Point Defiance–Tahlequah ferry

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Point Defiance–Tahlequah ferry
Point Defiance ferry terminal.jpg
Point Defiance ferry terminal
WaterwayDalco Passage (Puget Sound)
RoutePoint DefianceTahlequah, Washington
AuthorityWashington State Ferries (1951–present)
System length1.7 miles
Travel time15 minutes (2011)
Connections at Tacoma
Pierce Transit
WA-163.svg SR 163
Connections at Vashon Island
King County Metro

The Point Defiance–Tahlequah ferry is a ferry route across Puget Sound between the Point Defiance ferry terminal in Tacoma and Tahlequah, Washington, on the southern tip of Vashon Island. Since 1951 the only ferries employed on the route have belonged to the Washington state ferry system, currently the largest ferry system in the United States. Point Defiance-Tahlequah is the shortest route in the system.


This ferry route is 1.7 miles long, with terminals at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma and, on Vashon Island, at Tahlequah.[1]


Until 1967, the wooden ferry Skansonia (capacity: 308 passengers, 32 autos) was regularly assigned to the route. In 1967, Skansonia, built in 1929, was replaced with Hiyu (capacity: 200 passengers, 40 autos), which had been built specifically for the route.[1] However, traffic soon outpaced the Hiyu, which was replaced by the Olympic and later the 48-car ferry M/V Rhododendron. Since 2012, Chetzemoka has served the route.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Demoro, Harre, The Evergreen Fleet, at pages 34–35


  • Demoro, Harre, The Evergreen Fleet: A Pictoral History of Washington State Ferries, Golden West Books, San Marino CA (1971) ISBN 087095-037-1
  • Kline, Mary S., and Bayless, G.A., Ferryboats: A Legend on Puget Sound, Bayless Books, Seattle, WA (1983) ISBN 0-914515-00-4
  • Newell, Gordon R. ed., H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Superior Publishing, Seattle WA 1966 ISBN 0-87564-220-9

External links[edit]