Point Defiance Park


Day Hike - Point Defiance Park

Easy/moderate morning day hike along a six mile loop with 400 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 overlooking Puget Sound. Finish by 1 pm.

  • Easy/Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 6.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 400 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. The pre-hike talk will start promptly at 9:30 AM, so please arrive a bit early in order to have time to put on your boots and use the restroom beforehand.

This is an easy/moderate 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 stopping at a picnic table overlooking Puget Sound for our lunch break. After our lunch we will return to the cars and should be back by around 1 PM, depending on how long we spend eating lunch. There are restrooms near the meeting place (by the duck pond), by Ft. Nisqually, and at the Gig Harbor Overlook. 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.

This hike will follow the Healthy Washington Phase and the Mountaineers hiking guidelines for COVID-19 that apply on the date of this trip.
Participants who are not fully vaccinated (Pfizer & Moderna two shots + 2 weeks or J&J one shot + 2 weeks) are expected to wear a mask when we meetup and on the trail when it’s not possible to keep a minimum of 6 ft. distance from others. Please do not register if you are unwilling to meet this expectation.

Point Defiance Park

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  • Navigation
  • Headlamp
  • Sun protection
  • First aid
  • Knife
  • Fire
  • Shelter
  • Extra food
  • Extra water
  • Extra clothes
Trip Reports