Several years before we got married, my husband and I went on a car camping trip to Dungeness Spit, located on the Olympic Peninsula in Sequim, Washington. The purpose of this trip was to walk the 5 miles to the New Dungeness Lighthouse located near the end of Dungeness Spit. And walk the 5 miles back to the campground! I loved being able to walk for miles and miles and miles on a beach, hearing the waves and birds, feeling like I was out in the middle of nowhere. Now this would have made another beautiful location for our wedding, but alas I did not think that our guests would have wanted to walk 10 miles on our wedding day.
What is really unique about the New Dungeness Lighthouse is it is one of the very few lighthouses that provide the opportunity to see what it is like to live the life of a Lighthouse Keeper. Yes, if you are up for it, and are a current member of the New Dungeness Light Station Association, you can live the life of a Keeper for a week in much the same isolation as Keepers of the 19th century did. You would be responsible for the operation of the Lighthouse, maintenance, repairs, taking care of the lawn, and giving guided tours to those who have made their way to the lighthouse, like us, who had walked the 5 miles to get there.
In use for the first time on December 14, 1857, the New Dungeness Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses in the Northwest. It was originally 91 feet tall, but due to deterioration over time, and possibly damage from an earthquake, the lighthouse tower was lowered to 63 feet in 1972. It was automated in 1976, although it was the last lighthouse on the West Coast to be manned by the Coast Guard until 1994. It has 74 steps to the top for a nice view.
Located on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and part of the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, the six-mile total, flat sandbar of Dungeness Spit is one of the longest natural spits in the world. Be sure to check the tide tables, and plan on at least a 5 hour round trip for walking to the Lighthouse. Access to the lighthouse is also possible by kayak.
Now while we did not have our wedding at the New Dungeness Lighthouse, or at one of my favorite places on this planet, the Discovery Park Lighthouse, needless to say we did have the perfect wedding at the Mukilteo Lighthouse!
For more lighthouse blogs, please visit my lighthouses category.