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Point Defiance Park

Puget Sound and Islands > Seattle-Tacoma Area
47.3050, -122.5168 Map & Directions
5.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
200 feet
Highest Point
300 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Wildlife
  • Old growth
  • Good for kids
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Fall foliage
  • Coast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

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As the largest urban park in Pierce County, the network of roads and trails weaving through the forest preserve provides a quiet retreat for joggers, cyclists, and hikers. Continue reading

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Hiking Point Defiance Park

As the largest urban park in Pierce County, the network of roads and trails weaving through the forest preserve provides a quiet retreat for joggers, cyclists, and hikers.

There are many hiking trails along Point Defiance's cliffs that have sweeping views of Vashon Island, Dalco Passage, Gig Harbor, and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. The road network also passes by Fort Nisqually.

Point Defiance Park offers something for all its visitors, both wildlife and people. From high cliffs overlooking the Tacoma Narrows people can watch bald eagles feed on salmon runs passing through on the strong tidal currents. Their calls can be heard from their nests in the old-growth forest that is preserved and makes up the northern section of the park.

In winter, sea lions migrating from California frolic and feed in the swirling tides that rush beneath the Gig Harbor overlook—the northernmost point of the peninsula. Harbor seals are common near the tip of the point most of the year. Seal pups are frequently observed north of Owen Beach in late summer and early fall, though humans and their dogs should keep their distance to avoid spooking the pups.

The park also provides habitat for mule deer, red foxes, pileated woodpeckers, Douglas squirrels, and raccoons.

WTA worked here in 2016!

Point Defiance Park

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.3050, -122.5168 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee


WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

driving directions

From Tacoma, head northwest on Pacific Avenue. Continue onto Schuster Parkway. In 1.3 miles, take a slight left onto Ruston Way. In 2.9 miles, continue straight at the traffic circle, and continue straight at the next traffic circle in 0.2 miles. Turn right onto N Pearl Street. The park is in 0.3 miles. 

take transit

This park is accessible by bus! Plan your trip by bus using TOTAGO.

More Hike Details


Puget Sound and Islands > Seattle-Tacoma Area

Outside Loop Trail (#0), Inside Loop Trail (#0), Spine Trail (#0), Rhododendron Garden Loop (#0), Promenade (#0)

Pierce County Parks

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Point Defiance Park

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