Explore the Port
Enjoy the beauty of our region and the jobs that help sustain it at one of our public access sites.
One Sitcum Plaza
On the Port of Tacoma’s 70th anniversary, November 21, 1988, a three-story observation tower overlooking the Sitcum Waterway near the Port's Administration Building was dedicated. The Public Observation Tower gives anyone interested in Port activities a safe vantage of the Port's operations.
Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the tower provides panoramic views of terminals and waterways, where tugs guide huge cargo ships to dock.
The tower features signage highlighting the Port’s history and operations. There is also a set of mounted binoculars on the top floor for anyone to use
Gog-Le-Hi-Te I & II
1402 Lincoln Ave
A birder’s delight! The Tahoma Audubon Society has documented over 118 different bird species at this migration fly-over. Visit the observation deck to watch waterfowl resting in the tidal channels created by a breach in the Puyallup River levee. Be sure to keep an eye out for seals playing in the river and bald eagles soaring overhead as you walk along the levee road which doubles as over one mile of gravel walking path. The Gog-le-hi-te Wetland Complex is open year-round from dawn to dusk. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars!
87 Norpoint Way
Julia’s Gulch is approximately 31 acres of forested open space. The Port purchased this area in 2007 as a public benefit and to serve as a natural buffer between the Port industrial area and residential NE Tacoma. Julia’s Gulch boasts an intricate network of trails where a person can discover native plants thriving in this urban oasis. Listen for songbirds in the tree canopy or simply enjoy the rustle of leaves under your feet. Julia’s Gulch is open from dawn to dusk, year-round.
Dick Gilmur Habitat Restoration and Kayak Launch
5002 Marine View Drive
Tucked away along Marine View Drive, the Dick Gilmur Kayak Launch is named in memory of the former director of the Environmental Program at the Port. The site offers sweeping views of the city skyline and a unique perspective of Port activity. The concrete ramp allows easy access for the public to bring their kayaks to the shores of Inner Commencement Bay or to walk along the shoreline. If the slope below the parking lot looks a little rough, that is intentional! The habitat restoration includes a small “feeder bluff” that provides beach nourishment to the shoreline. The slope is replenished every few years to continue to “feed the beach”.
Place of Circling Waters
1621 Marine View Drive
The Puyallup Tribe of Indians dedicated the name of this former gravel mine and inert waste landfill in 2011. The site is comprised of four different types of habitat mitigation and includes estuarine intertidal mudflat, channels, and salt marsh; freshwater wetlands; and a forested riparian buffer full of native shrubs and trees. Visit the observation platform with interpretive signs to read more about this unique landscape and the types of critters that call it home. There are two picnic tables on the platform so be sure to pack a snack!