Dungeness Wildlife Refuge to Lighthouse Hike

Hike Distance: 11.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 441 feet

Today was a beautiful sunny and slightly cool day that was perfect for a long hike on the beach 🙂  We had tried this hike before but started out too late to complete the out-and-back before high tide.  Today was different in that low tide was at about 2:30pm with high tide occurring late at night, so we had plenty of daylight time to leisurely do the entire hike.

We started out late as we slept in, and then had to go back to the hotel for forgotten hiking poles.  Being Washington State spring break, and exceptional weather, there was a steady stream of hikers that were willing to take this long hike.  That said, the beach felt mostly empty during the hike, with the bulk of the people congregating in the area around the lighthouse.  Although it was a very clear day, with Victoria BC still visible, the Olympic Mts. were unfortunately clouded in, which was unfortunate.

There was a wood sign that clearly pointed to the beach exit point onto the lighthouse grounds.  This sign blew us away with what was written on it; In the direction of the lighthouse the text said “Welcome to Serenity” and pointing back to the TH it read “Reality”!  The grounds were impeccable and there were picnic benches and a flush toilet.  There is also an artesian well on the grounds for the lighthouse keepers, and a water fountain (I believe).

According to the groundskeepers the lighthouse is open 365 days a year!  The lighthouse is open for tours, which just means that a limited number of people are able to go up to the top (about 70+ stairs), at one time. where you are greeted by another volunteer.  The view from the top was breathtaking and so much fun.  There is no fee for the tour but there is a donation box, and we gladly left a nice tip.

The volunteers were very talkative and gave us so much interesting information, and I didn’t want to leave.  Evidently, you can volunteer for a week stay, with a few stipulations.  They need to bring their clothes and food, and open the lighthouse during business hours.  Everything else, as I recall, is free during their stay.  The quarters sound amazing with views from every window.  The volunteers also get driven to the lighthouse during low tide, which could be at odd hours.

There are also a couple more very short trails in the lighthouse region that we followed!

Our hike back was leisurely and allowed us to drink in the fantastic views and take endless pictures.

This hike is well worth the effort and time, and was a high point of our vacation!  A must see that won’t disappoint.

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