In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.  --John Muir

Hiking in Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge is a rewarding experience.  Whether you chose to simply hike the half mile to the overlook of Dungeness Spit or if you undertake the full hike to the lighthouse, nature's beauty awaits you.  Taking the time to make a few preparations before you leave will make your day even more enjoyable.  


The most important thing to consider when hiking on Dungeness Spit is the tide.  To hike comfortably on the beach you will want to find a day where the tide will be at a 6.0 feet or below for the time frame in which you want to hike.  Tides above 6.0 can push hikers up into the more difficult terrain among the rocks and logs along the spine of the Spit.  This is of particular importance if you plan on hiking to the lighthouse and back, a round-trip distance of 11 miles when measured from the parking lot trailhead.  Consult a tide table before you go.  The best days for long hikes on the Spit tend to be in spring and summer when the lowest tides come during the daytime.  In fall and winter the highest tides usually come during the day, making it more difficult to plan a longer hike.

Other points to consider as you plan your hike:  

  • Designated areas of the Refuge are closed to public entry.  Consult a Refuge map for specific details.
  • Weather conditions can change very quickly. The beach is often cooler than the parking lot. Bring sunscreen, a rain jacket, sturdy shoes, and a warm layer. 
  • The Refuge is open from 7 am to one half hour before sunset.  You must be off the beach and back to the parking lot by the time posted at the trailhead.
  • Many animals make their homes among the rocks and logs on the beach.  Please leave them in place to protect wildlife habitat.
  • Collection of rocks, driftwood, shells, etc. is not allowed.
  • Pack out your trash.