• Cape Blanco Lighthouse is the oldest, windiest, and westernmost light station
The most westerly and southerly as well as the oldest continually operating light station in the state, Cape Blanco Lighthouse is situated four miles north of Port Orford. Cape Blanco itself is the westernmost point of Oregon and the second-most westerly point of the United States after Cape Alava in Washington.
Jutting 1.5 miles out into the Pacific Ocean, the headland is often exposed to strong winds. Most of the time, wind blows about 20 miles per hour (mph) but during the winter storms, it can reach 100 mph. During the Columbus Day Storm in October 1962, the gale brought deadly winds up to 180 mph.
Constructed in 1870, the lighthouse is 59 feet high and towers 245 feet above sea level. In clear weather, the beam can be visible as far as 23 nautical miles out, warning ships away from dangerous reefs. In 1980, it became fully automated. You can enjoy the lighthouse tour which takes you all the way to the lantern room. The tour lasts around 20 minutes and required climbing 63 spiraling steps to the top.
Cape Blanco and its surrounding area feature over 400 years of recorded history starting from Captain Martin D’Aguilar of Spain visiting the cape in 1603 and naming it Blanco which means “white” in Spanish.
The lighthouse ground is a part of Cape Blanco State Park that was established in 1971 after purchasing land from Joseph N. Hughes. Hughes‘s family owned a 2,000-acre dairy farm that bordered the lighthouse property and extended to the Sixes River.
Built in 1898, the Victorian-style Hughes House is standing not far from the light station overlooking the Sixes River mouth.
Both historic Hughes House and the Cape Blanco Lighthouse were placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The park offers a 150-acre horse riding area and over eight miles of hiking trails leading to the beach. The south beach that is featured by the towering Needle Rock is accessible by a trail from the parking area. There are a few other trails to the Sixes River Beach which stretches northward from Cape Blanco to the river.
Take one or all of the possible routes and enjoy the beauty of the Oregon Coast!
The campground has 52 electrical sites with water, 4 standard cabins, a horse camp, a group camp, and hiker/biker camps. There are flush toilets, hot showers, and firewood for sale. Six sites and one of the cabins are accessible.
Cape Blanco Lighthouse | Facts
Open: Year-round for day use
Amenities: Exhibit information, picnic area, and restrooms
Activities: Hiking, tidepool exploring, rockhounding, wildlife watching, horse riding, and lighthouse tour
Day-use fees: None
Usage: Moderate to high
Accommodations: Cape Blanco State Park Campground & Cabins
Cape Blanco Lighthouse is located:
- 9 miles north of Port Orford
- 106 miles southwest of Roseburg
- 170 miles southwest of Eugene.
From Port Orford,
- Travel 4 miles north on Highway 101 to Cape Blanco Road between milepost 296 and 297
- Turn left (west) onto Cape Blanco Road and continue 5 miles to the destination.
The last 0.25 miles portion of the road to the light station is open for pedestrian traffic only.