Matt & Megan
Nude Beach Map. Visited 2023
Dogfish Beach is one of the best nude beaches in the Pacific Northwest. But judging by the scarce information online you definitely wouldn’t know it. Maybe locals like to keep it a secret and if that’s the case then we can definitely see why!
It is the only nude beach we’ve been to where the women outnumbered men significantly. There were probably 12 or so women and only 2-3 men on the beach when we arrived. Everyone was nude. Not sure if that is the case regularly but it goes to show how comfortable people are with this place. The friendly locals definitely know whats up and treat this beach amazingly. The beach is very well-kept with some homemade steps down to a sitting area with a garden and even a firepit. There was no trash to be seen when we visited and the place was impeccable. Because of the tidal flats the water is much warmer here compared to the rest of the Pacific Northwest. It was a great experience to leave the water and not freeze your butt off in May. Perfection. We haven’t even mentioned the sunset views across the bay!
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We arrived on a sunny weekend and struggled to find the trail. After some missteps we eventually made it to the railway line by following a much steeper trail that wasn’t mentioned anywhere online. It was overgrown, steep and dangerous – our mistake is your gain because we’ve made sure to provide very detailed instructions below. There are about 10 parking spots for the beach and surprisingly it wasn’t full when we visited on a hot afternoon. The trail further south is your best bet to get to the railway line, whereas the steep trail behind the rock wall requires using ropes and goes straight down the side of the mountain. Both trails take around 10-15mins.
Take extreme caution when you reach the railway line. Trains come roughly every 30mins and you can’t hear them approaching from the north around the blind corner, which means you have seconds to get off the tracks when the do come. Luckily the walk on the tracks is barely half a mile to the beach. Locals we met mentioned the close calls they’ve had and suggested walking on the beach side so that you can jump out of the way if need be. Freight trains are definitely super loud when you’re sitting on the beach and are the only thing that detract from the serene views in this part of the world.
The beach is rockier in the first section but offers more privacy. If you keep walking you’ll find a longer sandy beach where there is easier access to the water. On the afternoon we visited this section was popular with couples and dogs. Beach regulars will float in the tide around the point from beach to beach.. apparently it can be strong at certain times but on this afternoon it was a very leisurely float.
There are no bathrooms, vendors or facilities of any kind at Dogfish Beach. So bring all your essentials from nearby Fairhaven or Bellingham, we’d also suggest to keep it as light as possible to make the trip down the trail a little easier. Rocks on the beach can be gritty and sharp, most locals we met had heavy duty beach blankets and water shoes – which would have made our experience much more enjoyable. On the day that we visited someone cut their foot walking out to the beach, luckily a friendly beach regular had some Band-Aids and disinfectant on hand. It seems that this happens on the regular so they were prepared.
Dogfish Beach seemed to get busier approaching late afternoon, so we bet it is a vibe down here for sunset – especially with firepits and spectacular views. This beach is easily one of our favourites in the Pacific Northwest and a very different vibe compared to nearby Wreck Beach, which can get extremely busy on the weekend. It is definitely worth the trip to seek out this beach. Just be prepared for a hike, take extreme caution and respect the environment the beach regulars have created.
Questions? Comments? Add your thoughts or photos below!
Dogfish Beach is about a 10 minute drive from Fairhaven and then a 10-15 minute walk:
When you're heading south on Chuckanut Drive/SR-11, after passing Larrabee State Park, you'll spot a green sign welcoming you to Skagit County. Keep on the road for another 2 miles.
As you navigate the winding part of the highway, look out for a brown informational sign indicating "Scenic Point 1/3 mile". Just after this, there's a large pull-out and parking lot to your right (west).
Behind the cobblestone wall, you'll find a steep trail going straight down the hill. It's a bit challenging with ropes needed, so for an easier option, head south from the parking lot behind the guardrail. There you'll see a footpath leading you down to the tracks through the woods. This path is longer, but it's less strenuous and safer.
When you reach a "T" junction in the trail, notice the large red cedar tree on your right (see photo above). Follow the path that diverts to the right at this point, and it will wind its way down to the tracks.
Upon reaching the tracks, head north for about half a mile, where you'll find the beach around a curve. Be aware of trains and railroad workers, and do your best to avoid walking on the tracks.
If you're looking for a more secluded spot, there are a few private sections of the beach about another half mile north of the main area.
Please remember to stay safe, and avoid leaving any valuables in your car.