5 Fascinating Facts about Washington Lighthouses

Lighthouses_1214New-Dungeness

By Nan Devlin

Photo at right: New Dungeness Lighthouse. Photo by binnur_gul (Flickr)

1. Getting to New Dungeness Lighthouse on the Olympic Peninsula is half the fun. Hike or kayak 5.5 miles along the natural spit and waterway that border the National Wildlife Refuge—home to many species of birds, and land and marine mammals. www.newdungenesslighthouse.com

Point No Point Lighthouse. Photo by Jan Tik

2. The oldest, continuously operating lighthouse in Puget Sound is Point No Point Lighthouse on the Kitsap Peninsula, built in 1879. www.pnplighthouse.com

Grays Harbor Lighthouse Photo by Dave Sizer

3. The tallest lighthouse in Washington State is Grays Harbor Lighthouse in Westport, built in 1898. www.westportwa.com/museum

North Head Lighthouse Photo by Dena Weigel Bell

4. North Head Lighthouse at the mouth of the Columbia River helped sailors navigate a treacherous area once known as the “Graveyard of the Pacific,” home to 2,000 shipwrecks. Please note: North Head Lighthouse is closed for construction through Nov. 15. www.northheadlighthouse.com

Swiftsure Lightship No. 83. Photo by Joe Mabel

5. Not all lighthouses are on land. The steam-powered Swiftsure Lightship No. 83 guided ocean-going vessels along water highways, and is now being restored on Seattle’s Lake Union. www.hnsa.org/ships/swiftsure.htm

Lighthouse restoration grants are made possible by the sale of Washington Lighthouse license plates. Visit www.KeepWaShining.org

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