do in the area afterwards.
Make Reservations In Advance
Visiting California Wolf Center must be arranged in advance. They offer private tours, public tours, and field trips for school groups. Tours are available select days and times. Make reservations in advance. You cannot enter California Wolf Center without prior reservations.
What To Pack and Wear
- Wear comfortable, closed toe walking shoes. You’ll be walking on dirt to see the wolves.
- Climate in the area can change quickly. Pack jackets, sweaters, or pullovers.
- If you’re sensitive to the sun, bring hats and sunscreen. There’s little shade, and it can get hot and sunny.
- Pack a camera, and binoculars. It’s not every day that you get to have an experience like this. Make sure there’s room on your phone or memory card for pictures and/or videos.
- We recommend packing snacks and drinks for before and after the visit.
Prepare For The Drive
Keep up to date with the weather forecast while planning for your trip. The weather in Julian is often different than that down the mountain. It even gets snows!
We recommend getting gas before you begin your trip. Depending upon which route you take, there may not pass many gas stations. Be prepared ahead of time.
Allow yourself plenty of time to drive up the hill. It’s a long, winding road. It’s better to arrive early, than take a chance on being late and missing your scheduled visit.
Your phone will likely be roaming. If a loved one is expecting you to be in contact with them while you’re up the hill, let them know in advance that you’ll likely be roaming at the Wolf Center.
Finding Your Destination
Set your GPS to locate KQ Ranch Resort, a campground near California Wolf Center. There’s a small sign for the campground on CA-79, and a large entry sign on KQ Ranch Rd. (pictured above).
Once you arrive near the entrance of the campground, turn right onto the dirt road, which is Kenis/Christansen. This private road is where you’ll park your car and wait for an escort from California Wolf Center. Be respectful while waiting for an escort.
Eat Before You Arrive
Eat before you enter the California Wolf Center. It’s wise to have a snack at your car while you wait to enter to be escorted onto the grounds. They’re ok with you bringing a water bottle, and sell bottled water, but there’s no food for sale on-site, and no picnicking, either.
What To Expect While You’re There
While visiting California Wolf Center you’ll be with a guide, who will take you to view the wolves. This guide will give you information about the wolves, and answer questions. One pack of wolves is in a two acre enclosure. Another pack is in a one acre enclosure.
The wolves are behind fences, and free to roam the fenced area as they wish. There’s a good amount of brush for the wolves to seek shelter under, so the more quiet you are, the better chance you’ll have of viewing them.
Our particular visit was a school field trip. We had an activity about predators and prey, which included examining skulls, and involved a written activity. After that, our guide took us to view one set of wolves, and then the second. Our field trip was wrapped up back in the meeting room about ten minutes after viewing the wolves.
Your visit may be different, as we’ve heard that some group visits include a different type of educational presentation. Visiting California Wolf Center is not a full day activity. You’ll plenty of time to enjoy other things to do in Julian.
After the tour is over you’ll have a chance to go to their gift shop. They take cash and major credit cards, and have a huge assortment of wolf-related items. Here you’ll find everything from hats, to necklaces, to books, and even California Wolf Center thumb drives!
Once you’re done with the gift shop they’ll make sure everyone heads out. There’s no hanging around checking out the wolves after your tour is over. They have to make sure everyone safely gets their vehicles to the top of the one-way road.
Consider Whether This Trip Is Suitable For Your Family
Wolves tend to be curious, but shy. Very young children, kids that have a difficult time staying still, and those not able to be quiet may have a more difficult time viewing the wolves.
Wolves are more intrigued by little kids, but startle easily, and are more likely to hide or run away from those that are loud or make sudden moves. Consider this before making reservations for a tour.
Visit Historic Downtown Julian Before or After Your Visit
Historic Downtown Julian is just a few miles away, and a great place to visit eat before or after your visit. Place your GPS to Main St., and take some time to walk around this neat town originally known for gold mining, and also known for their apple pie!
We personally love Julian Apple Pie Company. They have indoor and outdoor seating, and a huge assortment of delicious pies! Our favorite thing to do is buy a whole pie, eat some of it on the back patio, and take the rest home.
If you’re into history, gold mining, and geology in general, Eagle & High Point Gold Mine is a great destination. Here you’ll tour a real mine, and have the opportunity to pan for gold. It’s an awesome experience for young and old.
Contact California Wolf Center For Reservations
Remember, you must have advance reservations to visit California Wolf Center. Visit their website, or call them at 760-765-0030 to arrange your tour. Perhaps we’ll see you there!