Trip Report    

Day Hike - Fort Steilacoom Park

A new park for many and an excellent day to test our rain gear!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • This has been a week of lowland snow around the Salish Sea and our group encountered more today. Today's snow was a wetter snow and didn't begin sticking and making slush until the end of our hike. Fort Steilacoom Park has a large network of trails on pavement and earth of which we found some old snow and ice in patches but everyone was prepared with great footwear and the use of trekking poles for some.


Our group met at the Waughop Lake parking lot at Fort Steilacoom Park and found plenty of parking on a Sunday due to the weather forecast most likely. It was such a delight for this hike leader to see our group of hikers all dressed in their rain gear and waterproof shoes! Another reminder of the benefit of sending a thorough "Hello Hiker" email and the joy of hiking with fellow Mountaineers. As our group organized and got to know each other, there were several fun stories being told of how easy it is to recognize a Mountaineer hiking group ~ especially in an urban park :)!!

For several of our hikers today, this was a new park to explore. Many were surprised by the variety of trails, a freshwater kettle lake, oak prairie and evergreen forest. The wet snow started pretty early into our hike with some large snowflakes at times! Some of us enjoyed catching them on our tongues and bringing out our youthful side!

This hike is part of the Tacoma Hiking and Backpacking's "Welcome to Hiking" offerings for the winter months and helping folks stay outside. We started out a faster pace due to folks wanting to stay warm and adjusted as needed. Hikers that moved at a quicker pace were great at waiting at the numerous trail junctions to stay together as a group.


To make this a five mile hike, we covered a good portion of the park but missed seeing Mt. Tahoma (Rainier) today due to the weather. Many of the hikers stated that they will be returning on a sunny day to enjoy this park again.

As it is our policy to wait until every member is in their vehicle and can drive away, I waited and noticed one member was not able to get into their car. Another hiker in the group was helping them by letting them put their wet gear in their car and try to warm up their key fab. I have had this problem myself and just learned how to access one's vehicle when the key fab battery is "dead" so I was so happy to share with them how to do it! We did a happy celebration when the they gained access inside and the car started!!

This was a great way to begin a Sunday and folks were happy that there was a Dutch Brothers minutes from the park for a warm beverage for their drive home.