• Heceta Head Lighthouse has the strongest beam among all active Oregon lighthouses
Heceta Head Lighthouse is the historic 56-foot-tall light station that projects a beam visible for a distance of 24 miles, which is the strongest among Oregon Coast lighthouses. The white brick and stone building sits on a 1,000-foot high cliff towering over the incoming waves of the mighty Pacific Ocean. One of the eleven unique Oregon Coast Lighthouses, Heceta Head Light Station is located at Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint 12 miles north of Florence and 14 miles south of Yachats.
The area around the viewpoint was home to First people's tribes for hundreds of years as it was an amazing ground for both hunting and fishing. One of the first Europeans who visited this area in the late 18th-century was Bruno de Heceta, a Spanish explorer who gave the name to this headland. First European settlers started to move into this area in 1888, the same year the United States Lighthouse Service approved Heceta Head Light construction.
The crew of 56 workers participated in the creation of the lighthouse. Given the location of the construction site, materials were either brought by wagon from Florence or delivered by water if the tide and weather were right. In 1893 the construction of the lighthouse and keeper's quarters were complete. In 1963 the automated beacon was installed and it is still in service nowadays and can be visible for 21 nautical miles offshore. The keeper's quarters became a historic B&B with six rooms furnished with antiques where guests can enjoy their stay, unlike at any other place!
Heceta Head Scenic Viewpoint is a majestic place to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the Oregon Coast, watch sea lions socializing in the surf, stay at the historic B&B, or simply stop by to see the lighthouse after you visit Sea Lion Caves located nearby. If you visit this spot in May, you might see migrating gray whales who get very close to the coast during this time of the year.
To see this Pacific Northwest wonder, drive to the large parking area near the beach and hike 0.5 miles up to the lighthouse. The trail climbs 150 feet through a beautiful coastal forest with a few viewpoints on the way allowing to enjoy expansive ocean vista, and passes the last remaining on the Oregon Coast lightkeeper’s house. Viewpoints provide a chance to spot whales during their migrations from December through February and from March through May.
The lighthouse trail connects to the Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) just behind the light station. This 7-mile part of the OCT leads to Carl Washburne Beach and Campground.
A small pocket beach, Cape Cove Beach sits between two headlands and is easily accessible from the parking area. Cape Creek enters the ocean at the southern part of the beach. The beach is a perfect location for beachcombing while sheltered picnic tables let you enjoy a meal or a light snack with a refreshing ocean breeze.
Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint is a part of the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve.
Heceta Head Lighthouse | Facts
Tower Height: 56 feet (17 m)
Focal Height: 205 feet (62 m)
Location: Heceta Head Scenic Viewpoint
Open: From Memorial Day through Labor Day from Thursday through Sunday
Heceta Head Lighthouse is located:
- 12 miles north of Florence
- 14 miles south of Yachats
- 73 miles west of Eugene.
Directions to Heceta Head Lighthouse
- Travel 12 miles north on Highway 101 to the destination on the left between mileposts 178 and 179.
725 Summer St, Florence, Oregon 97439