“One of America's tallest lighthouses”
Perched on a cliff on the central California coast, 50 miles south of San Francisco, the 115-foot Pigeon Point Lighthouse, one of the tallest lighthouses in America, has been guiding mariners since 1872. Its five-wick lard oil lamp, and first-order Fresnel lens, comprised of 1,008 prisms, was first lit at sunset, November 15, 1872. The lens stands 16 feet tall, 6 feet in diameter, and weighs 8,000 pounds. It sits in a lantern room that had been constructed at the Lighthouse Service's general depot in New York before being shipped around the Horn. Although the original Fresnel lens is no longer in use, the lighthouse is still an active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation using a 24 inch Aero Beacon. Temporary Closures The lighthouse is currently closed to the public, but the grounds remain open. In December 2001, a section of the cornice on the exterior of the lighthouse fell off. The lighthouse will remain closed until the structure can be restored. The lighthouse may still be viewed from the grounds. For current updates, call the park hotline at 650-879-2120. Tours Half hour guided history walks around the lighthouse grounds are available 10am to 4pm Friday through Monday, except on rainy days. The lighthouse keeper's housing is restored and operated as a Hostel. The coastal areas surrounding Pigeon Point Light Station are rich with life. Marine mammals, such as seals and whales, can be seen regularly from shore as they pass by beyond the surf. The intertidal zone along this part of the coast, particularly in the rocky reefs that flank the light station, contains a diverse and numerous variety of plant and animal life. From the boardwalk behind the fog signal building, watch for gray whales on their annual migration between January and April. Walk through the tidepool area, 100 yards north of Pigeon Point. Explore Pescadero Marsh, the feeding and nesting place for more than 150 species of birds, and Año Nuevo State Park, the breeding site of northern elephant seals.
Lordy! Twas my first time at a light house (nuts I know for living so close to the coast) but I was very excited and this is such a sweet location for a little drop off highway 1. Breath taking views of the ocean and seals that seem to chill near the light house. It's in the process of potentially being restored so you couldn't go in it, but the outside was still very satisfying. Bonus! It's also a hostel, which I thought was so clever. Adorable little houses right next to the light house!
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Pigeon Point Lighthouse & Hostel
- Sun - Sat: 7:30 am - 10:30 pm
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