Hiking · Local Adventures

Local Adventures: New Dungeness Lighthouse

This was my second trip the New Dungeness Lighthouse on the Dungeness Spit. Going all the way to the lighthouse is a commitment. You will be hiking a long time, and it’s going to suck at some point, as all beach hikes do. You must plan for the tides and the weather. You don’t want to do it in a gale with ultra high tides, but neither do you want to do it in the frying sun of late summer. Plan your clothing and consider bringing lip balm for the wind that never stops. A wide hat helps a lot to shed the sun, as do sunglasses.

Carry all the water you might need. The hike is 10 miles roundtrip, and the last bit will be all uphill. Carry plenty of food, more than you might think you need.

To reach it follow the directions in this post. Follow the trail through the woods, down to the beach. Once you reach the beach, it is a straight shot on the beach. If hiking solo, this might be the time to slap on headphones and zone out. If with a group or partner chatter away to melt the miles away. For more information on the hike, see here.

Ford, checking out a boat wreck, with mainland behind him.

Looking back towards where we started. The day was overcast and chilly, with the Olympic Mountains mostly covered in wispy clouds.

The beach varied from rocky and tiring, to hard packed sand. If you can do it in a low tide, it is your best choice, and gives you the flattest hiking surface. Pants over shorts are highly recommended, it keeps the sand out of your shoes.

Looking across the bay to the Olympic Mountains.

Slowly getting closer. We were walking at the top of the high tide, so we’d have the low tide to walk back on.

Ford taking a break to play.

We made it to “serenity” and took a few moments break. Marty and Tori were hiking with Ford and I on it.

Ford very excited to have reached the lighthouse. He’s 8 years old, and for him this was a long dayhike.

We had lighthouse keepers (volunteers) there, and they came out to say hi to us. After seeing how Ford had hiked the whole way, they let him do the free tour to the top, even though he was under the cut off age. He loved that, and the small museum inside of the lighthouse building. The volunteers get to ride on ATV’s to come out so they don’t get the brutal hike.

We took a long lunch break and rested, then….it was hiking out. It goes fast though, especially if the wind is behind you.


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