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 ūüôā ¬†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.

Olympic Discovery Trail Hike Sequim Bay State Park Towards Sequim

Hike Distance: 7.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 696 feet

This was the first day of our five day vacation to the Olympic Peninsula. ¬†We decided to stay in the city of Sequim this time, as opposed to Port Angeles or Forks. ¬†We started our drive on the late side so we decided to stay close to town for our hike. ¬†We’ve known about the Olympic Discovery Trail and decided to give the section between Sequim Bay State Park and the city of Sequim a try.

At first I wanted to head SE ¬†on the Discovery Trail but it was closed due to construction. ūüė¶ ¬†It was obvious that a new steel bridge had just been installed but wasn’t ready for use. ¬†We then headed north on this paved trail and walked through some forested areas and over a couple of trestles. ¬†The Johnson Creek trestle was very impressive and we spent some time looking over the edge and taking a few pictures. ¬†The closer we got to Sequim the more out in the open, and closer to the highway, the trail became.

This was a nice hike close to Sequim, and it fit the bill for what we wanted today!