Tacoma WA | Favorite Places

We visited Tacoma in August to see our son. He lives a few blocks from Commencement Bay. The bay is visible from his windows, as is Mt. Rainier. We enjoyed a wide variety of sights and activities. We spent several evenings at a city waterfront park enjoying the view of the bay and some ships. See the arrow on this map.


A place we visited often for morning hikes was Point Defiance Park. See the map above. It has a one way 5 mile traffic loop with several points of interest and beautiful views. On weekends, the loop is closed to automobile traffic. Only hikers and bicyclists may use the paved road. There are several hiking trails through the forest as well with huge trees and tall ferns. On weekday mornings, we had the trails to ourselves.


This is a short clip of one of the trails we hiked in Point Defiance Park.


We made a point of visiting the zoo at Point Defiance. It is well maintained with species of plants labeled with ID info and a collection of animals that is not too large. The confinement pens were well protected and looked clean.

This Red Wolf (Canis rufus) at the zoo was very alert to the feeding time soon to happen. It gracefully trotted by several times. These wolves are one of the world’s most endangered canids. According to the Recovery Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The red wolf was designated an endangered species in 1967, and shortly thereafter the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initiated efforts to conserve the species. Today, more than 50 red wolves roam their native habitats in eastern North Carolina, and nearly 200 red wolves are maintained in captive breeding facilities throughout the United States.


6 thoughts on “Tacoma WA | Favorite Places

      1. jimfetig

        The AT issue is complicated and full of nuance. Since the boomers exploded on the trail in the late ’60s a party crowd has existed. Informed estimates suggest its size is about 3 percent of the hiker population and skews toward those in their early 20s. In the beginning three percent of a small number wasn’t much. Today it’s a much larger number though the percentage remains the same. It pays to remember that what occurs in general society is proportionally represented on the trail. The issue is that certain types of misbehavior are not only in conflict with the Baxter bequest, but also have become more prevalent. The superintendent of Baxter sent a letter of admonition to the ATC this winter warning that the AT could be kicked off Katahdin if the transgressions didn’t stop. (The terminus atop Katadin is enshrined in federal law so the threat to close the trail is questionable.) The issue is how to reign in the misbehavior. The real reason I was in Georgia was to investigate and define the issues and opportunities on the southern end that might help fix the problem on the northern end. Check out this report. https://www.dropbox.com/s/lr0u63tf3wu6b64/FETIGRidgerunner2015V.2.pptx?dl=0

        1. Jim in IA Post author

          I think your report does a very good job identifying the problems and posing solutions. I remember reading it before. After reading the NYT article, your report is more meaningful.

          I think you are right on target that what you see in society will be reflected in the population on the trail. Education and mentoring will probably offer the most effective strategies. That takes personpower. It asks a lot of a few individuals.

          Thanks for your feedback.

  1. Eliza Waters

    I loved all the huge ferns in the forest along the trail and I imagine that view of Rainier is stunning. Your son gets to see it everyday!
    I saw red wolves in Homosassa Wildlife S.P. (FL) where they have a breeding program. Shy and rather regal looking, they are a beautiful animal.

  2. shoreacres

    Those are some lovely trails. Is that a young ocelot the woman is holding? It’s a pretty thing. The red wolves are beautiful, too. We have plenty of coyotes and fox, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a wolf in the wild — not here in Texas, anyway. Both the Red and the Mexican Gray are gone: at least according to the experts. There still are reports from across the bay, around the Anahuac Wildlife Refuge, that people have seen red-wolf-like creatures. Not many — no more than three or four sightings that I can remember. Still, it’s something to consider. It’s pretty wild country over there. Black panther have been documented, and cougar. I doubt it’s true that the wolves are, but I hope it is. 🙂


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