Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide Point Defiance Park

Point Defiance Park

Puget Sound and Islands

Location

Puget Sound and Islands -- Seattle-Tacoma Area
View map below

Length

5.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 200 ft.
Highest Point: 300 ft.

Rating

4.12 out of 5

(17 votes) Log in to rate
 
WTA worked here: 2016
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

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.

 

Point Defiance Park

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.3050, -122.5168 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Puget Sound and Islands -- Seattle-Tacoma Area

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

Pierce County Parks

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/file_viewer.php?id=4145

http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/five-mile-drive/

 

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Point Defiance Park

124 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
 
Trip Reports