Scenic USA - Washington

Dungeness Spit

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Dungeness Spit - Clallam County, Washington

Photos by Eric Noel
Dungeness Spit Gallery

     Heavily influenced by the narrow opening between Vancouver Island and the Olympic Peninsula, strong tidal currents sweep into the Strait of Juan de Fuca from the Pacific. Throw in additional northwest winds and waves, and you have the longest sand spit in America. Every year the Dungeness Spit grows by 15 feet. Now over five and a half miles long, the spit not only creates a navigational hazard, but an important inner bay. On the lee side of the narrow spit, seals and shore birds congregate to feed in this rich estuary.
     Recognized early on as an important preserve, President Woodrow Wilson established the 630 acre Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge in 1915. New Dungeness Lighthouse - Clallam County, Washington The refuge includes parts of Dungeness and Graveyard spits, and Dungeness Bay. Appearing as a white spec near the horizon, it takes anywhere between four to six hours to hike the roundtrip to the lighthouse. Although itís a long walk (or an easy boat trip), there is a golden opportunity for those who wish to visit or even spend some time as a lighthouse keeper. Despite its name, the New Dungeness Lighthouse is one of the oldest beacons in the northwest. The lighthouse is now managed by the New Dungeness Light Station Association. Their goal is to offer the finest example of a restored historic lighthouse, while striving for excellence in their preservation program. Members of the association continue these efforts, and are also offered a chance to become a small part of history as a lighthouse keeper.

       Area Map

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