Run through Point Defiance Park

Gig Harbor Launch Site

Point Defiance is the place to go if you need a quick dose of nature, but you don't have a lot of time to travel out of Tacoma!

Point Defiance Park is the largest urban park in Pierce County and it provides a variety of amenities. Located at the very northwest tip of Tacoma, the park provides residents with a much needed retreat from the bustle of everyday life. Point Defiance Park is the place to go if you need a quick dose of nature, but you don't have a lot of time to travel out of Tacoma.

The Owen Beach parking lot is a great place to start hiking. All of the trails can be accessed from the end of the parking lot, opposite the beach. The parking lot has plenty of room to park close to the trail, but there are many places to access the trails in the park. 

When you finally make it to the trailhead, you will notice that the trail map shows three different, color-coded trails: the Outside Loop Trail (dark blue - 4.3 miles), the Inside Loop Trail (yellow - 3.6 miles), and the Spine Trail (light blue - 2.6 miles). All of these trails are unique in their own way and they all intersect or connect at some point. The Outside Loop Trail will allow you to see Fort Nisqually, the Narrows Bridges, Gig Harbor, the Dalco Passage, Vashon Island, and the Mountaineer Tree. It is by far the most inclusive trail.

Because this park is in Tacoma, the trails can tend to be busy. Do not let this dissuade you from enjoying the park! Try to plan your visits during the week rather than the weekends.

*The location marked on the map is for the trailhead near the Owen Beach parking lot. 

Pack List

  • Park Map
  • Snacks (do not feed the wildlife)
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Rain jacket
  • Hiking shoes
Show More
RT Distance 4.3 Miles
Activities Chillin, Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Amazing Walk, Run, Site Seeing

I live nearby and when I’m wanting a dose of nature, this is a common visit for me. It’s so big and beautiful. And I feel like I rarely walk through the same areas twice since it is so big, and has a few different trails to hike. It’s an amazing spot


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Kayak Gig Harbor

Just over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is a small, quiet, and tranquil town of Gig Harbor. The best way to experience the town is from the water.

199 Saves

Camp at Camp Long

Looking for a camping adventure without even having to leave Seattle? Camp Long is the perfect option for beginning campers, families, or anyone who just wants to spend some time in nature without ha.

248 Saves

Hike the Gold Creek Trail at Green Mountain

The Gold Creek Trail is one of several trails in the Green Mountain region. Although the trail is intertwined with others, it is almost impossible to start down the wrong path.

144 Saves