Hiking · Local Adventures

Local Adventures: Dungeness Spit

Dungeness Spit sits just outside of Sequim, on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. It’s a close drive for us, from the ferry from Whidbey Island. Run by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, it is a wildlife preserve, that sits next to a county park that offers more trails and a great campground (I have camped there before in the spring when it was mild down low, but cold in the mountains). The parking area is at the end of the road, through the campground. The Spit trailhead is manned by volunteers who are there to answer questions. They are more aggressive than in the past (for example without even meeting my children I got a lecture about children that was highly eye rolling – however a lot of kids do love to run on trails and being a wildlife preserve there is no running allowed.) They are also there to ensure you don’t sneak by without paying. You can use your America the Beautiful pass to “pay” the fee by noting the details on the money envelope. I was asked by THREE volunteers if I had paid in under 5 minutes. I felt like I was in an REI and being asked if I was a member. Hah. So it has changed since the last time I was out there (it’s been nearly a decade), but once you get onto the trail, it’s all good.

The trail is wide and mostly paved but goes through a beautiful forest.

The sun is partially shaded, so even on hot days it is an enjoyable walk.

The trail comes to a fork, and there is a platform to look out over, with a telescope to use. This is a good turn around, or a bit father down, at the next viewing platform, for those with small children or anyone with walking issues. The trail gets much steeper after this and heads straight down to the water.

Dropping lower to the beach, looking out towards the spit, and far away, the lighthouse, far out in the distance.

The trail drops down to the beach. The lighthouse is to the right.

Looking down the beach to the Olympic Mountains sealing over in clouds to the left.

Rock stacking on driftwood.

Alistaire on the beach.

Out towards Graveyard Spit.

It’s not a long hike, a mile round trip. The hike up does have a short steep section. There is an option of a secondary trail that parallels the main trail. It is quiet, few use it, and it is a normal dirt trail. Check it out for a loop.

If the weather is nice (we had a storm coming in), pack a blanket and a picnic and let the kids have fun for a few hours.

If one has the time and the inclination, once you reach the beach, the hike out to the end of the spit and the lighthouse is a fantastic hike. I have done it twice over the years. It’s a long day (beach walking is not flat, and you’ll face tide issues if you do it in off season – and usually walk with one leg higher), but it’s well worth it to visit the light house, which you can tour!

(My oldest son did it with me at 8 years old – and they let him do the tour even though he was under the age cutoff since he walked the entire way)


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