Not sure if this would technically qualify as a 'hike', but being that we covered 11 miles, I'm going to say it is. I'd never been to the Dungeness Spit before, and it was beautiful!
For those of you that may be new to the Northwest, Dungeness Spit is at Sequim, WA on the northern shore of the Olympic Peninsula. 1/2 mile of inland trail and 5 miles of beach to get out to the end of the spit where the historical lighthouse sits. Very picturesque, especially on this gorgeous sunny day, and worthy of lots of camera practice. (Once my non-digital film gets developed, I'll see about posting a pic or two.) Funny how the distance feels longer than it appears. Perhaps it's because you can actually see the destination most of the time. Saw some sea otters and herons and harlequin ducks and lots of neat driftwood, stunning views of the Cascades (Mt Baker sitting quite prominently) and the Olympics, and an occasional big rusty thing or two, etc. I definitely want to go back there, but the next time will probably be a day I just want to spend kickin' back at the beach. I highly recommend this trip for an option of relaxation and/or covering a bit of mileage (albeit flat mileage - but I certainly don't mind that once in awhile!)
Beachwoman. Seems to me I heard reports that they were going to close off the end of the spit as a wildlife refuge and only leave the bach open to the public for the first couple of miles. Did that turn out not to be the case? Or is it a seasonal closure?
About the beach, itself: is the footing mostly sand? pebbles? cobbles? or rocks? The mix makes a lot of difference in the pleasure of the walk.
Beachwalking is certainly "hiking" as far as I'm concerned. Very early in this forum I did a trip report on a hike Larch and I did around Leadbetter Point on the north end of the Longbeach Peninsula. There'll be more of those as the year progresses. There are some fine, lonely beaches on Whidbey Island and across the Sound at Fort Warden and Fort Flagler, not to mention Pacific beaches south of ONP. We've been very surprised to discover that there are still miles and miles of beach that you can walk without seeing another person. - Then there's the exercise factor: miles of shifting sand and gravel make for a pretty good workout. - The quality of the scenery hardly needs mentioning.
-------------- Something lost behind the ranges. Lost and waiting for you....... Go and find it. Go!
The inland side of the spit (throughout most of the entire length of it I think) is marked as wildlife refuge. Nothing keeping you from going over there (no fences or anything) but there are logs that note approximately where you're supposed to stay out of. I noticed a few kids on the wrong side of the logs, though. Maybe they hadn't learned to read yet? But you can definitely go all the way to the end where the lighthouse is. The volunteer lighthouse keepers let you go up in the lighthouse and want to tell you everything there is to know about it. (Man, they're sure talkers! ) Hey, and it's nice to know they have a public restroom there! The beach was sandy closest to the water, then rocky and sinky sand (hard to walk on) as you walk further from the waters edge. It's generally easiest to walk close to the water where the sand is wet and firmer. Adds a little fun to dodge the waves sometimes, too.
Yeah, I'm thinking I might want to do the Ozette triangle some time this year. Been to Shi Shi a couple times 2 or 3 years or so ago and it's just fantastic there!
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