Last Visited: May, 2003
Named after the Spanish Explorer Don Bruno de Heceta, the Heceta Head Lighthouse towers 205 feet above the Pacific Ocean. This site was purchased in 1889, and five years later on March 30, 1894, the light was lit by Andrew Hald, Heceta Head's first principal keeper. The light at top of 56-foot tower is rated as strongest light on the Oregon coast.
Unlike a number of the other lighthouses on the Oregon coast, Heceta Head Lighthouse doesn't offer stories of life and death. Several families had the opportunity to call Heceta Head their home. The children all attended school together in a single-room, as travel around Heceta Head was somewhat minimal due to its remote location. However, this all changed soon after the highway was completed between Florence and Yachats in 1932. Nearby, there is a bridge over Cape Creek and a tunnel that makes its way through the hillside. A couple years later, electricity finally arrived at the lighthouse and the lamp was replaced with a bulb.
Probably the most excitement for Heceta Head was during World War II, when the Coast Guard sent 75 men to this station to word against prospective Japanese attacks. Besides that, there really isn't much to tell. Don't let that stop you from visiting this icon of Oregon's past. This structure has been renovated and offers an enjoyable afternoon high above the sea.
The historic assistant light keeper's house (Heceta House; built 1893) offers bed and breakfast rentals and facilities for group events; call (541) 547-3696 for info.
Oregon State Parks & Recreation
Oregon & Washington Coast Guide
Tours of the lighthouse are conducted mid March-October and on weekends just prior to Christmas. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day daily tours are available daily 11-5. The Lighthouse observation area open all year during park hours. Call the Washburne State Park at 541-547-3416 for more details, or visit http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_124.php
This was a great lighthouse to photograph! Such a great viewpoint from the trails that lead up the hill so you're just above the lantern room.
Another note, it costs $3 to park in the state park, and the walk up to the lighthouse is uphill all the way. Be prepared.
A mile or so before the entrance to the state park there is a pullout (on the left if you're coming from the south, heading north on US101). It's got a great view of the lighthouse in the distance. That's where the photo above was taken from.
Nearest Address: 91758 Oregon Coast Hwy, Florence, OR
- From south of Florence, OR take US101 north.
- About a mile north of the pullout mentioned in the Personal Notes, you'll come to the entrance to the Washburne State Park. I belive there's a sign for the lighthouse.
- Follow the road to the bottom and park at the far end of the parking lot. There are automated machines where you can pay the $3 to park.
- Take the path leading up the hill to get to the keeper's house. From there it's another short walk uphill to the lighthouse. On the right you'll see the switchback path that'll lead you up the hill for the views from above the lantern room.
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