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Point Defiance Park

Features You'll Find:
Hover over an icon for more details
    • Art & Artifacts
    • Bike Trail / Biking / Bicycling
    • Drinking Fountain
    • Environmental Education
    • Gift Shop
    • Historic
    • Parking Stalls
    • Parking Stalls / ADA
    • Restrooms / Seasonal
    • Restrooms / Year Round
    • Trail / Hard
    • Trail / Soft
    • Barbecue
    • Kitchen
    • Meeting Space
    • Party Room
    • Picnic / Drop in
    • Picnic / Reservable
    • Weddings / Rentals
    • Beach
    • Boat Launch / Drive Up
    • Boat Launch / Walk Up
    • Boat Lockers
    • Fishing Pier
    • Boat Moorage
    • Kayak or SUP Rental
    • Display Garden
    • Lake / Pond
    • Natural Areas
    • Puget Sound
    • Stream / River
    • Viewpoint
    • Waterfront
  • DOGS
    • Off Leash Dog Park
    • Playground (5-12 yrs)
    • Tennis

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5400 N. Pearl St.
Tacoma, WA 98407

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This 760-acre park is a popular destination for more than 3.1 million people each year. Natural forest, saltwater beaches and spectacular views offer numerous possibilities for recreation, education and communing with nature.

Please use caution!
The peninsula’s nearly vertical bluffs are up to 250 feet high in some places.

Read and respect all warning signs and stay back from the edge while at the top of the cliffs. If you are below the cliffs do not climb up. Beach combers should be aware of the tides to be able to safely avoid being stranded.

Destination Point Defiance LogoLearn about past and present park improvements
Destination Point Defiance is a long-term, comprehensive planning initiative to enhance the experience and honor the character of Point Defiance Park.
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Point Defiance Trail Map - Outer Loop Marked Point Defiance Park Map
Download a park map and come enjoy walks, hikes and cycling opportunities with stunning views. Or use it to navigate your way to the zoo, Fort Nisqually or the nearest restroom.

Pt Defiance Lodge Visitors Center Point Defiance Visitors Center
Tour interpretive exhibits, pick up a park map, talk to knowledgeable Park Ambassadors and get information on special events and recreational opportunities in the park. Books, gifts and refreshments are available for purchase. Get Hours and Directions
Clouded Leopard Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Experience the unforgettable world of the only combined zoo and aquarium in the Pacific Northwest. Polar bears and peacocks, walruses and wolves, meerkats and marine life - all in one fun-filled place!
Fort Nisqually Volunteer With Young Visitor Fort Nisqually Living History Museum
Travel back in time as re-enactors and craftspeople in period clothing transport you to mid-19th century life in Washington Territory. History comes alive as you tour our nearly 170-year-old nationally landmarked buldings.
The Fort is temporarily closed. It will reopen to the public in March 2016 Read more about the closure

Couple Walking on Owen Beach Point Defiance Waterfront & Marina
Discover the scenic splendor of the Point Defiance waterfront. Fine dining, boat rentals, an 8-lane public boat launch, moorage, a fishing pier and miles of shoreline . . . your destination for an ideal Northwest excursion.
Owen Beach  / Kayak Rentals
Point Defiance Off-Leash Demonstration Area Designated Off-Leash Area
Let the four-legged family members run free on approximately 7 acres located in the former Madrona Day Camp area on Five Mile Drive south of Fort Nisqually. Just the roadway and waterfront bluff area are fenced as well as about 1/8 acre area for smaller dogs. (You must maintain view and voice command of pets at all times.)
Garden Club Member Pruning in the Rose Garden Gardens
Immerse yourself in the park's specialty gardens - eight unique venues (including a Japanese Garden, Rose Garden and Northwest Native Garden) each offer vivid hues, fragrant scents and tranquil settings. Marvel at the beauty that has relaxed and rejuvenated visitors for more than half a century.
See what's blooming in our gardens each month.
Running on Point Defiance Park Trails Five Mile Drive & Trails
Enjoy walks, hikes and cycling opportunities with stunning views unparalleled by other urban parks! Among your many options . . . a trek amid acres of ancient forest or a stroll along Owen Beach on the shore of Commencement Bay. Trail signage throughout the forest makes exploring simple.
Five Mile Drive and other trails 
Flying Kites in Front of the Large Owen Beach Picnic Shelter Rental Sites
Fort Nisqually Living History Museum rentals
Pagoda rentals
Picnic Shelter rentals are available between April 1 and September 30 each year. Reservations may be made up to 365 days in advance.
Rose Garden rentals
Zoo & Aquarium rentals
Science and Math Institute student with marine life in Point Defiance Park The Science & Math Institute (SAMI)
Located in Point Defiance Park, this Tacoma School District high school is dedicated to integrating science and math into everyday learning. Tacoma voters recently approved a bond that will support the construction of classrooms at the Park.
Color CHIP-in! Logo

Learn more about how you can volunteer your time, services and support to enhance this park.

Old Car at Entry to Point Defiance Park History
President Andrew Johnson originally set aside Point Defiance Park as a military reservation, although it never was home to military operations. A bill authorizing Tacoma to use the reserve as a public park was approved in 1888 by President Grover Cleveland.
• Camp 6 - Established by the Northwest Forest Industries Museum in 1964, Camp 6 included several bunk houses, a short-haul train and pieces of historic logging equipment. In 2011, faced with limited attendance and no resources to maintain and operate its collection, the board of directors for the museum made a difficult decision to relocate the historic elements to another location.


Point Defiance Dont Feed Wildlife Sign Graphic
  • Wildlife can experience malnutrition, disease, and overpopulation due to human feeding.
  • Wildlife often exhibit aggressive behaviors when they become conditioned to expect food from people.
  • Overpopulation is a significant contributor to poor water quality and toxic algae growth, endangering public health and safety.
  • Feeding is illegal and to help curb overpopulation issues, citations will be issued for violations. Feeding carries a $532 penalty. (TMC 8.27.130)

Park Attractions to Explore:

Fort Nisqually Living History Museum

Point Defiance Marina

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Destination Point Defiance

Five Mile Drive & Trails

Owen Beach

Point Defiance Lodge Visitors Center

Point Defiance Pagoda

Point Defiance Rose Garden

Point Defiance Picnic Shelters

Events Happening Here:
  • 20 Feb
    Point Defiance Beach Cleanup
    Get hooked on helping at these cleanup events held every 3rd Saturday at the Point Defiance Marina. Join...
    09:00 am
  • 28 Feb
    Herb Garden Work Party
    Participate in a work party in the herb garden. Help with maintenance and prepare the garden for spring planting, all...
    02:00 pm
  • 05 Mar
    Pier Peer in Tacoma
    Bring your family and join us for an aquatic night-time adventure as you explore hundreds of...
    07:30 pm

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