Dungeness Spit

Dungeness, Washington

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2 Reviews
4 out of 5
This 5-mile-long spit is a National Wildlife Refuge set aside for waterfowl and shorebirds. As many as 10,000 birds winter in the refuge, particularly the black brant. Sandpipers and other shorebirds scour its beaches for food. Shallow Dungeness Bay, south of the spit, harbors clams and oysters as well as the crab that takes its name. Captain George Vancouver visited the spit in 1792. Built in 1857, the Dungeness Lighthouse was the first light station in the inland waters of the region. Originally it was 100 feet tall but was later shortened due to structural issues. The S’Klallam people lived along the Dungeness River for thousands of years. In 1872 they were forced by European-American homesteaders to live for one difficult year on the spit, then later forced to live on a reservation elsewhere. In 1868 the Tsimshiam people were camping on the spit after coming back from harvesting hops in the Puyallup Valley. The S’Klallam people attacked them, killing everyone except one woman who took refuge in the lighthouse. The lighthouse is now managed by the New Dungeness Lighthouse Association, who rents the building out to volunteer lightkeepers.
Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands

by Rob Casey (The Mountaineers Books)

This 5-mile-long spit is a National Wildlife Refuge set aside for waterfowl and shorebirds. As many as 10,000 birds winter in the refuge, particularly the black brant. Sandpipers and other shorebirds scour its beaches for food. Shallow Dungeness Bay, south of the spit, harbors clams and oysters as well as the crab that takes its name. Captain George Vancouver visited the spit in 1792. Built in 1857, the Dungeness Lighthouse was the first light station in the inland waters of the region. Originally it was 100 feet tall but was later shortened due to structural issues.

The S’Klallam people lived along the Dungeness River for thousands of years. In 1872 they were forced by European-American homesteaders to live for one difficult year on the spit, then later forced to live on a reservation elsewhere. In 1868 the Tsimshiam people were camping on the spit after coming back from harvesting hops in the Puyallup Valley. The S’Klallam people attacked them, killing everyone except one woman who took refuge in the lighthouse. The lighthouse is now managed by the New Dungeness Lighthouse Association, who rents the building out to volunteer lightkeepers.

© 2012 Rob Casey/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Sea Kayaking
Nearby City: Dungeness
Distance: 5
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Duration: Part Day To Full Day. No camping is allowed along these shorelines. Landing is only permitted at the
Season: Spring to Fall
Local Maps: SeaTrails Wa 103, 301; Noaa chart 18471 (1:40,000); port Townsend tide table (subtract about 45 minutes).
Driving Directions: Directions to Dungeness Spit

Recent Trail Reviews

9/25/2001
0

The eTrail or the Book are extremely helpful in navigating this sometimes tricky channel. We followed their recomendations and had easy crossings the whole trip. Stuart Island is on the tame side of Wild, with county roads, numerous homes, and a school. The mixture of man and nature is very pleasant on this outpost isle, lending to long walks on wide lanes with no cars. The proximity of small islands and short crossings make day trips very enjoyable. James island has one of the best beaches in all of the San Jauns.


7/15/2001
0

Having never sea kayaked in the San Juans, we decided to go on a guided tour for our first trip. Our trip was 3 days (2 nights) of kayaking and camping on the island. We left from Roche Harbor and kayaked out to Stuart Island. The first day was spent getting out to Stuart. The second day we circumnavigated the island, and the third day we kayaked back to San Juan. We absolutely LOVED the paddle around the island where we saw TONS of wildlife. We even were lucky enough to have 2 whale pods cruise within 50 yards of our boats. It was absolutely amazing! We also had a great time on the island. There is an abandoned lighthouse on the edge of the island that provides a spectacular view. There is also a little school that has a couple basketball hoops if you want to squeeze in a game. I strongly suggest, however, that you review the charts and check the weather for your trip out and back from Stuart. The rain was coming down HARD on our way back home and the current was very tough to beat, but overall we had an incredible time.



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Apr 2018