Washington state does autumn like nowhere else on earth! Home to dozens of tree species, entire forests are painted vibrant hues of red, yellow, and orange as the season changes and the weather cools. To help you and your family take in the fall colors before the weather gets too cold, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite spots in Pierce County!
From local favorites to renowned hikes, our list has options for everyone. All of our recommendations are appropriate for children, so take a look and get to planning that perfect fall afternoon.
Pro-tip: Check out Top Five Family-Friendly Things to do Near Tacoma for ideas on how to round out your day!
Point Defiance Park
Boasting 760 acres, Point Defiance Park is a must-see in the fall. With driving loops, trails, gardens, and an off-leash dog park, there’s plenty to see and do depending on what a perfect day looks like to you and your children.
To top it all off, Dune Peninsula and the Wilson Way Pedestrian Bridge offer beautiful views of the water and the fall colors lining the shores beyond.
This spot is perfect for anyone looking for a peaceful stroll and a wide variety of plant and flower species. You can take a guided group tour or independently explore this 10-acre nonprofit estate garden. Check out the Lakewold Gardens website to coordinate your trip with upcoming events and to learn more about their ongoing music and arts programming for veterans.
Sequalitchew Creek Trail
This three mile out-and-back trail is a hidden gem in DuPont! During the first part of the hike, walk alongside a creek through a forested canyon, taking time to notice the vibrant colors and active wildlife. At the end, you’ll pop out onto a pebbled beach with views of Puget Sound and the mountains beyond! An oasis within an urban setting, this hike is perfect for all ages and skill levels.
Wright Park Arboretum
Transport yourself into another world all while staying in Tacoma at Wright Park Arboretum! With 27 acres of walkable space, this public park is home to over 145 species of native and exotic trees. With a picnic area, playground, and horseshoe pits, among other amenities, it’s the perfect way to spend a family day outside.
Be on the lookout for tree tags that will tell you the tree’s name, its geographic origin, and the year it was planted in the park.
Skyline Trail Loop
Located on the southern side of Mount Rainier, the Skyline Trail Loop is the toughest hike on this list. The full loop is just under six miles, but don’t let that discourage you! Featuring lush vegetation, incredible views, and a picturesque waterfall, the effort is worth the reward. Many hikers turn around two miles in at Panorama Point, making the hike accessible for varying skills levels and children.
Be sure to check for seasonal closures and updates before planning to tackle this hike.