DD- Wilkes Observatory Trail
Subfacility of City of DuPont Trails System
- Historical Marker/ Area
- Monument/ Memorial
- Natural Areas
- Street Parking
- Trail System
- Trail- Easy/ Moderate
- Trail- Gravel
- Trail- Less than 100 feet elevation change
- Wildlife Viewing
Difficulty: Easy/ Moderate
Distance: 1.25 Miles
Approximate Time: 25-35 Minutes
Total Elevation Change: 69 Feet
Trail Access: Off of Ridgeview Place. Northern-most end of Ridgeview Drive.
Running along the Western bluff averaging 200 feet above Puget Sound, the Wilkes Observatory Trail offers the best views of Puget Sound anywhere in DuPont. With a moderate decent near the beginning of the official trailhead, the trail is mostly straight with a steady ascent or descent grade until reaching the trail end at the Wilkes Observatory Marker. Naval Lieutenant Charles Wilkes led the United States Exploring Expedition of 1838-1842 where most of the artifacts collected in this venture helped spawn the creation of the Smithsonian Institution! Wilkes had an observatory in this area with the marker commemorating his accomplishments. You can learn more about "Captain" Wilkes at the DuPont Museum.
PLEASE NOTE: There are multiple trails that go off the main trail, including one that connects with the AA- Sequalitchew Creek Trail and others that run down the bluff to Puget Sound. The City of DuPont does not recommend use of these trails. These trails are not maintained by the city. Ground surrounding these trails is very unsteady and create an erosion risk. Use at your own risk.
RAILROAD TRACKS: Walking on, along, or over active railroad tracks when not at a designated crossing is not only illegal, it may pose serious risk. Do not do it. Learn more here at Operation Lifesaver : Rail Safety Education.
TIDE INFORMATION: The beach is an enjoyable place to visit, but it can also be pose a safety risk. The City of DuPont does not own the land surrounding the beach and some areas are within Federal and private property. Access these areas at your own risk. If you intend to venture into these areas, please consult the NOAA Tide Chart. If you do not understand tide charts, it is not recommended that you venture beyond the beach area near the trail.