Cape Disappointment and North Head, Washington
Battery Point and St. George Reef, California
While these ligthouses are not in Oregon, two are visible from within the state’s borders and the other two are less than an hour’s drive.
Washington State’s oldest lighthouse, Cape Disappointment, has guarded the mouth of the mighty Columbia River since 1856. Its distinctive white and black stripes are visible from the oregon side of the river. It is now the oldest operational light on the West Coast.
Rising up from a jagged piece of rock three miles off the California coast just south of the state line, the St. George Reef lighthouse is a true marvel of engineering. It is the most expensive lighthouse built by the Lighthouse Service, taking ten years to complete. The St. George Reef lighthouse stands watch over a perticularly dangerous stretch of coast, filled with submerged rocks. In 1865 the coastal steamer Brother Jonathan went down in these waters, 166 lives lost and millions in gold sent too the bottom of the ocean.
The granite tower is being restored by a dedicated group from Crescent City. Each weekend they fly out by helicopter and work on Nine restoration flights have been accomplished to date, relocating the rebuilt lantern room, installing a new light powered by solar and wind energy, removing peeling paint, plaster and rotted flooring, upgrading electrical and plumbing systems, installing temporary hand rails, relocating damaged parts of the station, such as the access boom, to shore for restoration and display in a future museum.
Cape Disappointment lighthouse is located in Fort Canby State Park west of the town of Ilwaco. There is parking at the trailhead near the Coast Guard station, or you can follow the trail from the Fort Canby Interpretive Center.
The North Head lighthouse is also within Fort Canby State Park, and can be reached by following the signs on the park road.
Battery Point Lighthouse is loacted in Crescent City. Follow the signs from Highway 101. The island is only accesiable during low tides April through September. Tour hours vary.
St. George Reef lighthouse is accesible only by helicopter. To find out tour days or make a reservation, contact the St. George Reef Preservation Society at 707-464-8299 or visit their web site at www.stgeorgereeflighthouse.us/