Dune Peninsula at Pt. Defiance Park, Tacoma

Another gorgeous day for hiking brought my spouse and I to a newly opened park in Tacoma, WA. Dune Peninsula is named in honor of author and Tacoma native Frank Herbert, author of the classic science fiction book Dune. This intriguing new area of Pt. Defiance Park has a 605 ft-long graceful bridge walk – Wilson Way Bridge – that gives walkers expansive views of Mt. Tahoma (Rainier), Puget Sound, the Cascades, and the Olympics. The views are breathtaking. For young and old alike, the long staircase that leads from the top of the bridge to the marina below is partnered with a series of slides that, at the time of our visit, were filled with people sliding down to the bottom.

View from Wilson Way Bridge

The Frank Herbert trail is surrounded by native plantings – prairie plants such as yarrow, fleabane, asters, and varieties of fescue. In addition, a few native pines (Pinus contorta) are planted along the trail. The path is an easy loop around the peninsula, paved in most places.

The 11-acre peninsula was created from ASARCO slag, covered with many tons of soil, capped, then sculpted and landscaped. Even the benches are creative – their base shows the layering involved in this massive project.

A few more pictures will give you an idea of the beauty of this place.

Prairie plantings.
Native grasses and reed (Juncus effusus)
Near the marina.

Pt. Defiance Park is a Pacific Northwest treasure, and the new Dune Peninsula is an important asset that brings environmental issues to the forefront in a truly beautiful, creative way. I hope you can visit it soon.

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