Lighthouses have been guiding ships for years in Washington. You can spot them all over our
islands, coastline and waterways like Puget Sound, helping navigate vessels so they can make their way safely up to shore. Here are 16 of our long-standing stations across the Northwest – seeing them in person is absolutely mesmerizing:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. New Dungeness Light
This active lighthouse can be found at the end of Dungeness Spit, overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It was constructed back in 1857, but now stands 26 feet shorter after becoming cracked from years of weather erosion. In fear of it totally collapsing, it was decided to just have it officially lowered.
2. Point No Point Light
Point No Point is located on the northeastern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula near the tiny town of Hansville. Thought to be the oldest operating lighthouse on Puget Sound, it has its own special spot on the list of National Register of Historic Places.
3. West Point Light
Designed similarly to Point No Point, West Point Light is a Seattle icon. The historic lighthouse has sat in Discovery Park since 1881, overlooking West Point on the north end of Elliott Bay.
4. North Head Light
North Head Lighthouse is situated on a rock headland in Cape Disappointment State Park. The old structure has been aiding ships traveling over the Pacific Ocean since 1897.
5. Lime Kiln Light
Lime Kiln is one of the most recognized features of the San Juan Islands. The picture perfect lighthouse can be seen in Lime Kiln State Park, which also happens to be one of the best places in the world to go whale watching.
6. Alki Point Light
This white, octagonal concrete tower stands 37 feet tall over the southern entrance of Elliott Bay in West Seattle. It was first built back in 1913, and has since been managed by the U.S. Coast Guard.
7. Point Robinson Light
Point Robinson is on the easternmost point of Maury Island. It was built in 1887 as a replica of the one on Alki, and has even been honored with its own spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
8. Mukilteo Light
This long-standing station has been on the east side of Possession Sound since 1906. As part of the Mukilteo Lighthouse Park, its grounds and interior are open for the public to explore.
9. Cape Flattery Light
If you go on a dreamy, half-hour
out to Cape Flattery (the northwestern-most point of the contiguous states), you'll be able to catch a glimpse of this old, historic lighthouse built in 1854. It's barely visible out on Tatoosh Island, but has been officially deactivated since 2008.
10. Patos Island Light
Since 1893, this remote lighthouse on Patos Island has been the northernmost in all of the San Juan Islands. It overlooks the Strait of Georgia, providing navigation for sailors traveling through Boundary Pass between the U.S. and Canada.
11. Grays Harbor Light
This towering lighthouse by Grays Harbor is easily recognizable. Standing at 107-feet, it's renowned as the tallest lighthouse in all of Washington, and also the 3rd tallest on the whole West Coast.
12. Turn Point Light
Turn Point's small lighthouse and fog station has helped navigate ships since 1934. It overlooks the Haro Straights on the western-most end of Stuart Island, right by the U.S. and Canadian border.
13. Cape Disappointment Light
Cape Disappointment Light has had a long history since it was built in 1856. Its fog horn has been difficult to hear over loud ocean waves, and there have been problems with its light not being visible from the north (which is why the North Head lighthouse was built). It still remains active though, and can be seen at the end of an easy forest hike, by way of the Cape Disappointment Trail.
14. Browns Point Lighthouse
Over time, Browns Point has seen three different structures overlooking Commencement Bay - built in 1887, 1903, and the most current in 1933. It's located in Browns Point Lighthouse Park, where there's a historic, three-bedroom lighthouse keeper's cottage you can even rent to stay in overnight.
15. Point Wilson
Point Wilson is thought to be one of the most important lighthouses in our state because of its prime location. It connects between Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and sits right where the strait turns into Admiralty Inlet. The lighthouse was first constructed in 1879, but was later on rebuilt in 1914 and remains on the National List of Historic Places.
16. Admiralty Head Light
Admiralty Head sits on Whidbey Island, also overlooking the beautiful Admiralty Inlet. It was first lit in 1903, but was later deactivated in 1922, and its lantern was moved to the New Dungeness Light.
Have you seen any of these lighthouses in Washington before? Which one is your favorite?