Point Defiance Park


Day Hike - Point Defiance Park

A dog welcome hike along the Outside Loop Trail with excellent Puget Sound views including Tacoma Narrows, Dalco Passage, and Vashon Island.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Easy
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 4.5 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 200 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 300 ft
  • Pace: 2.0 mph

Meet at 9:45 am for a 10am start at the Fort Nisqually parking lots.  Aim for the smaller parking lot by the bathrooms and covered pavilion, but if you overshoot (the road is one-way), parking in front of the Fort main gate is just about as close.  We'll meet under the covered pavilion. Here is a map of the Park and Trails. https://www.metroparkstacoma.org/five-mile-drive-trails-point-defiance/

FYI, Five Mile Drive’s outer loop is closed to vehicle traffic Monday thru Friday until 10 am (this includes holidays occurring on a weekday) so that pedestrians, runners and cyclists are able to enjoy this forest experience free from conflict with motorized vehicles. Also closed Saturday and Sunday until 1 pm.  JUST FOLLOW THE "FORT NISQUALLY" SIGNS AND YOU CAN GET THERE NO MATTER WHEN.

Since Point Defiance Park allows dogs on leash, dogs are welcome on this hike.  Please be sure to bring poop scoop bags, water bowl for your dog, etc.  ADDED NOTE:  the number of humans + dogs must equal 12 or less, so if you plan to bring your dog(s) please let me know after you register so I can adjust the number of participants allowed to register.

We will go clockwise on the loop, planning a lunch stop at the Gig Harbor Viewpoint, where there are bathrooms and picnic tables.

After the hike ends, some may wish to visit Fort Nisqually. You can see inside the fort and go inside the Visitor Center for free. You can pay to go further into exhibits, $8.50 adults, $7.50 seniors (65+).


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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