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Ultimate guide to Wapato Park in Tacoma, WA

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wapato park info in tacoma washington


Wapato park is a beautiful park around Wapato lake. This park is a great place to go to with your family or by yourself. Kids will enjoy the playground, watching the ducks, looking out at the lake and enjoying nature. 

We go to this park often when we visit grandpa and my little ones absolutely love it.

This metro park includes ramadas, restrooms, swings, playgrounds (one specifically for toddlers), picnic tables, and many shaded areas. There is also a gated dog park to let your pups run around freely without a leash.

Where is Wapato Park located?

Wapato Park is located at 6500 S. Sheridan Ave, Tacoma, WA 98408 right off of 72nd st.

What are the park hours?  

The park is open ½ hour before sunrise and closes ½ hour after sunset.

How much does it cost to visit?

Wapato park is free! 

The park is operated by Tacoma Metro Park and open to the public. 

Is there parking at Wapato Park?

There are two dedicated  free parking lots on the property. We would go anytime before 2 pm  and we have never had a problem finding parking. 

When was the park built ?

Wapato lake was formed approximately thousands of years ago and the Wapato park was formed in 1889, and has grown throughout the years. Check out the history of Wapato park

wapato lake at wapato park in tacoma,wa

Can you swim at Wapato Park Lake ?

No, There is no swimming at the lake. There are signs all around the lake about the toxic algae and that swimming is prohibited. Its still really nice looking out at the lake and my kids loved watching the ducks and turtles in the water. 

How many playgrounds are there? 

There is one playground with a separate play area for toddlers. Both of these playgrounds are equipped with slides and climbing structures. There are also 2 regular swings and two baby swings. 

What is the ground surface at the playground?

The ground surface is bark.

Picnic Areas 


There is a picnic shelter that you can reserve for a price that can be used for gatherings or parties. You can also rent the pavilion for events.    

Are there picnic tables? 

There are quite a few picnic tables around the park and the lake. There are also benches around the lake to sit to rest. 

Are there restrooms on site?

Yes there is a restroom on site near the Wapato park parking lot that is off of 72nd st. There is also a restroom right near the park. 


Are there restaurants on site?

No, there are no food options on the property. However there are many options for food nearby. 

What restaurants do you recommend ?

1 minute away from the park at the next light there is Tacoma Place and there are lots of food options here including:  

Kids meal options 

what to eat @funfrugaladventures

Red lobster (0.3 miles away) 1929 S 72nd St, Tacoma, WA 98408

  • Seafood 

Olive garden ( 0.6 miles away) 1921 S 72nd St, Tacoma, WA 98408

  •  Italian 

Applebees (  0.7 miles away) 1919 S 72nd St, Tacoma, WA 98408

  • All american restaurant, burgers, quesadillas, chicken strips, fries, and more 

Famous Dave’s  ( 0.5 miles away) 1901 S 72nd St Ste C-39, Tacoma, WA 98408

  •  Barbeque 

Popeye’s (0.9 miles away) 1917 S 72nd St b29, Tacoma, WA 98408

  • Southern Chicken 

Starbucks ( 0.5 miles away) 1723 S 72nd St, Tacoma, WA 98408

  • Coffee! And more
  •  My little ones love the croissants and breakfast sandwiches  

5 minutes away 

Fred Meyer ( 1.1 miles away )7250 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98408

 Grocery store 

Rite Aid (1.3 miles away) Rite Aid, 7041 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98408

Convenience/ drug store 

  • American, kids meals, burgers, chicken sandwiches, nuggets 
  • McDonalds (1.2 miles away) 7217 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98408

10 minutes away 

  • Tacoma mall, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Hawaiian BBQ, chipotle, and more 

How long is the walk around the lake? 

The walk around the lake is .9 miles and it will take around 15 minutes. If walking with kids that may want to stop and enjoy nature it can take a little longer. This makes Wapato park a great places for families to get out and enjoy the sun.

How many steps will it take to walk around Wapato lake?

You will get approximately 3,000 steps walking around the lake. I used my galaxy watch to track my steps and I always get around 3,000 steps. 

Can you fish at Wapato Park?

 Yes, you can fish in Wapato Lake and it is a catch and release. There are also signs that say only ages 15, age 70 and older or anglers with a disability who have a harvester companion card can fish.  

Can you swim at the lake here? 

No, Wapato Lake is not safe to swim. They have multiple signs around the lake that say no swimming and explaining that it is toxic and people should not swim in the lake. 

Does Wapato park have an off-leash dog park?

Yes, there is a huge gated off-leash dog park area for your pup to run freely. 

Are there docks over the water?

Yes, there are two docks overlooking the water. 

Are there trash cans available?

Yes, there are plenty of trash cans all around the park and lake.

Are there BBq grills available?

No, there are no BBQ grills available at the park. 

Is the park dog friendly?

Yes, this park is dog friendly. There is a large dog park, dog poop stations with bags and trash. 

We always see plenty of people walking their dogs at Wapato park. 

Park Contact Info

Wapato park 

Address:  6500 S Sheridan Ave, Tacoma, WA 98408

Phone number:(253) 305-1000

Official Park Website: Wapato Park – Metro Parks Tacoma