Rules and Regulations

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Keep in mind, wildlife comes first on National Wildlife Refuges.  There are several regulations in place to allow public access to the Refuge while still protecting the plants and animals that need these resources to survive.  A detailed Refuge map will help you locate areas of the Refuge open to the public.  Please respect the rules as you enjoy your visit.

The Refuge is open daily from sunrise to one half hour before sunset. 

Be Aware
Hiking Dungeness Spit can be dangerous. Be sure to consult a tide table before you begin your hike. The bluff areas are unstable and extremely hazardous. They are closed to the public. Even at low tide, keep your eyes on the ocean and the beach logs. Driftwood logs are heavy, unstable, and can move unexpectedly. Waves and tides can turn them into powerful weapons.

Entrance Fees
$3 daily entrance fee per family or per group (up to 4 adults). Children under 16 enter free. Refuge Annual Pass, Federal Recreational Lands Pass, Senior or Golden Age Pass, Access or Golden Access Pass, Military Pass, Volunteer Pass, and a Federal Duck Stamp also admit family or group (up to 4 adults).

No camping is allowed on the Refuge. Dungeness Recreation Area, adjacent to the Refuge, offers camping.

Hiking Trails
An easy 1/2 mile trail takes visitors through the forest to an overlook on the bluff above Dungeness Spit. The trail continues down a steep hill to the Spit and becomes a 5 mile beach walk to the Lighthouse. Visitors must stay on designated trails (main or primitive trail) as the upland forest is otherwise closed to public entry to protect wildlife.

Pets are not allowed on Refuge.

From May 15 to September 30, boating (no wake zone) is allowed up to the 100-yard shoreline buffer. Refuge waters are closed to boating from October 1 to May 14.

Boating Access
Public boat launches are located off-Refuge on Cline Spit and the Dungeness Landing which can be accessed from Marine Drive. Boats may land only at the designated landing site directly south of the New Dungeness Light Station from 9am to 5pm. Advance reservations required for landing at the Lighthouse; call (360)457-8451.

Fishing and Shellfishing
The Strait side of Dungeness Spit is open to saltwater fishing year-round, except for the area beyond the Lighthouse. Tidelands in Dungeness Bay and Harbor, excluding closed areas shown on the Refuge map, are open to shellfishing May 15 to Sept. 30. Access east and west of Graveyard Spit is by boat only. Washington State fishing regulations apply. All oysters are privately owned and may not be harvested.

Beach Use
Consult a Refuge Map for zone designations.  Recreational beach use is allowed in the green zone year-round. Jogging is only allowed on the beach along the bluffs west of Dungeness Spit. Jogging is not allowed on the forested trails down to the Spit or on Dungeness Spit itself.  Only hiking, wildlife observation, photography, and fishing are allowed in the yellow zone.

Closed Areas (Year-Round)
Graveyard Spit, portions of Dungeness Spit, a 100-yard buffer zone around these areas, and all bluff areas are closed to public entry.  Consult the Refuge map for specific closures.

Prohibited Activities
To minimize disturbance to wildlife, jet skiing and wind-surfing are not allowed on Refuge waters. Activities including, but not limited to, bicycling, walking pets, kite flying, ball playing, Frisbees, fires, and camping are not allowed on the Refuge.  Disturbing or removing any resources (except for fish and shellfish during designated seasons) is prohibited.

Marine Mammals
Harbor seals and their pups rest on Refuge shores and should not be approached or disturbed. They are protected by the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.