Dune Peninsula – Tacoma, Washington - Atlas Obscura

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Dune Peninsula

A massive environmental project transformed this former smelter into a beautiful park.  


The ASARCO lead-and-copper smelter spewed heavy metals and pollution into the city of Tacoma, Washington for nearly a century, making it one of the most polluted cities in the United States.

Thanks to a massive-scale environmental project, the 11 acres of ruins where this former smelter resided are now a beautiful public park. Opened in 2019, the Dune Peninsula is not only a feat of engineering and conservation, but also serves to pay tribute to one of Tacoma’s most famous residents, Frank Herbert, the author of Dune.

The Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance is a creatively landscaped park with stone staircases, metal sculptures, and a walking route that’s covered in quotes from the various Dune novels. From the shoreline, there are wonderful views of the surrounding mountains, such as Mt. Rainer. 

It’s a unique spot that’s great for relaxing or exploring. If you are a fan of environmental efforts, beautiful parks, or Frank Herbert’s classic novels.

Know Before You Go

The park is open during daylight hours every day and provides plenty of free parking.

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September 26, 2022

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