Oregon Lighthouses

Oregon Lighthouses are all up or down the coast. However you want to arrange your trip! You can't go wrong traveling this seacoast for its views, its "ahoy matey" ambiance, the natural settings, and the relaxing spots to pull over to have a picnic or learn a little history. We'll help you see your options.

Lighthouse on the Oregon coast, with a black sand beach and ocean wavesScenic Oregon Coastal Lighthouses - You Can't Go Wrong!

Get comfy, cause there's a lot to decide, and sort out!

  • Try to see them all on a whole summer's tour? 
  • Choose one for a stay, then visit some of the others close by? 
  • Pick a few that really appeal to you? 
  • Go for the ones that have museums involved? 
  • Decide on a theme, and visit those Oregon lighthouses.

See what we mean? What other ways can you figure out to designate the lighthouses in Oregon that are on your travel list? We'll just start going over them, and you'll decide!

What are the options:



North Coast Beacons

  • U.S. Lightship Columbia - WLV-604. Lightships were nicknamed Ships That Went Nowhere. But they served an important purpose, placed where lighthouses couldn't be placed! Lightships were assigned numbers to ease record-keeping problems.7 We Recommend A Visit>
  • Tillamook Rock - Seeing this one could be a bit scary in some ways. Why?

  • Yaquina Head Lighthouse - Under the Bureau of Land Management, this is a beautifully rugged area with Oregon's tallest lighthouse. The grounds open at 8am, closing at sunset. 45 minute lighthouse tours offered when conditions allow [call to reserve: (541)574-3100]. Located on Oregon's Central Coast, at the North end of Newport. Off Hwy. 101, take Lighthouse Drive, turning left to Yaquina Head. Directional signs are on the highway.

  • Yaquina Bay Lighthouse - A Cape Cod style lighthouse in Yaquina Bay State Park. Considered the most historic building in Newport Oregon. Visit any day July thru Sept. Otherwise closed Mon. & Tues. Oct. to June, & the 3 major holidays. A donation is asked. More details at (541)265-5679.
  • Warrior Rock Lighthouse - It isn't on the Pacific Coast, but after boats travel in from the coast along the Columbia River. But you'll want to know the history, as unique as The light>
  • Cape Meares Lighthouse - Here's the shortest of Oregon lighthouses in Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint. Only 38 ft. tall, but on a 217 ft. cliffside. The light began Jan. 1890, helping mariners plot their course. A fabulous park to visit, allowing so many transfixing seascapes within range. Tower access only via tour. To schedule, call Friends of Cape Meares Lighthouse (503-842-2244) at least 3 weeks prior. [Hours: 11am-3pm, April thru Oct.]5


Central Oregon Lighthouses

  • Umpqua River Lighthouse - The original was Cape Cod style constructed in 1857 as watch for Pacific entry to the Umpqua River. Oregon's first beacon! But not to last. Two storms led to its toppling over in 1864. A new one, the one seen today, built in 1892.3 You can take a tour to climb to the top, when a guide is available - May thru Oct. During which you get a glimpse of its unique red & white prism. A Great Trip to do. For more info: (541) 271-4631
  • Haceta Head Lighthouse - A dramatic photographic view, 1000 ft. atop this cliffside. Strongest Oregon lighthouse beacon on the coast. Off Hwy. 101 North of Florence. Other features are 
    1. The keeper's home B&B [call (866)547-3696 to inquire]
    2. Park ranger led tours start 11am, include grounds & tower base
    3. Stunning wildlife area includes tons of birding plus whale watching
    4. Haceta Lighthouse Trail gets you to the beach, and the Washburne Campground, plus connects to the Oregon Coast Trail
  • Coquille River Lighthouse - See this one in Bullards Beach State Park. Go to the end of the Beach Rd. The tower can't be entered, but the signal room is open for visitors 11am to 5pm mid-May thru Sept. The Park is just North of Brandon. An ideal visit, with over 100 sites, 13 yurts, horse & hikers/bicyclists camps. Many day use facility areas. More details: (541)347-2209
Coquille River Lighthouse Poster, shows the lighthouse along the river in Bullards Beach State Park in Oregon
  • Cape Arago Lighthouse - Though quite known, very popular, well photographed - it's not open for public tours, is located alone, on an island! On Chief's Island at Point Gregory, it's private property. Guarding Coos Bay, it was once a very valuable light. See it from many vista points near Charleston. One best route is taking Cape Arago Hwy. Why not Download the Cape Arago Loop Route>
  • Cleft of the Rock - Another private Oregon lighthouse. On a bluff of Cape Perpetua, Jim Gibbs built his home attached to this lighthouse in 1976. It's an official aid to navigation, seen at least 16 miles out. Jim's a retired U.S. Coastguardsman, and former lighthouse keeper. Now an author and Pacific Coast Lighthouse expert. Though you can't visit, get a view. Drive 1-1/2 miles south of Yachats on Highway 101, look for Milepost 166.5


Southern Lighthouse Tour
Oregon Coast

  • Cape Blanco Light Station - This has the title of the most westerly and the oldest continually operating of all Oregon lighthouses. See her story:

  • Pelican Bay Lighthouse - Privately owned. And we thought we were lighthouse devotees! You gotta Read This Story>


Distinct / Unusual Oregon Lighthouses


  • Warrior Rock Lighthouse - Not on the coast at all, but this Oregon Lighthouse guides mariners. The danger is a bedrock reef jutting into the Columbia River from Sauvier Island. It's the smallest of all Oregon lighthouses. The building began in 1889 with wooden construction. Keeper's quarters on the bottom floor. Replaced with more practical concrete tower in 1930. You can't enter, but visit the grounds via a 3 mile Trail off Reeder Rd.

Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Columia RiverWarrior Rock Lighthouse
  • Tillamook Rock Lighthouse - Offshore on the northern coast. This Oregon lighthouse is unique because it now serves as a grave-site of sorts. Called a columbarium, a place for depositing ashes of those who've been cremated. It was decommissioned in 1951.1 The Rock island is within a National Wildlife Refuge. Their rules state: "All coastal rocks and islands are off-limits, and all watercraft should stay at least 500 feet away."2


  • U.S. Lightship Columbia - Authentic maritime history in Astoria in this invigorating, scenic town on the Columbia River. Originally stationed at the river's mouth, guidance for the Pacific Ocean's treacherous Columbia River bar. Following three others, this was the final lightship to serve the area. It worked 29 years beginning in 1951. When decommissioned, its replacement was a navigational buoy. It's now harbored under the auspices of the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Check out the waterfront area to see her mooring. You can visit her, see her workings, imagine being one of her crew! Step aboard! Normally open 9:30am to 5pm.


  • Pelican Bay Lighthouse - Something different on a few levels. Details are: 4,6 
    1. Bill and Jo Ann Cady are the private owners. Self-built. Bill's father was formerly a California lighthouse keeper. 
    2. It's an add-on to his house, scanning Brookings Harbor, 45 ft. up. It's in Brookings Harbor that you can view it.
    3. Mr. Cady received permission to have the lens recognized as an aid to navigation in 1999 - seen for 11 miles, dusk to dawn
    4. The most southerly of all Oregon lighthouses. 
    5. It's the newest Oregon lighthouse, built in 1990.


References

1 Jones, R. (2013). The lighthouse encyclopedia. Guilford, Connecticut.: Globe Pequot Publications

2 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (2017, July 19). Rules and Regulations. Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Retrieved from fws.gov/refuge/Oregon_Islands/visit/rules_and_regulations.html

3 Anderson, K. (2001-2020) Umpqua River Lighthouse. Welcome to Lighthouse Friends. Retrieved from lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=130

4 Neal (2012, June 24) Pelican Bay Lighthouse, Brookings, Oregon. Neal's Lighthouse Blog. Retrieved from nealslighthouses.blogspot.com/2012/06/pelican-bay-lighthouse-brookings-oregon.html

5 Oregon Coast Visitors Association (n.d.) Lighthouses. What to Do on the People's Coast. Retrieved from visittheoregoncoast.com/lighthouses/

6 Sparks, J. (2018, June 13). Pelican Bay Light. Oregon Hikers: A service of Trailkeepers of Oregon. Retrieved from oregonhikers.org/field_guide/Pelican_Bay_Light