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HIKE OF THE MONTH: Double Bluff Beach

Low tide is the ideal time for a Salish seaside stroll

One of the finest beach hikes on the Salish Sea, Double Bluff offers wide sandy shores, stunning Puget Sound scenery and easy accessibility. A favorite spot among Whidbey Islanders and their dogs, Double Bluff is also perfect for antsy children.
While Double Bluff’s beach can usually be hiked in all tides, low is preferable for revealing extensive tidal flats. The two-mile strand of beach spread before you is public property administered by Island County Parks, Washington State Parks and the Washington Department of Natural Resources. The towering bluffs and other surrounding uplands, however, are private property so please respect owners by not trespassing.
Double Bluff is one of the best leash-free dog areas on the sound. If you do not care to be around scores of free ranging canines, consider hiking elsewhere.
And while the beach is leash free—the county park where this hike begins requires a leash. So do not let Rover run free until you reach the state owned tidelands.
Then head west along sandy shoreline cupping Useless Bay. The shallow inlet may not have been much value to ancient mariners, but pelagic and shorebirds find it plenty valuable. Soon you’ll approach the first of the towering Double Bluffs. Among the highest coastal bluffs on Puget Sound, they exceed 300 feet in height.
Stare south to Mount Rainier and the Seattle skyline shimmering in the salty horizon. Look east to Mounts Baker, White Chuck, Pilchuck and Three Fingers. Continue wandering westward and watch a diorama of Olympic Peaks unfold before you. Eventually the beach grows rockier as you round Double Bluff.
Call it quits upon reaching the tidelands, beyond that are private. Then retrace your steps and enjoy this maritime wonderland all over again.

Try out this hike

Location: Whidbey Island

Land Agency: Island County Parks, Washington DNR

Roundtrip: 4.0 miles
Elevation gain: none

Notes: Dogs permitted on leash in park and off leash on beach

Directions: From the Mukilteo state ferry terminal take the ferry to Clinton on Whidbey Island. Continue north on SR 525 for 8.5 miles turning left onto Double Bluff Road (just before Milepost 17). Proceed for 2.0 miles to road end at Double Bluff Park and trailhead.

About the author
Craig Romano ( is an award-winning guidebook author. He has written more than 20 books on Northwest hiking destinations. 
Check out his new book “Urban Trails Everett” (Mountaineers Books) for detailed information on many other hikes in Western Snohomish County as well as on Whidbey and Camano Islands.



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