Point Defiance Park


Day Hike - Point Defiance Park

Experience the wilderness beauty and spectacular views offered by Tacoma's Point Defiance Park, including the Mountaineers tree, hiking the outer loop trail, with lunch at a picnic table at scenic Owen Beach.

  • Easy
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 5.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 200 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 200 ft
  • Pace: 2.0 mph

Meet at 9 AM in the parking area between the tennis courts, on the right, and the duck pond on the left, just inside the main entrance to the park at the north end of Pearl St., in North Tacoma.  The parking area is along the right side of  a one-way road.  If you keep to the left at all junctions, you will loop back around in a few minutes, for a second try at finding a parking place.  No parking pass is required and there is no admission fee to the park.  Admission is only charged for entering the zoo, which is not part of this hike.

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 at trail junctions.  Enroute we will pass Fr. Nisqually and four viewpoints overlooking  different parts of Puget Sound, before dropping down to Owen Beach for our lunch at a picnic table by the Sound.  Sheltered picnic tables are available there in the event of inclement weather.  After lunch we'll return to the cars via the beachfront promenade.  We usually are back to the cars around 1 PM.  There are restrooms near the meeting place, (by the duck pond), by Ft. Nisqually, at the Gig Harbor Overlook and at Owen Beach.  Touring the nearby Pt. Defiance Zoo would be an option after the hike for those so inclined, which involves paying a fee at the zoo entrance gate, but no additional fee to park in the zoo parking lot. 


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
Trip Reports