Dungeness Spit is a 5.5-mile (8.9 km) long sand spit jutting out from the northern edge of the Olympic Peninsula into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The body of water it encloses is called Dungeness Bay. It is the longest natural sand spit in the United States. The Dungeness Spit is entirely within the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge and home of the Dungeness Lighthouse.
For those avid beach walkers the 5 mile (10 mile round trip) trek along the western edge of the spit will reward you with the site of The New Dungeness Lighthouse. It is one of the oldest lighthouses in the State of Washington and has been in continuous operation, providing navigational aids to ships in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, since its completion in 1857.
The lighthouse once was run by United States Coast Guard, but since an automatic light was installed, it has been run by the "New Dungeness Lighthouse Organization". The spit is open to the public year around.
It was first found by Europeans during the Spanish 1790 Quimper expedition. The name "Dungeness" comes from the Dungeness headland in England. The spit was named by explorer George Vancouver in 1792, who wrote: "The low sandy point of land, which from its great resemblance to Dungeness in ths British Channel, I called New Dungeness."
|Looking back at the Olympic Mountain Range and the Straight of Juan de Fuca|
|Part of the 5 mile long Dungeness Spit Sand Bar|
photo credit: New Dungeness Lighthouse David Irons Jr
Nikon D7000 Digital Camera
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