Museum offers day trip to wolf sanctuary

Mike Easterling

FARMINGTON — The “Wolves and Wild Lands” exhibition that has been on display at the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park since early July is designed to provide visitors with a better understanding of those animals and the challenges that go along with human-wolf coexistence.

The Farmington Museum at Gateway Park is offering a Museum EdVentures field trip to the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in Ramah this weekend.

But for those who yearn for more of a first-hand experience in what it’s like to interact with those animals, the museum is organizing a day trip to the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in Ramah this week. The all-day trip is highlighted by a private tour of the sanctuary and an encounter with an ambassador wolf.

Adrienne Boggs, the museum’s education coordinator, said she came up with the idea of the field trip to the sanctuary while brainstorming ideas to promote the “Wolves and Wild Lands” exhibition, which is paired with the “Peregrine Falcon: From Endangered Bird to Urban Species” exhibition.

“I really wanted to bring an ambassador wolf to Farmington, but there are only two or three organizations that do wolf sanctuary work,” she said. “And it’s nearly impossible to arrange it — you have to book it more than a year in advance.”

So Boggs went for the next best option, which was taking local residents to the wolves. She acknowledged that a trip to Ramah stretches the limits of how far museum officials are willing to have a group travel as part of their Museum EdVenture series – the sanctuary is approximately 180 miles from Farmington, and the trip is expected to take three hours – but she believes it will be worth it for those who choose to participate.

“It’s a long day trip, but it seems like such an interesting experience,” she said.

The sanctuary currently features nearly 70 animals, though only around 10 of them are wolves. The other animals are wolf dogs, coyotes, dingos, a red fox and other canines.

According to its website, the facility was founded in 1991 as the Candy Kitchen Wolf and Wolf-dog Rescue Ranch before it was reorganized into a nonprofit organization in October 2003 and became known by its current name.

Visitors to the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in Ramah get a look at one of the facility's animals.

Boggs said all the wolves at the facility are rehabilitated animals, meaning they can’t be released back into the wild. The ambassador wolves are used for education purposes and have demonstrated they can deal well with human groups.

Participation is limited to adults, and advance registration is required. The cost includes a ticket to the museum’s wolf and falcon exhibitions.

Visitors are asked to bring a sack lunch and dress in a manner that will allow them to be comfortable outside. They are also advised to wear comfortable shoes.

Boggs said plenty of sports remained available for the trip as of late last week. Participants will be driven to the sanctuary in vans.

Mike Easterling is the A&E editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4610.

If you go

What: Museum EdVenture field trip to the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in Ramah

When: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20

Cost: $12 for Farmington Museum Foundation and Friends of the Nature Center members, $15 for nonmembers

To register: Call 505-599-1400 or visit