Trip

Day Hike - Missing Route/Place

Dungeness Spit Lighthouse

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  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 11.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 130 ft
10:00 AM at Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge - Trailhead
We'll take advantage of a minus tide to hike one of the longest natural sand spits in the world. The Dungeness Spit juts 5 miles straight into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, with spectacular views of Vancouver, Victoria, and San Juan islands on a clear day. This is a very unique place and a wonderful ecosystem. Most of the spit is a protected wildlife refuge. More than 250 species of birds have been documented here, and birds of prey are especially active on minus tide days like this one, which exposes large areas of beach that are normally under water. April is also the prime month for watching thousands of migratory birds who feed and rest here on their way from California and Mexico to Alaska. Our destination is a lighthouse near the tip of the spit, with 360 degree views from the top. If we get lucky, we might encounter some seals and bald eagles. Trident submarines have also been seen on some trips. The terrain is pretty flat and we'll go at a CHS-1 conditioning pace of about 2 miles per hour, with a stop at the lighthouse for lunch, and a tour to the top. The surroundings tend to be picturesque and we'll take a few camera breaks along the way. IMPORTANT: Since we'll be hiking fast on sand, this trip requires a very high level of fitness. If you're on the CHS class of 2014 and returning from the Shi Shi Coast Cleanup, please email me directly to register for this hike. Discover passes are required at the trailhead and a $3 donation per person helps upkeep of the wildlife refuge. Credits: Thanks to Mark Cowlishaw for mentoring me for the first hike I'm leading with the Mountaineers.
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