Skip to main content

Explore the Shore

What Will You Discover?

Ever wondered what it’s like to hold a tiny ocean crab in the palm of your hand? Find out at Owen Beach in Tacoma’s beautiful Point Defiance Park!

Join our beach walk naturalists and stroll along the beach at low tide to learn about the animals that live there. Explore the Shore is a fun and exciting opportunity to learn about the biological diversity of our local beaches.


Explore The Details

2024 Dates
  • June 24, 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
  • July 6, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • July 21, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • August 19, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can Explore the Shore?

We recommend this walk for ages 5 and up. For the great adventurers, you may walk up to 1.5 miles round trip from Owen Beach south to the Boat House and back. The length of your adventure depend on you. Due to the nature of this project we cannot accommodate groups above 15 individuals. Please contact us for more information.

Do I need to know anything about beach life?

Nope! These walks are great for all knowledge levels. Trained naturalists will help you identify tide pool animals and record their location to create a baseline of what is found at Owen Beach. If you want to check out some animals you might see in advance, download the field guide beforehand. You can also participate in Community Science by using the iNatrialist app alongside our naturalist. With this easy to download app you can record animals and plants you see on the beach sharing these observations with the scientific community and helping to record changes in our environment.

What should I bring?

Come prepared with sunscreen, a hat, and weather-appropriate clothing. Sturdy, closed-toed shoes are recommended for walking on a rocky beach with lots of barnacles.

How do I sign up? How much does it cost?

No RSVP is needed. Meet on the beach near the Owen Beach parking lot in Point Defiance Park and register at the event tent. Please check-in within 10 minutes of the published start time. Explore the Shore is FREE.

When do I check in?

Check in begins 10 minutes before the scheduled start time and ends 15 minutes after. At the meet-up times listed above, participants can get a brief introduction to the day before the walk begins. Beach walks last about one and a half hours, though you may want to explore the beach for a longer time.

How do I become a Beach Walk Naturalist Volunteer?

If you’re interested in becoming a beach naturalist and engaging participants on the topics of beach stewardship and community science, learn more on our volunteer page.

Tiptoe Through the Tidepools

At Titlow Beach

Bring your family to explore the beach, learn about tide pool life and have lots of fun during some of the lowest tides of the year. A naturalist will guide low-tide beach exploration.

  • Meet at Titlow Beach
  • This is a free event; no registration is required
  • Wear shoes to protect your feet from the rocky beach, and bring plenty of water and sunscreen

Tiptoe through the Tidepools Dates & Times:

  • Saturday, May 11; 12:30 pm-3:30 pm
  • Saturday, June 22; 10:30 am-1:30 pm
  • Monday, July 22; 11 am-2 pm
  • Sunday, August 18; 9 am-12 pm

Take The Pledge!

Sign the Explore the Shore Pledge to remind yourself to trek the tidepools responsibly.