Situated right at the corner of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the entrance to Puget Sound at Admiralty Inlet, Point Wilson has long been a vital location for navigational aids for ships in the area. Early signals came in the form of bells that would ring out during the frequent episodes of fog that rendered the waters around the point all but unnavigable. The bell was upgraded to a steam whistle in 1879 with a Congressional appropriation, and lighthouse construction soon followed.
The current lighthouse and fog signal building were constructed in 1913. The 49-foot tower holds a fourth-order Fresnel lens that is monitored by the Coast Guard from Port Angeles. The original lighthouse served as a residence for keepers and Coast Guard personnel from 1914 to 2000, but now it sits vacant along with the remaining outbuildings surrounding the lighthouse. The state has not purchased the lighthouse and out buildings from the Coast Guard, so Point Wilson Lighthouse is not officially part of Fort Worden State Park. Nevertheless, the lighthouse grounds adjoin the park, and the lighthouse itself makes an ideal destination if you are up for a beach walk along the park's north shore or by the sound on Fort Worden Beach. On clear days you'll have spectacular views of Whidbey Island with the North Cascades in the distance. Be sure to bring a telephoto lens to capture the iconic perspective of the lighthouse with Mount Baker towering in the background.
The lighthouse is open for tours from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays from May through September.
In total, Point Wilson Lighthouse is one of 19 U.S. lighthouses still standing on the Puget Sound, not all of which are currently in use. The others include (from north to south):