Description - At 630 acres, Dungeness NWR has the world's longest natural sand spit that contains a quiet bay and harbor, as well as gravel beaches and tideflats. In these calm waters rich in marine life, wildlife find food, a place to rest, and protection from winds and pounding surf. Eelgrass beds in the bay and harbor provide food for Pacific black brant and a nursery for young salmon and steelhead. Tideflats teem with migrating shorebirds in spring and fall; flocks of waterfowl find food and rest in these protected waters during the winter.
- The refuge provides habitat for a wide diversity of wildlife species. Over 250 species of birds and 41 species of land mammals have been recorded on the refuge along with eight species of marine mammals. As many as 30,000 waterfowl stop briefly in the Dungeness area each fall on their journey south for the winter and again when they head north in the spring. Up to 15,000 waterfowl winter in the area. Approximately 8,000 black brant stage in the area during April. Shorebirds and waterbirds feed and rest along the water's edge and about 600 harbor seals haul out to rest and have their pups on the end of Dungeness and Graveyard Spits. The tideflats are home to crabs, clams and other shellfish, while several salmon species occur in the waters of Dungeness Bay and Harbor.
Recreation - Visitors will find crabbing, clamming, fishing, boating and horseback riding in season, and beachcombing activities at Dungeness NWR. Camping is available in the adjacent Dungeness Recreation Area.
Climate - The climate of Washington varies within each region. The Cascades split the state and alter the weather patterns. The mountains receive large amounts of wet, heavy snow from October through May. These peaks remain snow covered throughout the year. The terrain east of the mountains receives approximately 12 inches of rainfall per year, generally much less than west of the mountains. Since the area east of the mountains is landlocked, temperatures in this region are lower during the winter months. Frequent winds coming down from the mountains also contribute to the low temperatures of eastern Washington.
Due to the coastal geography, western Washington is primarily temperate. The proximity to the ocean stabilizes the climate, making extreme temperatures very rare. The area receives large amounts of precipitation from Pacific rain and snow storms.
The refuge is located north of U.S. Highway 101, west of Sequim. Turn north on Kitchen-Dick Road and continue 3 miles to Dungeness Recreation Area. Go through recreation area to the refuge parking lot. The required entrance fee is $3 per family daily, or admission with Federal duck stamp, golden eagle, golden age, or golden access passports.