Metro Parks Tacoma

  • Park Finder
  • Register

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

Open ½ hour before sunrise
Close ½ hour after sunset

Restroom Schedule

5400 N. Pearl St.
Tacoma, WA 98407

Get Directions
Alert: Sept 11, 2014

This 765-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.

Point Defiance Lodge Visitor Center Best of South Sound 2014 logoPoint Defiance Lodge Visitor's 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
Destination Point Defiance Logo  Destination Point Defiance 
This long-term planning initiative by Metro Parks will enhance the experience and honor the character of this local treasure by improving access throughout the Park to the waterfront, creating year-round activities and stewarding the Park's natural and historic resources. Learn more at a Community Conversation the third Thursday of each month.

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.

Group at Project Planning Meeting in Point Defiance Park Preserving the Park for Future Generations 

Dogs Off-Leash Demonstration Area
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. 

Thematic gardens, including a Japanese Garden, Rose Garden and Northwest Native Garden provide a wide variety of horticultural experiences for visitors.

Go-Karts & Batting Cages
Located to the right of the entrance to Point Defiance Park.

Point Defiance Trail
Connects Ruston Way to Point Defiance Park near the Sami buildings. Learn More
How to get there: From the Pearl Street park entrance take the ferry road and park in the gravel lot overlooking the marina that is located immediately after the Go-Karts. The start of the Point Defiance Trail is on the Puget Sound side of the SAMI portables.

Five Mile Drive and Other Trails
Winding through old growth forest, Five Mile Drive offers vistas of Puget Sound, the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges, Tacoma Narrows and Narrows Bridge, Vashon Island and Gig Harbor.
Learn More and Download a Trail Map

Rental Sites

Kayak rentals are provided by:

Ruston Recreation Rentals
5102 N. Winnifred St.
Ruston, WA 98407

Open noon - 7 pm daily (weather dependent)
Includes paddle, pfd and float cushion.

For more info call (253) 759-8151
View Kayak Rental Prices

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)
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.

Currently that space is being used for overflow parking for the zoo. We plan to work with the community to determine the best long term use for that space.
Park Attractions to Explore:

Fort Nisqually (in Point Defiance Park)

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 Sep
    Point Defiance Beach Clean Up
    Get hooked on helping at these clean up events held every 3rd Saturday at the Point Defiance Marina. Join other...
    09:00 am
  • 27 Sep
    Fall Garden Festival
    10am-5pm Point Defiance Pagoda, 5400 N. Pearl St, Tacoma This FREE event will feature bus tours of...
  • 27 Sep
    Free Fort Nisqually Admission on 'Museum Day'
    On Saturday September 27, 2014, Fort Nisqually will open its doors, as part of Smithsonian Magazine’s tenth annual Museum Day...

Current News