Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
120.00 ft (36.58 m)
Trail type
4.30 mi (6.92 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Panoramic views over Puget Sound. Old-growth forest.


Trail is often adjacent to road.

Trailhead Elevation

200.00 ft (60.96 m)


Historically significant
Big vistas
Old-growth forest

Suitable for



Nearby Lodging + Camping

Seattle + Tacoma Metro Area, Washington
Hood Canal + Eastern Olympic Peninsula, Washington


I have been using these trails for about 3 years. After many summers hiking in the Olympics, this is the next best thing to remind me of those days. Flora and fauna abound the many trails that wind through this fantastic city park. This is a park that welcomes all visitors throughout the year. As this park contains many old growth trees caution should be part of your decision to hike this urban forest if strong winds prevail.
Easily walkable trail with good viewpoints.
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