Yaquina Head Lighthouse & Tour
The Yaquina Head Lighthouse is peached on a rocky outcrop just north of Newport, Oregon. The beautiful whitewashed 93 foot tower has been in continuous use for the last 144 years. This week, we take you on a tour of the inside of the lighthouse, learn its history, and help you plan your visit.
The Yaquina Head Lighthouse is a beautiful 93 foot tall whitewashed lighthouse sitting on a rocky outcrop in Newport Oregon. The activities here are a unique cooperation – the Bureau of Land Management owns the land, and the non-profit Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses operates the tours.
The Yaquina Head Lighthouse is part of the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural area with five main attractions.
- Quarry Cove is what remains of an old quarry, and today it is home to a handicapped accessible manmade tide pool zone.
- The Museum has exhibits about tide pools, sea life, how the lighthouse works and a movie theatre that shows how the lighthouse was constructed. There are also an area with games and toys from the early 1900s and a gift shop with plenty of souvenirs.
- Salal Hill is a short 1/3 mile hike that leads 177 feet up from the lighthouse for expansive views of the coastline and lighthouse below.
- Cobble Beach features a beach made out of large rounded stones and offers an excellent tide pooling area during low tide.
- Yaquina Head Lighthouse was first lit on ??? , shining its light 18.5 miles out to sea. The lighthouse is 93 feet tall, made out of brick and cast iron, and still in active use today.
How to tour the Lighthouse:
- Information about Lighthouse Tours including times and restrictions (age, height and heels) can be found here.
- Go to the Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses page to setup a date and time for your tour. During the winter months, you call in to the front desk, but during the summer they have an online registration system. Try to book a few days before to make sure you get a spot!
- Show up to the right lighthouse. There are two Yaquina Lighthouses in Newport, separated by six miles. You want the tall white one found at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area 😉 During our visit, I typed Yaquina into my phone and blindly followed the directions. When we arrived, I realized we were at the wrong lighthouse and had to book it across town to the right one.
- Show up to the lighthouse an hour early. Your tour time is when the door opens for your tour and there are a few things you will need to have completed:
- Waited in a line of traffic to pay your fee to get into the area.
- Walked into the museum to pickup your tickets for your tour time (the tour guides won’t let you in without one).
- Be standing next to the lighthouse door at your tour time. If you arrive ahead of time, you can look through the museum or drive down to find a parking spot next to the lighthouse. If you are running late, you will need to walk the 1/2 mile trail down to the lighthouse instead of driving for risk of the parking spots being full.
- Relax and enjoy. The tours last for 30-45 minutes and stop in four places – the two lighthouse rooms, the base of the lighthouse and an enclosed area at the top of the lighthouse. The windows and large landings make this climb much more enjoyable than climbing the Astoria Column.
Tips for Visiting
- Give yourself at least half a day to see all the sights.
- Visit Quarry Cove or Cobble Beach one hour before or after high tide to see the tide pool zones.
- If you are visiting in December-January or May-June, keep a look out from the observation point next to the lighthouse for migrating grey whales. 18,000 whales twice a year between their feeding grounds in Baja, Mexico and Alaska.
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