Point Defiance Park


Day Hike - Point Defiance Park

Easy/moderate morning day hike along a five 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 sheltered picnic table by Owen Beach. Finish by 1 pm.

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
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 5.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 300 ft
  • Pace: 2.5 mph

Meet at 9:30 AM in the parking area between the tennis courts and the duck pond near the Main Entrance to the Park, at the north end of Pearl Street in North Tacoma.

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.  Enroute, we will pass Ft. Nisqually and three viewpoints overlooking different parts of Puget Sound, before dropping down to Owen Beach for our lunch break, where there are covered picnic tables, in the event of inclement weather, and views of a variety of beachgoers in the event of good weather.  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, at the Gig Harbor Overlook and at Owen Beach.  No parking pass is required.


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