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Ebey's Landing

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Stroll across rolling emerald fields, climb coastal bluffs towering above crashing surf, and wander along a driftwood-strewn beach, gazing across busy coastal waters to a backdrop of snowcapped Olympic Mountains. And there's more! Prairie flowers, bald eagles, shorebirds, and historic relics. One of the finest coastal hikes in the Northwest, Ebey's Landing is one of Washington's most naturally diverse as well as historically significant places.

Rife with history as well as natural beauty, Ebey's Landing was named for Colonel Isaac Neff Ebey, who in the 1850s became one of the first non-Native settlers on Whidbey Island. The blockhouse he erected to defend his land claim from Native attacks still stands, looking above prairies that have been in continual agricultural use for over 150 years. Prominent in territorial affairs, Ebey was slain in 1857 by a band of Haidas seeking revenge for the killing of one of their own chieftains by settlers. The blockhouse, prairies, and much of the surrounding lands are now protected within a special unit of the National Park Service.

Starting from the Prairie Overlook, head west on a combination of trail and gravel road. At 0.5 mile pass a restored 1850s homestead that is slated to become a visitor center in the summer of 2009. Continue toward the sea across emerald lawns reminiscent of Ireland. At 1 mile reach a junction (elev. 150 ft). This is a lollipop loop. You'll be returning left. Head right climbing golden coastal bluffs lined with contorted firs and speckled with blossoms in the spring. Reaching heights of 270 feet, these are among the highest coastal bluffs in Washington.

Gaze out to the snowcapped Olympics, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Vancouver Island, and the San Juan Islands. Watch ferries and ocean vessels ply busy Admiralty Inlet. Look for majestic bald eagles perched in ghostly snags and notice the prickly-pear cactus growing on the sun-kissed slopes. Stare straight down at Peregos Lake, a lagoon bursting with shorebirds and formed by a narrow spit littered with giant drift logs.

Walk along the bluff crest for a good mile, coming to a junction with a short spur trail heading to an excellent viewpoint. Back on the main trail, steeply descend, coming to the trail's end at a wide beach of hard-packed sand and polished stones. Turn left and walk south along the beach, rounding the spit and reaching the Ebey's Landing Wayside at 4.25 miles.

Pick up the trail once again, climbing stairs back up the coastal bluff and reaching a familiar junction at 4.6 miles. Your vehicle can be retrieved one mile to the east. Head back or linger longer.
Driving Directions:

Take the Washington State Ferry from Mukilteo to Clinton on Whidbey Island. Continue north on State Route 525 for 19 miles to the junction with SR 20. Bear right onto SR 20 and continue for 5.5 miles to the town of Coupeville. At the traffic light, continue north on SR 20 for 0.8 mile, turning left onto Sherman Road. (From the north, the turnoff is 9 miles from Oak Harbor.) Proceed for 0.3 mile and turn right onto Cook Road. After another 0.3 mile reach the Prairie Overlook and trailhead (elev. 200 ft).

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 75 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Ebey's Landing — Apr 10, 2014 — Janice Van Cleve
Day hike
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Ebey's Landing is an incredible hike on a sunny day! We took Ebey road off of highway 20 all the wa...
Ebey's Landing is an incredible hike on a sunny day! We took Ebey road off of highway 20 all the way to the coast where there is ample parking and a regular concrete outhouse. The trail climbs some wooden stairs to the top of the bluff and skirts a farm field before ascending to the high bluffs. There is informative signage in several places.

The trail makes a 3.5 mile loop up over the edge of the bluffs and then return along the beach. Along the way is a large lagoon which is frequented by waterfowl. The trail itself is sandy soft on the feet and free of obstructions. However, it is narrow and very exposed along the steep slopes so the height-challenged folks might be hesitant.

On the other hand, the wide sweeping views are unparalleled. A stiff breeze delivers heady smell of the sea while the eyes feased on the Sound, Olympics, and islands.
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Ebey's Landing — Apr 05, 2014 — RunGentlyOutThere
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
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Walked, paused, walked, noted it was 55ºF, looked at humongous red beet picker-upper machine, walke...
Walked, paused, walked, noted it was 55ºF, looked at humongous red beet picker-upper machine, walked, paused at block house,--end of short paragraph 1.

Looked around for eagle I could hear--did not find, walked, paused, looked at butterfly-like flying things, went up a hill, paused for huffing and puffing (early spring fitness deficiencies?), walked to the end (see sign) -- end of short paragraph 2.

Went down the zigzaggy trail to the beach, paused, turned around, went back up the zigzaggy trail, paused (see huffing and puffing again), oh, never mind... look at the pictures: http://rungentlyoutthere.com/blurb/
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Ebey's Landing — Apr 02, 2014 — Bob and Barb
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
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We began our hike at the Prairie Overlook TH. The day was sunny, clouds were hiding the Olympics, an...
We began our hike at the Prairie Overlook TH. The day was sunny, clouds were hiding the Olympics, and there was a light wind which was cold as we began our hike but which later in the day felt good as we were warmed by the sun. Rather than hiking the beach to make a loop we returned to the TH on the bluff trail so we could again enjoy the beauty of the bluff and the activity in the waters below. We saw a few eagles soaring above. Oregon grape, popcorn flowers, yellow desert parsley, prairie stars, and early blue violets were flowers seen along the bluff trail. Many filaree, a few grape hyacinths, and a flower we haven't yet identified were growing in the homestead lawn.
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Ebey's Landing — Mar 24, 2014 — BigButtDon
Day hike
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A most welcome, easy hike after last week's debacle at Mt Si, this trail soothed the still aching bo...
A most welcome, easy hike after last week's debacle at Mt Si, this trail soothed the still aching bones of Geezer Patrol as we ambled along on a sunny day enjoying the marine views, birds and beaches. The takeoff point at the Sunnyside Cemetery provides a deathly quiet place to put on your boots with a nice view south across the verdant farmland now protected forever from the scourge of development as a historical preserve.
In .2 miles, you get to stop to admire one of Jacob Ebey's four blockhouses and the start of a .5 mile traverse to "the viewpoint" overlooking the beach. Then its uphill a hundred feet to the high bank walk to the north end of the lagoon several hundred feet below. Its a narrow trail on a very steep bank and all four of us rapidly determined there would be no stopping a tumble down the side. After too many stops for picture taking and "eagle whispering" to an immature baldy sitting in the trees, we hit the zig-zag path down to the beach.
From here, its about 2.5 miles of cobbled beach walking south to a public car access to the water. This a sweet place - just the sun and the lapping water with a mild breeze. The reverie was only briefly interrupted by a UFO sighting that might actually have been a stone carefully photographed to be something it wasn't.
A local told this was THE time to be out here as the crowds get intense on weekends and as the weather warms further. Do it now rather than later.
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Ebey's Landing — Feb 23, 2014 — DayhikingFool
Day hike
Issues: Water on trail
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Hiked the 3.5-mile loop from the visitors' center down along the beach and back up over the bluffs. ...
Hiked the 3.5-mile loop from the visitors' center down along the beach and back up over the bluffs. It was a rainy and snowy day, but still a beautiful enjoyable hike--a good choice for a late winter day when all the mountains would be socked in. The bluffs are really impressively high though, and we could see across Admiralty Inlet at least. Due to the rain, I suppose, the bluff trail developed a number of big puddles, but they weren't hard to walk around, and didn't bother us in our waterproof sneakers. Great afternoon hike. And we noticed the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry was still practically deserted this Sunday.
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ebey's landing by Shahid Durrani.jpg
This photo of Parego's Lagoon at Ebey's Landing is the December 2007 Photo by Shahid Durrani
Location
Puget Sound and Islands -- Whidbey Island
Statistics
Roundtrip 5.6 miles
Elevation Gain 260 ft
Highest Point 260 ft
Features
Coast
Mountain views
Wildlife
User info
Good for kids
Guidebooks & Maps
Best Hikes with Children in Western Washington & the Cascades by Joan Burton
Map: USGS Coupeville; Contact: Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve
(360) 678-6084
www.nps.gov/ebla;

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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