Swan Creek Canyon


Day Hike - Swan Creek Canyon

10:00 - 1:30, choose your own conditioning hike on a great interval training trail that has a surprising amount of flora and fauna. See the leader notes for how the hike/workout can be individualized.

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  • Easy
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 7.8 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,700 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 332 ft
  • Pace: 2.4 leader's rate, 1.5-3.25 can be accommodated

Swan Creek Park Community  Garden, Tacoma at 9:55, ready to hike by 10:00 , done by 1:30

From the community garden we will drop down to the Swan Creek trail. We will hike the same 1.2 mile portion of this trail back and forth 3 times, totaling about 8 miles. There are lots of ups, downs, and some level areas.  At each of the endpoints are 100' hills that we will go up to turn around and come down and on the other end go down to come back up. Overall the tread is fast, though a little narrow in many spots. There is one washed out spot that needs a little care in crossing.  

Besides the 2 large hills at the endpoints,  the hills between are short in duration and are followed by level areas or downhills, so you can push yourself going up these hills knowing that you get a chance to recover afterwards. Don't worry, I will not be yelling at you like a spin class instructor. 

Barring an incident, we will be done by 1:30. If anyone wants to  join me, I  am  up for going to Anthem Coffee afterwards  (2312 N 30th St, Tacoma, WA 98403, near the  Tacoma Mountaineers  clubhouse). There will be no lunch break, you can always snack.

I hike at about 2.4 MPH on this trail. We will be stopping at the 2 endpoints of the trail all 6 times we hit them to get the group back together.  Both endpoints have the largish hills.

If you want to do less or are slower, you can skip all or some of the large hills at the endpoints.

If you want to do more and go faster, you have many options, there are 4 connector trails which go up from the Swan Creek trail to the "canyon rim" trail that are not a part of our standard route. These are steep, average .1 of mile and 50' of gain, you can throw in as many  of these as you like. Also, if you get to an endpoint before the group, you can come back and meet us  and then re-hike that portion of the trail with us to the endpoint. If you added all of the connectors on all 6 laps, you would hike about 10 miles with 3000 feet of gain. 


Swan Creek Canyon

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

I bring water, a first aid kit, my smart phone, and a couple of extra layers in a small pack.  There is always a cell signal, even with t-mobile.

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