The area around sunny Palmer has a lot of agriculture: Dairy farms, vegetable producers, even beekeepers. But only at the Reindeer Farm can you pet a reindeer or feed fresh willow to a bull moose.
Once Upon a Moose
Set on a 200-acre plot, the Reindeer Farm has been in the Williams family for three generations— it was part a colony started in 1935 by the U.S. Army to increase agricultural production in the far north. But a passion took this family in a different direction. “My dad always wanted to have a moose farm,” says Denise Hardy, who helps her parents with the animals. Since domesticating moose wasn’t possible, he got reindeer instead—120 of them. (Fun fact: a reindeer is a domesticated caribou). Over the years, the family has added two rescued bull moose and a rescued bison—which the family once bottle-fed—as well as a herd of Rocky Mountain Elk.
What started as a neighborhood wonder is now open to visitors and has gotten a lot of media attention: It’s been featured in Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs, Vogue magazine and more recently National Geographic Wild’s TV series Dr. Oakley Yukon Vet. But it hasn’t gone Hollywood: the tour is hosted by family members or local high school kids. During the one-hour tour, they'll share interesting, funny and insightful stories about these wild animals while guiding you around the property. You can get great photos, rub a reindeer or even kiss a moose.
The Farm is now open year round by appointment. In the spring there are baby reindeer to visit, events for fall and Christmas, and tours available all year. There is always something new to see if you haven’t visited for a while.
To see tour availability visit the website.