Eyes of the Wolf – Wolf Mountain Sanctuary

Posted on November 20, 2010


When you look into the eyes of a wolf, you see your soul . . .     

Wolf mountain sanctuary - Istas

Deep in the barren desert of Lucerne Valley, about a two-hour drive away from Los Angeles, you’ll find yourself surrounded by powdery snow, rocky roads and if you’re very lucky.. a pack of wolves.

The Wolf Mountain Sanctuary is a bit hard to find, there is no address listed on the site and you have to call ahead to make reservations in order to get directions.
After a long drive that slowly turns more and more desolate, you begin to wonder if you’re being led on a wild goose chase.

Then quick as a bunny, you see a dilapidated white sign in the shape of a wolf howling at the moon off the side of the road and you quickly turn in to the rockiest piece of road you’ve ever driven. (The first time we went we had to take a sedan, since we weren’t able to get a 4-wheel drive vehicle like they had suggested)

As we carefully drove down to a large gated fence, we were led into a small parking lot where we promptly jumped out eager to stretch our legs. As we walked toward a small gate with a carved wooden welcome sign, we began to see glimpses of something that resembled a huskie but much, much larger.
I have often seen pictures of wolves or videos of wolves on television, but nothing prepared me for the sheer massive size of the wolves once we were face to face.


I was drawn to the Alpha of the pack, a young dark wolf named Yawto which means “sing to me”. With his piercing golden eyes and his rich coffee-colored fur, I couldn’t take me eyes off him.


When I crouched down and met him eye to eye, he walked right up to me and gave me a wet kiss right on the lips.

After that Yawto stayed near me the entire time I was there and even ended up falling asleep on my lap.

He was so relaxed that he actually started snoring and twitching, lost in a deep sleep.    

Wolf Mountain Sanctuary - Yawto

I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to visit WMS three times since that first visit and each time is even more breathtaking than the last.

On my most recent visit Tonya, the owner of WMS, allowed us to be initiated into the pack by Segoni. We were advised not to laugh and to make sure that when we were approached to tighten the muscles in our necks and to push back against him.

When it was my turn I made sure to take a strong stance and pushed my face toward Segoni. I was not expecting the massive amount of strength that came at me when Segoni rubbed his chin and head against mine.

It felt like a truck hit me, I almost had to take a step back to regain my balance. It was incredible to be accepted into the pack by this wild animal, whose presence is so commanding, and yet I felt such a gentleness with each gesture.

Wolf Mountain’s ambassador is now a wolf/dog hybrid named Waylon, who happens to be the grandson of Apache Moon. Apache Moon was the wolf that befriended Kevin Costner’s character John Dunbar (Dumb Bear? lol..) in the film Dances with Wolves. WMS is no stranger to Hollywood, in fact their wolves were used as the models for the werewolves in the film Twilight and they were recently featured on the VH1 show Real and Chance – The Legend Hunters.

WMS is now in need of donations as well as visitors, to help pay for Istas’ recent hospitalization due to pancreatitis (http://www.wolfmountain.com/Whats%20New-2007.htm) and Blue’s upcoming eye surgery. They are currently accepting donations through paypal and mail.


If you would like to help or to make a reservation to visit these amazing, intelligent animals at the Wolf Mountain Sanctuary in Lucerne Valley, CA  you can visit their website: www.wolfmountain.com or call (760)248-7818.

Remember Extinction is Forever…

Some people say that you’ll never forget your first kiss, but I say that you’ll never be the same after a wolf kiss!

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