I have taken many trips to the Oregon Coast but only once did I mainly go to capture photos of this amazing landscape. I wanted to capture the coast and the landscape, and it seemed to me that along this stretch of coast this light house kept getting in my photos so I took the time to see it. This amazing light house is on a point that extends out into the coastline and it becomes so obvious why they provided safe passage for the ships that traveled the coastal waters.
Built in the year 1872. once inside the trip to the top is 114 steps. Once upon a time It was lit by hand by the head keeper Fayette Crosby. The first time she lit this powerful beacon was on August 20th 1873. Now it’s automatic but to really appreciate it you would have to go back in time or stop in and learn more at the Interpretive Center.
When you stand at the base of this amazing building and you look out at the Pacific Ocean you are hit with the ocean breeze and the sound of hundreds of the birds that own the skies around. When it’s lit you realize that this beam travels out for miles.
Originally the light came from an oil lamp that had wicks they would trim daily. The original source of fuel was lard and then later lamp oil. These burning wicks have been replaced with a 1000 watt Bulb. The light house could be seen they say as far away as 22 miles. The last light house keeper left in 1966 in early May when it all became automated.
The transition started in 1936 when an electric bulb replaced the oil lamps. The original team trimmed the wicks and polished the amazing Fresnel lens. The lighthouse was accompanied by a Barn and a two story residence for the staff as well as an outbuilding.
Lighthouses majestic like this one may not be the main source of navigation for those powering down the coast with their GPS navigation. They remind us of the past and that we live in an amazing time. I for one could not imagine this stretch of beach without this tower of white pointing up and wonder the stories told of storms and ships saved by it’s light.
Birds have taken over this point and drones are not allowed but photographers and visitors are welcome. Over 300,000 visitors visit Yaquina Head each year.
Over 50,000 birds nest on this head land and out on the flat top rocks out in the surf. My favorite part of the visit was getting to answer photography questions as people came down this path that runs down the side of the road that leads to this parking area.
This amazing vista can be found just outside of Newport on the Oregon Coast. These Headlands contain 100 acres that were dedicated as an outstanding Natural Area in 1980.
The Bureau of Land Management manages the Yaquina Head preserve. The preserve is complete with four trails:
- Lighthouse Trail - .35 mile
- Sala Hill Trail - .8 miles
- Communication Hill Trail - .85 miles
- Quarry Cove Trail - .55miles
This area also has two beaches and they are very different. Quarry Cove’s shoreline is very protected and sandy. It is also great for kids to view birds. Cobble Beach is rocky and has all the sea life that makes exploring incredible. You can visit the town close by and whale watch in Depot Bay. We took this photo of a whale just a few minutes from the Light House.
So with amazing beaches and a lighthouse, amazing photographic vistas should keep you amazed as you visit this amazing vacation destination.
This trail map comes with your entrance fee that cost me $7.00 for a carload and was good for two days. The lighthouse is open from 10-4 daily and closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you would like to stop in at the Interpretive Center you can see a life size replica of the Lighthouse lantern.