Heard But Not Seen: The Elusive Minnesota Wolf

By: Katie Dohman

December 30, 2014

In some ways, one of the most iconic animals of the great north is also one of the most mysterious. Like anything that’s hard to capture, the elusiveness of the Minnesota wolf makes it a magnetic draw. While their howl is instantly recognizable, few have been able to lay claim to seeing one in the wild. But recently, a few opportunities have opened up to visitors fascinated by the creature that’s both feared and revered among Minnesotans.

Channel your inner naturalist with a program that has the Minnesota Zoo and Ely’s International Wolf Center partnering up: The Wild Wolf EDventure. Starting in Apple Valley at the Zoo, participants will have the chance to meet with a zookeeper and visit the zoo’s wolves. From there, you’ll travel to Ely, near the Canadian border, to the Wolf Center, where you will track radio-collared wolves, take a dogsledding experience with the Wintergreen team, snowshoe to an abandoned wolf den, howl to wild wolf packs, and more!


Missed the registration? There are other options: Travel straight to Ely to The International Wolf Center, which provides unprecedented access to their “ambassador wolves,” a comprehensive and stunning museum, and tons of wolf expertise and programming.

The Elusive Minnesota Wolf
“ambassador wolves” © Don Gossett 

Because wolves are nocturnal, Minnesota’s shorter winter days and longer nights offer another opportunity to try and make contact with the wolves. But if summertime travel is more your jam, then the BWCA offers lots of opportunities to see wolves in their natural habitat.

The Elusive Minnesota Wolf
BWCA Canoeing © Explore Minnesota

Late July and August are the ideal months to travel to the BWCA for wolf howlings, as the baby wolves are just learning how to make their signature sound. River Point Outfitting Company will lead you on a four- or six-day guided trip, which is guaranteed to create a lifetime of memories. And if the wary Minnesota wolf eludes you? The beautiful scenery, fishing, swimming, hiking, and sightseeing””you could spot moose, deer, eagles, otters, loons, and more””will more than make up for it.

The Elusive Minnesota Wolf
“ambassador wolves” © Don Gossett 

Not ready to go country mouse? The city mouse can find a wolf experience in the heart of downtown Minneapolis at the Target Center. Of course, in this case, the big bad wolf comes in the form of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota’s professional basketball team. Get courtside with Crunch, the team’s official mascot, and cheer the team on to victory while also getting a taste of the busy downtown landscape.


Partnering with Delta allows us to connect you to and from a selection of destinations across the United States and Canada, making it even simpler to book flights to Minneapolis.


Have you seen the elusive Minnesota wolf in the wild? Let us know in the comments section below.

Written by Katie Dohman


Katie Dohman

Katie Dohman went into journalism due to her insatiable curiosity and innumerable interests, her tendency to overshare, and her never-ending love for entertaining people with a good story. As a style editor, she’s covered fashion, beauty, health and wellness, fitness, home décor, and trends. But she also loves pop culture, parenting relationships,—and, of course, travel. Her favourite trips? Maui to get married (and Kauai to honeymoon), and a three-week criss-cross of Thailand. Find her at @katiedohman

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