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Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail

Point Defiance Park

Seattle + Tacoma Metro Area, Washington

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Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail

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  • View north to Vashon Island (right) and Kitsap Peninsula (left) from the Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail.- Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail
  • Old-growth Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) along the Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail.- Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail
  • Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail.- Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail
  • View of Puget Sound's Dalco Passage from the Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail.- Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail
  • Salal (Gaultheria shallon) along the Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail.- Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail
  • "The Mountain Tree" giant Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) on the Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail.- Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail
  • "The Mountain Tree" giant Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) on the Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail.- Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail
  • View of Puget Sound's Dalco Passage from Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail.- Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail
  • View of a fishing boat on the Dalco Passage from the Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail.- Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail
  • View north to the Kitsap Peninsula from Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail.- Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail
  • Pacific madrone (Arbutus menziesii) on the Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail.- Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail
  • Pacific madrone (Arbutus menziesii) on the Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail.- Point Defiance Outside Loop Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Panoramic views over Puget Sound. Old-growth forest.
Cons: 
Trail is often adjacent to road.
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Region:
Seattle + Tacoma Metro Area, WA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
120.00 ft (36.58 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Total Distance: 
4.30 mi (6.92 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
200.00 ft (60.96 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

Although an estimated 3.1 million visitors come to Point Defiance Park annually, relatively few meander the trails in the park’s nearly 400 acres of old-growth forest. Here, away from the domesticated southern end of the park, animals and critters such as mule deer, red foxes, pileated woodpeckers, bald eagles, and Douglas squirrels are common.

The best way to explore this northern end of the park is to venture out on the nearly level, 4.3-mile Outside Loop Trail that winds through deep forest habitat and high bluff outcroppings where panoramic views of the Puget Sound open up.

As you hike, don’t miss the park’s legendary "Mountain Tree,” an old-growth Douglas fir. At 450 years old, 200 feet tall, and 7.5 feet in diameter, this magnificent tree is a truly unique specimen for a major metropolitan area. And be sure to bring provisions for a break, as the trail passes three major picnic areas.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(85 within a 30 mile radius)

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