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Skokomish to Tacoma

  • Distance: 60 miles
  • Routes: SR 106, SR 3, SR 16
  • Estimated Driving Time: 1.5 hours

Tour Overview

The earliest thorough exploration of the waters adjacent to this route was made in 1841 by the expedition under the command of Lieutenant Charles Wilkes. The heavy stands of timber attracted lumbermen, and several mill towns were soon flourishing along the water front—Seabeck, Sidney, Port Gamble, and Poulsbo; in the 1850s and 1860s, these settlements were far more important trading centers than Seattle and Tacoma on the eastern side of Puget Sound.

Logging, beginning along the waterways, rapidly advanced inland, and within a quarter of a century most of the virgin timber had been removed. Farmers came in increasing numbers and settled near towns and along the water front; soon they were moving into the cutover areas.

Fishing also increased in importance. Shrimp, clams, oysters, and crabs were found in abundance, and many a sheltered cove was converted into an outfitting point for seining and halibut boats.

Early on, communication with the east shore of Puget Sound was largely by water; a few rough roads and trails led from the water’s edge to farms and camps in the interior. Today, a network of roads connects all parts of the peninsula and joins it with Sound points.

Key Waypoints along Skokomish to Tacoma


The tour passes through the Skokomish Indian Tribe Reservation. Despite being established by treaty in 1855, the nearly 5,000-acre reservation... Visit

Port Orchard

Seat of Kitsap County and one of the oldest settlements on Kitsap Peninsula. In 1854 William Renton and Daniel Howard... Visit

Gig Harbor

The lake-like haven of Gig Harbor is shut off by a narrow entrance from the open Sound; surrounding hills protect... Visit


Lying along the protected waters of Puget Sound and Commencement Bay, into which the Puyallup River drains, is about midway... Visit

Side trips along Skokomish to Tacoma

Port Gamble

This 68 mile side trip leads out past Dyer’s Inlet and Liberty Bay passing small port cities along the Puget Sound on the way to the National Historic Landmark Historic district of Port Gamble, ending at Kingston with ferry connection...


This 2 mile side trip leads out to this small Community and a historic bridge.

This tour has 1 leg, 16 waypoints, 5 side trips, and covers 60 miles.