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Monroe Landing Low Tide Trail

Puget Sound and Islands > Whidbey Island
48.2340, -122.7319 Map & Directions
Length
7.0 miles, one-way
Elevation Gain
30 feet
Highest Point
30 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Easy/Moderate
The wide-open beach at low tide makes this route an inviting walk. Photo by Mike Morrison. Full-size image
  • Mountain views
  • Coast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

A very rocky hike with breaks of sandy beach along a beautiful coast that's full of marine life between the towns of Oak Harbor and Coupeville on Whidbey Island. Continue reading

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Hiking Monroe Landing Low Tide Trail

A very rocky hike with breaks of sandy beach along a beautiful coast that's full of marine life between the towns of Oak Harbor and Coupeville on Whidbey Island.

Be sure to do this trail at low tide or within one to two hours of low tide -- to find the best information, check the Penn Cove tide tables before going.

Hiking at high tide can leave you stranded near a please hike at low tide. From the gravel parking lot, walk slightly down the embankment across a little stream at low tide and on to the spit. This area is part of Penn Cove Bay and Ebey's National Historical Reserve. It is also called Grasser's Lagoon. 

As you hike out the spit you will gradually veer left in a northerly direction along the coast toward San De Fuca Pier. This area can be rough; take your time and find the smoothest path along this rocky beach. While it can be trying due to the rock, a break awaits you in about 1.2 miles at Monroe Landing with a nice sandy beach.

Once around the bend from Monroe Landing, the cliffs soar higher overhead, making it nearly impossible to climb up over them should the tide come in. You'll either go back here, or if you've determined you have enough time, keep moving forward for the last 3.5 miles to Oak Harbor. Along this area you will see many bald eagles in the trees above. You may even catch some of them diving for fish. 

About 4 miles from the trailhead, you get a glimpse of Oak Harbor in the distance just after you past the largest boulder along this section of the beach. Big as a garage, this monolith is truly impressive, and nature's noticed, too. You may spot an eagle's nest atop it. Of course, do not approach the nest; it's best to admire wildlife from a distance.

At the boulder is a great place for a lunch break, since behind it you'll find some shade. From here, you can watch the boats leaving Oak Harbor bay for fishing and sailing. 

A small bootpath leading up from the beach through the neighborhood of Oak Harbor makes it possible to do this hike as a traverse. But if you're not getting a pickup at the other end, be sure that your outing here leaves you enough time to recross that beachy section near the cliffs before the tide comes in.

WTA Pro Tip: Island County Transit does have a free bus system at Flintstone Park on SE Bay Shore Drive about a half a mile from here that you can catch back to your car. 

Hike Description Written by
Mike Morrison, WTA Correspondent

Monroe Landing Low Tide Trail

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.2340, -122.7319 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

Driving directions

The trail starts along side Highway 20 on Whidbey Island. Halfway between the City of Oak Harbor and the City Coupeville. Park between Madrona Way and Zylstra Road. There is no sign just a circular gravel driveway to park at and a portable privy. Do not park on Highway 20.

take transit

Take the bus to the trailhead! Plan your trip by bus using TOTAGO.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Puget Sound and Islands > Whidbey Island

Island County

Guidebooks & Maps

https://www.nps.gov/ebla/planyourvisit/upload/050514-Trails-Map.pdf

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Monroe Landing Low Tide Trail

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