The Parc Omega wolf cabin experience is one of the most sought-after wildlife adventures in Canada. These tips will help you plan your visit.
It was well past midnight when we were woken by the howls. A unified cry erupted from the mouths of seven wolves standing just on the other side of a pane of glass. My family jumped from our beds to gaze, in awe, at this majestic gathering happening just a few feet from the foot of our beds.
The Alpha male must have heard us skittering across the floor, sleepy-eyed, to catch a glimpse of his pack. He turned and gave us a long, glowing-eyed stare before turning his face to the sky and letting out a long, mournful wail at the moon.
This, unforgettable, experience is the reason that wolf cabins at Parc Omega, located in Montebello, Quebec, book out months in advance. And it was for this reason, that my family made the long drive up from Toronto for our chance to have a terrible night’s sleep.
What Is Parc Omega?
The Park Omega wolf cabin experience is just one small part of a massive nature park that places some of the most iconic wildlife in Canada in an accessible and interactive environment that encourages interaction and up-close-and-personal encounters.
The park, which began its journey in 1985 before launching to the public in 1991, covers a massive 2,000-acres of land in the Outaouais region of Quebec. The idyllic natural scenery is laid out in sections that mimic some of Canada’s most impressive landscapes including the plains, where bison roam, the Arctic tundra, where you can find arctic foxes, and the rocky cliffs of the west where mountain goats hop from ledge to ledge.
Parc Omega has become one of the most popular things to do in Quebec. The driving trail, which passes through all of the iconic sections of the park, is a three-hour experience in which elk, deer, wild boar, and even massive plains bison stroll lazily by your car window, occasionally poking their heads inside in search of a tasty carrot to munch on.
Unlike animal experiences in the wild, where you should never feed wildlife, at Parc Omega, visitors are encouraged to feed the wildlife. The constant carrot treats mean that these animals have adapted to these engaging human interactions.
Although there are some animals whose temperaments are still too unpredictable to allow them to engage with the guests. These animals, including moose, bears, wolves, and mountain goats, can be observed from a distance in their large, fenced pens.
Beyond the interactive wildlife experiences, Parc Omega also has on-site dining experiences, outdoor playgrounds, a farm where visitors can learn about and engage with domestic animals, a sugar shack that serves up maple treats, and even dog-sledding and tubing during the winter months.
There are also loads of outdoor experiences including parks, a gift shop (that actually sells cool stuff and not just crappy trinkets), a very cool treetop trekking park for kids, and even horse and carriage rides. You’ll also find an interesting First Nations trail created to pay respect to aboriginal experiences and cultures in Quebec.
The most popular attraction at this wildlife park is the Parc Omega wolf cabins. This collection of chalets, cabins, and lodges are adjacent to some of the wolf habitats, allowing for one of the most intimate experiences imaginable with these incredible predators.
Where Is Parc Omega?
This Quebec wildlife park, which is located just an hour from the Canadian capital has become of of the most popular side trips for those visiting Ottawa with kids. It’s also an easy 1.5-hour drive from Montreal to Parc Omega, meaning that this incredible nature experience often draws visitors from both large cities. (Tip, if you’re coming from Montreal and don’t want to drive your own car through the park, you can book a guided tour from the city here.)
Parc Omega is located in the small town of Montebello has some fabulous restaurants, small hotels, and experiences that can easily turn a visit to Parc Omega into a full long-weekend outing.
The Park Omega Wolf Cabin Experience
If you’re one of the lucky few who are able to snatch up one of a handful of Park Omega wolf cabins, you’re in for an experience unlike anywhere else in the world.
There are seven Parc Omega accommodations that allow visitors the opportunity to sleep amongst the wolves. Two of these are the famous Parc Omega wolf cabins, three are Parc Omega wolf chalets, and one is the ultra-spacious Parc Omega wolf lodge.
All of these accommodations at Parc Omega are fabulous and will offer you an unforgettable wildlife experience that is both safe and fun for the whole family. But choosing the right one depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for.
The cabin experiences aren’t the only accommodations at Parc Omega, but they are the only ones that offer the chance to sleep near the wolves. There are two seasonal bear habitat accommodations, a selection of unique “pod” glamping tents, and several Wi-Tents, prospector tents, log cabins, and tipi’s that offer Parc Omega accommodations at a much lower rate, although they lack the overnight interaction with the animals.
Parc Omega Wolf Lodge
The Parc Omega wolf lodge is the largest of all of the accommodations at Parc Omega. This two-level A-Frame wooden lodge has a full kitchen, massive bathroom, and two separate bedrooms. One on the main floor has a bunk bed, and one on the mezzanine-level that has two queen beds.
There’s a main level living-room area that has a couch and dining area that looks out onto the massive windows overlooking one of the wolf habitats. The wolf lodge can sleep up to six people.
Parc Omega Wolf Chalet
The Parc Omega wolf chalet is a slightly more intimate experience than the wolf lodge at Parc Omega. Similar in style, with an A-frame design and a second-floor mezzanine, this wooden cabin has a full kitchen, dining table, and large bathroom along with a main living area with a couch overlooking the wolf enclosure. The wolf chalet can sleep up to six people.
Parc Omega Wolf Cabin
The Parc Omega accommodations that we chose were the Parc Omega wolf cabins. This was the original “sleeping with the wolves” experience at the park and, in my opinion, still offers the most intimate encounter.
The large panoramic windows might not offer as comprehensive a view of the wolf enclosure, but the two queen beds face directly into the enclosure, meaning that, if you don’t mind losing a little sleep, you’ll be able to hear the wolves howling and join in the fun without missing a beat.
The two wolf cabins have full kitchens, a wood-burning fireplace (complete with wood, although you’ll need to provide your own lighter) a large bathroom, and an outdoor seating area that’s perfect for summer nights. The Parc Omega wolf cabin sleeps up to four people.
Exploring Parc Omega
Whether you’re staying at one of the wolf cabins at Parc Omega or simply making a day trip to enjoy this unique Outaouais wildlife park, the experience will leave you with a truly humbling vision of the vast array of Canadian wildlife.
For daytrippers, the Parc Omega experience lasts about 3-4 hours from the moment you enter the park until you finally roll out of the park borders. That is, assuming, you don’t turn around and try to do the entire thing again.
As you enter the park, on the right is the Maison du Parc or the “Park House”. Here you can pick up bags of carrots to feed the animals in Parc Omega, grab food or snacks at the on-site cafeteria, or do some shopping at the small gift shop.
Pro-tip though, save your souvenir shopping for the gift shop at the end. There is some pretty cool stuff there.
The Parc Omega animal enclosures are separated by fences and large grates. As you drive over the grates, the animals are prevented from passing as they can’t navigate the spaces in between. And almost immediately upon entering you’ll be greeted by a herd of elk and wild boar nudging up to your vehicles to grab a mouthful of tasty carrot.
Next, you’ll pass into the realm of the prairie bison. These massive animals, similar to the ones that we visited while driving through Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba, are often grazing as a herd in the large fields. But it’s not rare for them to wander out on the road to examine the many passing vehicles.
Although it’s possible to do so, feeding the bison in Parc Omega is discouraged after an incident where a bison’s head was briefly trapped inside the window of a visitor’s car.
Following the plains habitat, you’ll pass into the Tundra habitat. It’s here where we had flashbacks of our adventures across the Arctic Tundra on a Frontiers North Tundra Buggy adventure up north in Churchill, Manitoba. On that amazing wildlife experience, we encountered a wild array of incredible birds and even saw a wolf hunt down and kill a goose.
Within the tundra are adorable, fluffy arctic foxes, which reminded my two boys of Pokemon Pikachu’s bounding through the snow.
It’s in the tundra region that those visiting Parc Omega in winter will have access to the dog sledding experience that takes visitors through a forested loup where they have the chance to see deer and elk roaming the woods as they zip past pulled by a team of yelping, energetic huskies.
As much as we would have loved to do this, we’ve experienced dog-sledding a number of times, once at nearby Mont Tremblant ski resort, and another time in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories where had the opportunity to mush our own sled dogs on a tour of the sub-arctic wilderness.
This section also has the sugar shack where, during the winter, you can enjoy some delicious maple taffy treats cooled over fresh snow. This is, quite honestly, my favorite Canadian treat, and I’ll order far too many of them whenever I have the chance.
As you exit the tundra you’ll pass through the midpoint of the park. This spot is where most families visiting Parc Omega take a break. There is a small take-out restaurant with a limited selection of food available (think chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and poutine).
The midpoint of the Parc Omega experience isn’t something that should be rushed through though. There are plenty of activities to enjoy. Even those visiting Parc Omega during the winter will find loads of incredible experiences that will add to their enjoyment.
During our visit in February (we visited in 2022 near the end of the pandemic on what would otherwise be a weekend spent enjoying the festivities at Winterlude in Ottawa and Gatineau). There was a tubing hill and snowshoe trails to enjoy (both tubes and snowshoes are complimentary with entry to the park).
During good weather, there is also a horse-drawn carriage ride available at Parc Omega. This takes you on a loop through some of the forested trails and across a covered bridge.
Within the complex are heated dining tents, small museums, spots for family photos, a farm with domestic animals to visit, and a hiking trail that brings visitors to an observation point overlooking one of the wolf enclosures.
This is also where you’ll find the park’s main gift shop as well as fantastic playgrounds for families visiting Parc Omega with kids.
Valley of the Bears
Following the park’s midpoint, the Parc Omega loop passes through the Valley of the Bears. This section of the park includes a small loop through a deer habitat and passed some arctic wolves. The Valley of the Bears offers a taste of western Canada. You’ll find mountain goats climbing sheer rocky cliffs while small foxes dart among their legs.
We were visiting during the winter months when the bears were deep in their winter hibernation. But those visiting Parc Omega in the summer will find black both black and brown bears climbing trees and foraging for berries. The park also has one of Canada’s largest populations of blond bears, a species with a unique mutation that makes for a truly stunning pelt color.
First Nations Trail
Before exiting Parc Omega, the First Nations trail can be found by heading straight when you reach the Inukshuk marking the exit of the park (on the right). This trail offers one of Parc Omega’s few chances to exit your vehicle and explore the park on foot.
The First Nations Trail consists of a hiking loop around a small lake. Along the trail, totems representing each of the eleven Indigenous Nations in Quebec are on display. There is also a large rock carving of an owl presented on a small cliff about halfway through the hike that is impressive to gaze upon.
Tips For Visiting Parc Omega Wolf Cabin
If you’re planning on booking a stay in a Parc Omega wolf cabin, there are a few things to know before you go to help you make the experience as fun and memorable as possible.
- The entrance to the Parc Omega wolf cabins is actually just outside of the park entrance. You have to leave archway over the park and turn right at a driveway.
- While you can buy bags of carrots inside the park, you are also free to save some money by bringing in bags of carrots from outside. I highly recommend bringing at least one bag per visitor. You’ll go through them quickly.
- Bring some apples for the wild boars. These friendly creatures tend to enjoy the sweet crunch of apples more than carrots.
- Pull to the side when you want to spend some time in an animal area. This allows other cars to safely pass by without being obstructed.
- If you’re staying at the Wolf cabin, remember to bring your food and a lighter. It’s easy to get caught up visiting the animals and lose track of time. The next thing you know, the local restaurants are closed.
- Montebello has some excellent restaurants. Plan to spend some time exploring the town a little bit before you go.
Our Parc Omega Video
You can find out more about Parc Omega and book your tickets on their website here.
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