Exactly How High Can You Get in Tacoma? We Investigate

April 20, 2018 1 By Sierra Hartman

Getting truly high in Tacoma isn’t as easy as one might expect. Sure, there are pot shops on quite a few corners, but we just can’t compete with the likes of Denver, Colorado. This is sea level, man.

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Being a waterfront city, it’s no surprise that on average Tacoma only gets to about 243 feet high. But take heart there are a few spots in our City of Destiny that stand out as super high.

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At Grit City Magazine we’re all about sharing useful information. So, in celebration of 420, we’ve put together a list of some of the highest spots* in Tacoma:

  • Tacoma Narrows Transmission Towers: 771′
    • You know those big tall red and white towers on either side of the water just north of the bridge? The steel-stomached contractors who work on those things get higher than pretty much anyone else in Tacoma.
  • Bates Technical College Antenna: 602′
    • Likely communicating with aliens, this antenna broadcasts to everyone in Tacoma that it’s pretty damn high, like all the time.
  • Saint Joe’s Hospital: 547′
    • If you’re coming into St. Joe’s heliport, you’re gonna be hella high. Not only is the building pretty tall, but it sits at just about the top of Hilltop; a perfect combination of highness.
  • Mountaineer’s Tree: 400ish’
    • Not only is this giant Douglas Fir tree over 200′ tall from the base, it’s been around for more than 450 years. It’s seen some shit.

Unfortunately these high places aren’t exactly easy to get to — but there’s good news: the ultimate Tacoma high is attainable. In fact, the official highest point in Tacoma is one that you can drive to.

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A spot called Indian Hill in Northeast Tacoma sits at about 550′ above the Puget Sound. When we went to check it out, the gate was open and we mistook it for a park. Turns out the property is a reservoir owned by the city and not open to the public. But hey, people make mistakes when they’re high. There are a few spots around it though that provide nice views of the city to the south.

If you’re a photographer who likes to get high, power lines and tall trees can be pretty annoying. Northshore Parkway NE between Ridge Drive and Norpoint Way has nice, mostly clear views of everything from the Tacoma Dome to Point Ruston. From other spots around Indian Hill you can even see downtown Seattle 20 miles away, you know, if you’re into that sort of thing. Happy 420, Tacoma.

*Relative to sea level, not the ground.

Photos by Sierra Hartman