Try This Trail: Ebey’s Landing
Whidbey Island's little spit is a (sometimes) dry winter wonderland.
Trail Name: Ebey’s Landing
Distance: 5.6 miles round trip
Walk across emeralds fields to golden bluffs that tower above the surf, then wander along a beautiful beach and gaze at the snowcapped Olympic Mountains. As the home of 1850s homesteads, abundant birds, and maritime beauty, Ebey’s Landing offers some of the best hiking on Puget Sound.
Chances are good that you’ll stay dry, thanks to the Olympic Mountains rain shadow. You're on a lollipop loop—the "stem" is the beginning and ending of the hike—that captures the full essence of the 17,572-acre reserve. Follow the trail one mile west across rolling lawns to a junction. Then head right climbing lofty coastal bluffs. Stare straight down at Perego’s Lake, a lagoon full of shorebirds that was formed by a narrow spit.
Walk along the bluff crest for one mile before steeply descending to a wide beach. Turn left and walk along the shore, rounding the spit and picking up trail again at the Ebey’s Landing Wayside. Climb back up the bluffs to reach a familiar junction at 4.6 miles. Retrace your way right back to the trailhead.
Watch For: Prickly pear cacti on south facing slopes.
Getting there: Follow I-5 north to Exit 181. Drive north on SR 525 to the Mukilteo–Clinton ferry to Whidbey Island. After the ferry, continue north on SR 525 for 19 miles. Bear right onto SR 20, continuing 5.5 miles to traffic light in Coupeville. Proceed on SR 20 for another 0.8 mile and turn left onto Sherman Road. After 0.3 mile, turn right onto Cook Road and reach Prairie Overlook trailhead in another 0.3 mile.
Craig Romano is the author of eight hiking books, including Winter Hikes of Western Washington.