The Dungeness Recreation Area (DRA) is a Clallam County-owned park and is operated by the Clallam County Parks Board. The park, located northwest of Sequim, is well known as the entrance and trailhead to the Dungeness Spit, the longest natural spit in the nation at 5 ½ miles in length.
The DRA is far more than the jumping off point to the spit. The park contains 216 acres of forest, woodland, upland meadows, grasslands, wetlands, and ponds. A one-mile trail along bluffs overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca provides spectacular views of the strait. The DRA offers hiking, camping, picnicking, bird and wildlife viewing, and horseback riding.
Camping & Hiking
The campground has 65 camping sites, located in the forested area of the park. Picnic tables are located along the bluff and a picnic shelter can serve groups of people. Equestrian and hiking trails are located throughout the recreation area, including access to the Dungeness Spit.
Hunting is no longer permitted in the Dungeness Recreation Area.
Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society (OPAS) members use the DRA for field trips, bird counts, and birding classes as well as hiking, running and picnicking. The open fields with a mixture of grasslands and shrubs within the DRA provide excellent habitat for a wide variety of birds, including many species of sparrows, juncos, towhees, wrens, and the associated owls, raptors and other predators. The mixed shrub, tree and grasses at the margins of the fields are vital for sustaining the diversity of birds using the DRA. Likewise, the second growth conifers mixed with deciduous trees provide great cover and nesting for a wide variety of birds and wildlife.
Dungeness Recreation Area Master Plan Proposed
[Please note that the Dungeness Recreation Area Master Planning process has been placed on hold until further notice. There is no work currently occuring on this plan – 05/23/2019.]
In January 2017, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (Parks Board) approved updating the DRA Master Plan. This action was taken in preparation for the 2018 grant cycle of the State’s Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO). The RCO manages grants from various federal and state sources. Anticipating the grant funding requirements, the Parks, Fair, and Facilities Department and Parks Board began working on the research needed to update the Master Plan.
DRA is located on a “feeder bluff” which is a applied to certain coastal cliffs or headlands that provide sediment to down-current beaches as the result of wave action on the bluff. Park improvements are needed to provide amenities to the park visitors and mediate the issues the park faces due to the continual bluff erosion.
The DRA is adjacent to the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, which is operated and maintained by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Accessing the Refuge, visitors must travel through the DRA to reach the trailhead to the Dungeness Spit and Refuge. The proximity to the Refuge produces challenges for both agencies, which over the years has created a symbiotic relationship. The aspects of this relationship are being taken into account during the Master Plan update.
- The 1st Public Meeting to present possible improvement options was held on November 9, 2017 at the Sequim Prairie Grange Hall, and comments regarding the future of DRA were gathered from those attending the meeting. A survey was used to collect more data from those unable to attend the meeting(s).
- A second public meeting was held on March 6, 2018 as an opportunity for the community to comment on the proposed preferred plan presented at this meeting. An extended comment period followed the March meeting for the public to voice their opinions on the preferred plan. All of the comments received during this process will be used to determine a final updated Master Plan recommendation.
OPAS commented on the plan and expressed concerns. Read our comments.