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Oregon Lighthouses

Guide to Oregon Lighthouses

By

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

© Betsy Malloy 2004
Built along the Oregon coast between 1870 and 1896, the Oregon lighthouses warned mariners of hazards along the state's rough and often rocky coast. Each of the Oregon lighthouses has unique characteristics, and a unique history. Most were automated in the 1960s, decommissioned or abandoned, but thanks to concerned citizens, they were not lost.

Today, seven of the nine surviving Oregon lighthouses are open to the public. They're listed below,if you can't visit the Oregon lighthouses in person or want to see what they look like before you go, take a photo tour of Oregon lighthouses.

Oregon Lighthouses You Can Visit

Listed in order, north to south, these Oregon lighthouses are all open to the public:
  • Cape Meares: A pretty little lighthouse with an unusual lens design
  • Yaquina Head: Nicely sited, with its original Fresnel lens still in use
  • Yaquina Bay: A somewhat unusual combination of house and lighthouse
  • Heceta Head: Queen Anne style architecture and the keepers' quarters a now a hotel
  • Umpqua River: The first lighthouse in Oregon territory
  • Coquille River: The last Oregon lighthouse to be built is now solar-powered
  • Cape Blanco: The westernmost Oregon lighthouse is also its longest continuously-operating beacon

Tips for Visiting Oregon Lighthouses

  • Take warm clothing. It can be as much as 7 to 10°F cooler at the beach around the Oregon lighthouses than on US 101 just a few miles away. The Oregon lighthouses are often in quite windy spots, with gusts up to 35 miles per hour. Secure your hats and anything else that could blow away.

  • Wear sturdy, enclosed shoes with non-slip soles if you plan to visit a lantern room at one of the Oregon lighthouses. You'll be climbing a narrow, metal, spiral staircase to get there.

  • Don't forget your camera. Oregon lighthouses are very photogenic.

  • Take a picnic. You'll find lots of beautiful spots where you can stop and enjoy it.

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