Point Defiance Park


Day Hike - Point Defiance Park

Easy/moderate morning day hike along a six mile loop with 300 feet elevation gain through one of the USA's largest city parks, seeing a variety of forest vegetation and multiple views of Puget Sound and stopping for lunch at a picnic table by Owen Beach. Finish by 1 pm.

  • Easy
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 6.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 300 ft
  • Pace: 2.5 mph

Meet at 9:30 AM at the picnic table by the restrooms and the duck pond near the Main Entrance to the Park, at the north end of Pearl Street in North Tacoma. No parking pass is required.

This is an easy all-season hike close to home, with scenery rivaling wilderness hikes. We will hike clockwise on the outer (longest) loop trail, marked in blue on the park map and on guideposts. En route, we will pass Ft. Nisqually and three viewpoints overlooking different parts of Puget Sound, before dropping down to Owen Beach for our lunch break. After our lunch we will return to the cars via the concrete beachfront promenade and should be back by around 1 PM, depending on how long we stay at Owen Beach. There are restrooms near the meeting place (by the duck pond), by Ft. Nisqually, and at the Gig Harbor Overlook.  (The restrooms at Owen Beach are currently closed for the winter.) No parking pass is required. Although we will stop briefly at the view points en route, this is not a nature walk or a bird watching hike, and thus we will attempt to maintain a pace of around 2.5 mph so that participants get a bit of a workout.


Point Defiance Park

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  1. Navigation
  2. Sun protection
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination
  5. First aid supplies
  6. Fire
  7. Repair kit and tools, including knife
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter
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