If you stand on the piazza of George Washington Inn and take a look towards the northeast, nestled in front of snow-capped Mount Baker is a lighthouse at the end of a long winding sandbar. The New Dungeness Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses in the Northwest and remains a familiar marker for mariners today. Located at the tip of the 5 mile long Dungeness Spit off the Dungeness Peninsula, this lighthouse has been in continuous operation since its completion in 1857. Access to the lighthouse is limited to hikers at low tide and small boats in calm seas.
Today the lighthouse is maintained and operated by the New Dungeness Light Station Association. The U.S. Coast Guard withdrew its last keeper from the automated light station in March 1994. It planned to board up the buildings and maintain the equipment with regular inspections because of budget reductions and modern automation. The New Dungeness Lightstation Association was subsequently formed and acquired the right to operate and maintain the lighthouse. Keepers, who are members of this association, have greeted approximately 35,000 visitors since 1994.
From the parking lot of the Dungeness Recreation Area, an easy 3/8 mile trail takes visitors through a small forest to an overlook on the bluff above Dungeness Spit. The trail continues down a steep hill to the spit and becomes nearly a 5 mile beach walk on sand to the lighthouse. Leave early and plan on spending the better part of a day to accomplish this feat.