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Ebey's Landing

Puget Sound and Islands

Location

Puget Sound and Islands -- Whidbey Island
View map below

Length

5.6 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 260 ft.
Highest Point: 260 ft.

Rating

4.25 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
Hikers are asked to hike Ebey's Landing as a one-way loop temporarily, as it is difficult to maintain physical distance on sections of the trail
 
 

Perched on a bluff overlooking majestic Puget Sound is the unique acreage of Ebey’s Landing. In addition to the Bluff Trail, visitors can experience the seaport town of Coupeville, observe working farms, and get their fill of wildlife viewing, all in a tiny National Park on Whidbey Island.

There are two ways to access the Bluff Trail – either from the Prairie Overlook trailhead by the Sunnyside Cemetery, or from the seaside parking lot at the end of Ebey’s Landing Road. Hikers who want to enjoy a short beachside ramble would do well to begin at the parking lot off Ebey’s Landing Road, while those who want a bit more of a hike should start from the Prairie Overlook. Keep in mind that both routes do take hikers through private property, so be respectful of property lines.

The Prairie Overlook Trailhead has two parking lots.  If you park in the lot across from the cemetery, take a moment to enjoy the view laid out in front of you. Mount Baker rests on the horizon to the east and other Cascade peaks march away to the south. To the west, the Olympics loom large over Puget Sound. Take the view in, then take a narrow, brushy, but thankfully short access trail along the driveway to the larger parking lot with trailhead kiosk and vault toilets. A sign here points west to the Prairie Ridge Trail which will pass by the historic Jacob Ebey house and blockhouse on your way to the bluff. Stay on the clearly marked route, walking past fields of wheat along the road. The way becomes more rugged as you head due west, changing from gravel to dirt, drawing you ever closer to the coast. If you want to add a little mileage, take the Pratt Loop trail from the east side of the parking lot.  This trail takes you along the edge of the prairie to the old Pratt sheep barn and machine shed then into the woods where you may hear the rustle of quail or bunnies in the bushes.  After 1 mile, join the Prairie Ridge trail that will take you to the bluff or loop back to the lot for a total of 1.3 miles.

At the end of the Prairie Ridge Trail, you will come to a ‘T’ junction, where you can follow the trail either right or left. Take a right and head up a somewhat steep, but very short hill to a summit with a beautiful view of the beach below. From here, traverse along the bluff, enjoying the wildflowers on the slope to your left and the windswept trees to your right. The trail gradually descends along the bluff, offering an ever-changing perspective of the lagoon below, a birdwatchers haven. Hike until you come to a switchback, and descend steeply through several switchbacks to the beach. Ramble south along the beach until you arrive at the junction with the Ebey’s Landing parking lot.

Restrooms and informative brochures are available here, and note that if you start from this parking lot, a Discover Pass is required. Take a moment to learn about the history of the area before climbing two sets of stairs back up to the prairie.

Head north along the prairie to the junction you started at, and the turn right to return to the Prairie Overlook parking lot the same way you came. Be aware that there are stinging nettles on the brushy access trail on your return to the car – long pants and keeping an eye out will help prevent irritation from these little guys.

WTA Pro Tip: Be sure to stop at Kapaws Iskreme on Front Street in Coupeville on the way back from your hike. This quaint ice cream shop is generous in their portions, and it’s delightful to walk down to the wharf with your cone to see more beautiful views of Mount Baker.

 

Ebey's Landing

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.2049, -122.7060 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Puget Sound and Islands -- Whidbey Island

Washington State Parks, Nature Conservancy, National Park Service

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Best Hikes with Children in Western Washington & the Cascades by Joan Burton

Day Hiking: Central Cascades (Romano -- Mountaineers Books)

Map: USGS Coupeville

Contact: Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve - (360) 678-6084

www.nps.gov/ebla

Download a map to plan your hike

Getting There

From Mukilteo, take the ferry over to Clinton. Be aware that there is a toll associated with the ferry. Head north on SR-525 for 19 miles to a junction with SR-20. Continue straight on for approx. 5 miles to the town of Coupeville, and continue north on SR-20 for approx. 1 mile. Turn left onto Sherman Road and continue until you reach a right turn for Cook Road. Drive to the end of Cook Road to the Prairie Overlook trailhead, located directly across from a cemetery.

Note that hikers are asked to hike this trail as a one-way loop for now. See a map of the requested route.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
Hikers are asked to hike Ebey's Landing as a one-way loop temporarily, as it is difficult to maintain physical distance on sections of the trail
 

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Ebey's Landing

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