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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.

The Visitors Center is currently closed for the season.
We'll be back Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend 2017!

5715 Roberts Garden Rd., inside Point Defiance Park
Tacoma, WA 98407
(253) 305-1088

As you enter Point Defiance from Pearl Street, the Visitors Center is just inside the park, on the left, across the street from the tennis courts.

 Park Ranger Programs

Forest Mindfulness

December 11
10 am-1 pm

Learn to slow down and experience the forest in a new way. Led by Certified Forest Therapist Julie Hepp, this program is designed to take participants slowly and intentionally through nature. The Guide gives a series of place-based invitations to connect to your senses, to yourself, and to others.

Through the place-based invitations, the participants interact in 20-30 minute increments of reflective and imaginative interaction in order to gain a deeper appreciation of the many living and non-living things in Point Defiance through moving slowly, and mindfully through the trails.

Participants should dress for the weather, and bring snacks and water for this 3-hr outdoor program. Ages 10+
Location: Meet at Fort Nisqually Picnic Shelter parking lot.
Fee: $30 per person
Sign up online


Coffee with the Birds

Jan. 21, Feb. 11, Mar. 25, Apr. 15
9 - 10:30 am

Bring your coffee mug and enjoy an introduction to the fall seabirds off Owen Beach at  Point Defiance Park.

Numerous species of seabirds winter in Puget Sound including murrelets, auklets, loons, and more. Join the Park Ranger at the Owen Beach parking area to grab a cup of coffee, or hot chocolate for the kids, and get to know your Puget Sound seabirds!

Tahoma Audubon will have a binocular library for participants to check-out binoculars for the duration of the bird walk at no cost. Binocular check-out will be located at the Owen Beach parking area just before 9 am.

Meet the Park Ranger at Owen Beach at 9 am.  Please dress for the weather, and don't forget your coffee mug! Lift Bridge Coffee will be providing free coffee and hot chocolate.

Fee: $4 per person or $ 12 for family of four
Note: Registration opens on Dec. 2

Ranger-Led Nature Walks

Nov. 19, Jan 14, Feb. 18, Mar. 11, Apr. 8
1 - 2 pm

Meet the Park Ranger at the Rhododendron Garden for an exploration of nature in Point Defiance Park. Not recommended for strollers, wheelchairs, or children under 3. No registration necessary.  Free!

Tacoma Giants - Introduction to the trees of Point Defiance Park

Feb. 25 and Apr. 22, 2017
10 - 11:30 am
Did you know that there are living beings over 200 feet tall residing right here in Point Defiance Park?

Introducing, the Tacoma Giants, trees at the heart of defiance. Join us to pay our respects and commune with the elders that have seen the birth of this nation, and now guard, the last of our very own, old growth forest. Immerse yourself into the world of living natural history and fall in love with the infinite shades of green in this introduction to the trees of Point Defiance.  

Meet the instructor at the Fort Nisqually Picnic Shelter at 10 am.  Please dress appropriately for the weather, as this program will take place outside.
Questions? Contact the Park Ranger at (253) 305-1088.

Fee: $5 per person or family of 4 for $15
Instructor: Certified Arborist Mik Miazio
Sign Up: Registration opens Dec. 2

Come to the Visitors Center during the summer to...

Drop by to rent a picnic shelter and picnic kit.
Learn more about the shelters & picnic kits

Point Defiance Park has tennis courts that boast a spectacular view. Come play...we'll loan you the tennis equipment!

Drop by, provide us your Driver’s License and we'll loan tennis rackets and balls for up to 2 hours of play. Check-out begins 10 am, equipment must be returned by 4:30 pm. 

Granola bars and water available for purchase.

Park Ambassadors work seasonally at the Visitors Center (and/or the park kiosk) and give talks, answer questions, help visitors find information, participate in educational tours and more.

Point Defiance Park’s first uniformed, interpretive guide.

Download a Park Map

E.R. Roberts Family Portrait Outside Point Defiance Lodge - photo courtesy of Jean Insel RobesonHISTORY
The Board of Park Commissioners approved $2,200 to build a residence in Point Defiance Park in 1898 for Superintendent Ebenezer Rhys Roberts, referred to as the Keeper's Lodge. Read more about the history of Point Defiance Park's Lodge.