9 Best Oregon Lighthouses

Numerous picturesque and notable lighthouses can be found along Oregon’s untamed, rugged coast. These frequently photographed landmarks are just a few of the many sights that travelers can see while traveling along Highway, the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway. Keep reading for the 9 Best Oregon Lighthouses.

Seven of the nine original lighthouses on the Oregon coast are accessible to the public, and the majority of them are still in use as navigational aids. You can stroll outside to see the lighthouses, go on a tour, or even go up the spiral staircase to get a close-up look at a Fresnel lens. If you visit lighthouses during the whale migration season, you may be in a prime location to see the enormous mammals along the coast.

There are also two privately constructed lighthouses that have been approved as official navigational aids by the US Coast Guard. Both are closed to the public.

1. Oregon lighthouses: Cape Meares Lighthouse

Cape Meares Lighthouse is one of the best Oregon lighthouses
Cape Meares Lighthouse is one of the best Oregon lighthouses

The Cape Meares Lighthouse is situated at the Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint on the Three Capes Scenic Loop, a coastal promontory close to the town of Tillamook. From May through September, the Cape Meares Lighthouse is open every day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. By calling Friends of Cape Meares Lighthouse, tours can be scheduled with at least three weeks’ notice. A paved trail that is wheelchair accessible leads to the lighthouse. The first-order lens, the largest Fresnel lens, is visible from the lantern room, but it is no longer in use because a nearby tower now has an even brighter light that helps with navigation from Cape Meares.

Lighthouse and marine life-themed items can be found in the gift shop at Cape Meares, which is open Thursday through Sunday.

Interpretive trails take visitors along the picturesque cliffs and through the woods to see the “Octopus Tree” at the Cape Meares Lighthouse, which is tucked away among the spruce. National Wildlife Refuge and Scenic Viewpoint at Cape Meares

2. Oregon Coast Lighthouses: Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Yaquina Head Lighthouse - 9 Best Oregon Lighthouses
Yaquina Head Lighthouse

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Oregon’s tallest lighthouse, is one of many fantastic attractions in the town of Newport, Oregon, along with a fantastic aquarium and an iconic bridge. The Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, includes this lighthouse.

Visit the Yaquina Head Interpretive Center to watch a movie about the intertidal life on the Oregon Coast and the Yaquina Lighthouses. Additionally, you will discover how Fresnel lighthouse lenses operate.

In the summer, the lighthouse is accessible for tours from 12 to 4 p.m. The original lens is still present on this operational lighthouse, but the light has been automated.

3. Heceta Head Lighthouse

Heceta Head Lighthouse - oregon lighthouses
Heceta Head Lighthouse

At the Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint, Heceta Head Lighthouse is situated north of Florence. The rotating beam from this 56-foot high lighthouse, which shines 22 miles out to sea, is still the strongest on the Oregon Coast.

The assistant keeper’s quarters and the lighthouse are open for daytime tours every Thursday through Sunday from Memorial Day through Labor Day. On specific dates, the public can take evening tours.

The lightkeeper’s residence houses an interpretive center, and the generator room houses a gift shop. Every morning of your stay, a seven-course gourmet breakfast is served at the former home of the assistant keepers (now known as Heceta House), the Heceta Lightstation Bed and Breakfast.

A network of trails in the Siuslaw National Forest’s Cape Perpetua Scenic Area offers breathtaking views of the rugged seacoast, its wild inhabitants, and the lighthouse. Heceta Head Lighthouse, one of Oregon’s most popular tourist destinations, is renowned for being the most photographed lighthouse in the country.

4. Cleft of the Rock Lighthouse

Cleft of the Rock Lighthouse
Cleft of the Rock Lighthouse

This privately owned lighthouse, which is close to Cape Perpetua, was constructed in 1976 by lighthouse expert Jim Gibbs. The lighthouse is not accessible to the general public and is located on a bluff on private property.

The lighthouse and residence is an official private aid to navigation with a light that can be seen more than 16 miles out to sea and is based on the architectural plans for a Canadian lighthouse, Vancouver Island’s Fiddle Reef Light.

5. Oregon lighthouses: Umpqua River Lighthouse

Umpqua River Lighthouse - 9 Best Oregon Lighthouses
Umpqua River Lighthouse

The picturesque Umpqua River Lighthouse is located in Oregon’s Umpqua Lighthouse State Park, beyond Cape Arago. The beacon’s first-order lens, which has 25 lenses total and 6 red lenses among them, is particularly stunning at night; the alternating white and red beams are particularly fascinating when viewed through fog.

In the former Coast Guard Administration Building, there is a visitor center and museum called the Coastal Visitor Center & Museum. The Douglas County Parks Department manages the lighthouse and adjacent museum and offers daily tours from May through September.

In addition to the Umpqua River Lighthouse, there are special recreational opportunities to enjoy among Oregon’s coastal sand dunes. The state park’s full-service campground and RV park offer yurt and cabin camping. Along the river’s and Lake Marie’s shores, there are also opportunities for fishing, picnics, and day hikes.

6. Oregon lighthouses: Coquille River Lighthouse

Coquille River Lighthouse
oregon lighthouses: Coquille River Lighthouse

Just to the north of Bandon, in Bullard’s Beach State Park, is the Coquille River Lighthouse. The smallest lighthouse on the Oregon coast is the Coquille River Lighthouse, which was in use from 1896 to 1939. The lighthouse is located right on the water’s edge but needs some preservation work. There are volunteer-led tours of the lantern room available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from May through October.

The Coquille River Lighthouse is close to a variety of outdoor and beach recreation opportunities in addition to the lighthouse and gift shop. A full-service campground with RV hookups, a horse camp, yurts, cabins, tepees, and covered wagons is available at the state park.

7. Cape Blanco Lighthouse

Cape Blanco Lighthouse - 9 Best Oregon Lighthouses
Cape Blanco Lighthouse

Only a few miles separate Cape Blanco Lighthouse from Port Orford. The cliff-top building, which is the state’s oldest active lighthouse, is situated at Oregon’s westernmost tip. The oldest continuously operating light on the Oregon coast, this beacon has been in use since 1870 and has saved numerous mariners from sinking on the rocky shores of Cape Blanco.

A full-service campground with yurts, cabins, and RV hookups is available at the park. In addition to hiking trails, the state park also offers fishing, bird watching, and picnicking as recreational activities.

8. Cape Arago Lighthouse

Cape Arago Lighthouse
Cape Arago Lighthouse

The first Cape Arago Lighthouse was constructed in 1866, and a second one was constructed in 1908, both of them close to the entrance to Coos Bay. The lighthouse that you can see today, constructed in 1934, is the third to stand in that spot. The 44-foot lighthouse is currently maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard and is not accessible to the general public due to the walkway’s poor state.

The fourth-order Fresnel lens was automated in 1996, and a contemporary beacon has taken its place. From a turnout a half-mile south of Sunset Bay State Park, you can see the lighthouse.

9. Pelican Bay Lighthouse

Pelican Bay Lighthouse
Pelican Bay Lighthouse

Pelican Bay Lighthouse, another privately constructed light, is located on a bluff 141 feet above the Chetco River. The Pelican Bay Lighthouse in Oregon, which has a fixed Fresnel lens and is owned by a family with a history of lighthouse keepers, has been designated a private aid to navigation by the Coast Guard. There is no public access to the house or light.

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