Take a Walk: Dungeness Spit

The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea

-Isak Dinesen


The Olympic Mountains to the west of the spit.

This past spring, I had a mad compulsion to visit the dungeness spit for a hike.  Busy, life-related, happenings overtook my days and suddenly July had arrived.

On a foggy summer morning, a friend and I got into the car.  We made the not-as-long-as-I-remembered-it drive to Sequim, and the Dungeness spit!  We stopped at the Hurricane Coffee Company in Sequim.  Its clean, comfy, atmosphere is great for a conversation even on a rainy day. (They serve lavender lattes as well!)

Sipping our coffee and hoping to see one of the famous lavender farms, we eventually found the wildlife refuge, and the trail to the beach.


one of the many freighters in the shipping channel.

When preparing to hike the spit it is good to remember that there is wind, water, and a great deal of shifting sand.  Hiking sandals are a fine idea, as is sun screen, and layered clothing.  Hydration is a must, especially if you plan to hike the 10 miles to the lighthouse and back.  (It might also be a good idea to take the opportunity of the toilet at the top of the beach access trail. Unless you do not feel odd about exposing yourself on a busy beach next to a shipping channel.)

The sun was relentless, the wind was high, and the views were spectacular.

We came upon a dead seal, a dead seagull, and some dead fish. They smelled terrible, but attracted all sorts of scavenging wildlife!

bald eagle

A bald eagle, waiting to feast on a dead seal that had washed ashore.

The way was flat and easy.  The mountains were out on every side, and the cool waters of the straight of Juan de Fuca rolled upon the shore, ready to soothe any tired feet that wandered toward the surf.

It was a magical day.

If you would like to get away, if you need a breath of salty air in your lungs and the sight of mountains yet to climb, take a walk on the Dungeness Spit.

(And remember that there is a county park that is very near the federal wildlife reserve…it’s nice, but is better for a picnic than a hike.)


2 responses to “Take a Walk: Dungeness Spit

    • It’s a great hike! (But this time we only did a 7 mile round trip. The lighthouse is 10.) The coffee shop is fantastic. They also had a local scouting troupe that created an exhibit of things found on the spit from across the Pacific.

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