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Hikes Within 30 Minutes of Tacoma

These are some of the best hikes near Tacoma that will allow you to spend more time on trail than in your car.

Tacoma has some great views of Mount Rainier on a clear day. Rainier's a great hiking destination, but did you know you can get a dose of nature without even leaving the city? From forested ravines, to ecological rarities, to pebble beaches, to views of the Sound — it's all within reach. 

Try one of our suggestions below or share your local favorite in a trip report.

Is it really a 30-minute drive? Your starting point and traffic may make these 5 minutes or 40 minutes away. And if you're taking a bus, it may take quite a bit longer to reach the trailhead. (Be sure to double check routes and schedules.)

    Clark's Creek Park Loop

    Location: Puyallup
    Mileage: 5.5 miles, roundtrip
    Elevation Gain:
    Public Transportation: Yes

    The forested trail along the Clark's Creek Park Loop. Photo by johndinh.
    A forested section of trail along the Clark's Creek Park Loop. Photo by johndinh. 

    This loop threads six local parks together along a mix of soft surface trails and short sidewalk connections. This is the perfect tour of Puyallup's parks where you can travel through a variety of beautiful locations. And the best part is it's a loop so you can cruise along without going over the same ground twice. 

    > Plan your trip to Clark's Creek Park Loop using WTA's Hiking Guide

    sequalitchew creek

    Location: DuPont
    Mileage: 3.0 miles, roundtrip
    Elevation Gain: 218 feet
    Public Transportation: No

    Pebble beach at Sequalitchew Creek. Photo by ejain.
    Pebble beach at the end of the Sequalitchew Creek Trail. Photo by  ejain. 

    Start out in an urban setting and follow this trail through a tunnel of green to a pebble beach with views across the Sound. The trail follows the creek as it winds its way towards bigger water. This is a great hike for families where kids will marvel at the changing scenery and enjoy playing on the beach. 

    > Plan your trip to Sequalitchew Creek using WTA's Hiking Guide

    Chambers Creek Canyon

    Location: Lakewood/University Place
     2.5 miles of trails
    Elevation Gain: 500 feet
    Public Transportation: No

    The trail follows the creek through a deep ravine. Photo by RSC1.
    The trail follows the creek through a steep ravine. Photo by RSC1. 

    Even though this hike is close to city living, you will feel like you are deep in the forest. The trail follows Chambers Creek along a steep ravine that is lined with big trees and a healthy understory. And this trail network will just keep getting better. In 2019 volunteers with WTA worked to realign the trail on the Lakewood side of the canyon and there are more plans to extend this network of trails in the future.  

    > Plan your trip to Chambers Creek Canyon using WTA's Hiking Guide

    West hylebos wetlands

    Location: Federal Way 
    Mileage: 1.2 miles
    Elevation Gain: minimal 
    Public Transportation: Yes 

    The boardwalk through the West Hylebos Wetlands. Photo by Nathaniel Sundberg.
    The boardwalk winding through West Hylebos Wetlands. Photo by Nathaniel Sundberg. 

    Wander down these gentle paths just outside of Federal Way to learn about some flora, fauna and local history. A gravel path takes visitors past two old settler's cabins before transitioning to a boardwalk. At this point plunge into a rich environment that includes wetlands, a peat bog and big trees draped in moss. Signs along the way will educate and enrich your experience. 

    > Plan your trip to the West Hylebos Wetlands using WTA's Hiking Guide

    scott pierson trail

    Location: Tacoma Narrows Bridge
    Mileage: 6.6 miles, one way
    Elevation Gain: 383 feet 
    Public Transportation: Yes

    View west across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge with the Olympics peaking out. Photo by Erik Morgenstern.
    View west across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge with Olympics peaking out. Photo by Erik Morgenstern. 

    This paved, multi-use trail is a great way to stretch your legs while getting an up-close look at Puget Sound from atop the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. This trail stretches from Southern Gig Harbor to the Hillwood neighborhood in Central Tacoma, but the real highlight is the section along the bridge. Visitors gain a bird's eye view of the Sound and can look out for miles to nearby islands and beyond. 

    > Plan your trip to the Scott Pierson Trail using WTA's Hiking Guide