"Long Line of Sand and Rocks Stretching to Distance" Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge by glabah

I don't know that there are very many places that are so synonymous with sea creatures as to have an entire species named after it, but such is the case of the Dungeness crab. Such is the case of Dungeness spit.

There are actually two sections to the place: one of them is actually a Clallam County park, has no entrance fee, and features overnight camping. The other is the National Wildlife Refuge itself, which costs $3 to enter and is closed from Sunset to Sunrise.

There are trails through the wildlife refuge and state park that allow you to walk on the cliff above the ocean and also walk down to the spit.

Dungeness Spit itself is split approximately in half: the western / northern side that faces Vancouver Island is open to public access, but the southern / eastern side that faces the state of Washington is closed to public access to preserve the wildlife that lives there.

Stretching south from Dungeness Spit itself, and almost returning all the way back to land, is another strip of land. This is called Graveyard Spit. Between Graveyard Spit and the neck where Dungeness Spit connects with the mainland, there is another spit of land sticking out from the mainland. This is called Cline Spit.

Looking north from the cliff overlooking Dungeness Spit, it is possible to see this narrow strip of land that extends out into the Straight of Juan de Fuca several miles.

This narrow strip of land is all there is to the spit. You don't want to get caught out there as the water rises! Therefore, the best time to walk the spit is when the tide is going down.

At the end of the spit is a lighthouse, and the top surface of the spit is covered with downed trees and driftwood.

Lodging at Dungeness Spit is limited to tent camping and RV camping sites, but there are several hotels and motels in the nearby community of Sequim. That part of the area is actually operated by the Clallam County Parks Department:


North of the County Park, the area is officially part of the National Wildlife Refuge, under federal management:


This map has been uploaded without much compression or resizing, so it may be helpful as a future reference if you are able to download and print it. It shows the entirely of the national wildlife refuge (requiring a $3 per family fee). At the lower left it is possible to see the Clallam County Parks area, which includes The Campground plus Trails for horseback riding, hiking and mountain bikes. Everything except walking is banned on the Wildlife Refuge itself due to the damage caused to the ecosystem on which the wildlife depends.

Also notice on the map that there are certain areas that are completely off limits to being visited by the public, so if you Take a Walk on the Spit you will need to avoid those areas.

At the end of the Spit there is the Dungeness Spit Light House. It is a 5.5 mile walk out there, but if you make a reservation at the boat dock you can also go out there by boat. There are regular tours of the lighthouse offered, and it is also the only restroom facility on the spit itself.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Can be a good place to visit and watch for birds, especially in winter and early in the morning.
  • Cons:It is a popular recreational area, including among those who don't care if their visit makes so much noise it scares away the wildlife that others would like to enjoy.
  • In a nutshell:Preserved natural areas, some primarily for wildlife, while surrounding Sequim is turned from farmland into a sprawling suburban tangle of houses and streets.
  • Last visit to Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge: Jul 2012
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (7)

Comments (2)

  • GuthrieColin's Profile Photo
    Sep 13, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    Nicely balanced rocks! I've been to the Dungeness Spit and I didn't see your rocks. Maybe they have fallen over and become simple members of the beach.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Jul 29, 2010 at 10:44 PM

    I really like Driftwood and all the shapes it comes in. We aren't allowed to take it from the beaches here, are you? I like it for floral art arrangements


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