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The Historic Heceta Head Lighthouse | Oregon's Strongest Light

The Heceta Head Lighthouse is one of the most important construction on the Oregon coast. Its light can be seen more than 20 miles from the shoreline, making it the brightest of all the Oregon lighthouses.

Today, visitors travel the Oregon coast from beautiful lighthouse to lighthouse learning about the history of the area and how these incredible, long-lasting structures were built.

Heceta Head Lighthouse

The Heceta Head Lighthouse is only one of several lighthouses in this area. Others include the famed Yaquina Head Lighthouse north of Newport and the Umpqua Lighthouse near Coos Bay.

The Heceta Head Lighthouse

The long-running Heceta Head Lighthouse has been in operation for over 100 years. It was built in 1894 and stayed in operation with a lighthouse keeper until it was electrified in 1934. Today, it flashes a white beam of light every eight seconds!

The Heceta Head Lighthouse View
Looking down at the Heceta Head Lighthouse

Facts About the Heceta Head Lighthouse

The Heceta Head Lighthouse from Afar
A distant view of the Heceta Head Lighthouse

Here are a few important facts about the Heceta Head Lighthouse, the strongest light on the Oregon coast!

  • Height: 56 feet tall

  • Built: 1894

  • Electrified: 1934

  • Open for visitors? Staff-guided tours are available from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. in the summer and 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. in the winter.

  • Bed & Breakfast: there is a functioning bed & breakfast on Heceta Head where you can reserve rooms at. It's located within the remaining lighthouse keeper cottages.

Where is the Heceta Head Lighthouse?

The Heceta Head Lighthouse is south of Newport and just north of Heceta Beach. It is designated as the Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint. From Heceta Head, you can look north to Conical Rock and south to Cape Cove, two spots you might also find worth visiting.

The Heceta Head Lighthouse Landscape
The Heceta Head Lighthouse and its beautiful landscape

To get to the lighthouse, take Highway 101 south from Newport to Summer Street, a 38-mile or 50-minute drive. Along the way, you'll pass through the towns of Seal Rock, Waldport, Yachats, and Searose Beach before turning right on Summer Street. You'll come to the Heceta Head Bed & Breakfast just up the road.

To get there, follow the map below:

If you've spent some time at Heceta Head but still haven't had enough lighthouses, we highly recommend driving north to Yaquina Head to see the tallest lighthouse in Oregon.

History of the Heceta Head Lighthouse

The land for the lighthouse was purchased in 1891, and construction began on what was at first a 19-acre piece of property. To construct the lighthouse, workers had to build a 7-mile road over the beaches to use to bring in supplies, according to the wonderful Oregon Encyclopedia.

The Heceta Head Lighthouse at Sunset
The Heceta Head Lighthouse at sunset

The lighthouse was completed in 1893 but was not lit till the lens, a Fresnel (the same variety used in the Yaquina Head Lighthouse), was delivered. The light was lit in March 1894.

The area was well known for being incredibly isolated at the time the lighthouse was finished; Oregon Encyclopedia includes a sorrowful story of the first lighthouse keeper's daughter dying because the family could not get timely medical assistance and a far more charming anecdote about the only teacher in town instructing all eight grades of students.

Fun Facts about Heceta Head Lighthouse

What to Do at the Heceta Head Lighthouse?

Near the lighthouse, you're going to want to spend some time visiting the Heceta Head Interpretive Center, which will provide you with everything you ever need to know about the lighthouse and the surrounding natural area.

You might also want to go south to Muffin Beach or the Sea Lion Caves. Nearby are also Tokatee Klootchman State Natural Site, Rock Creek Wilderness, and Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park.

The Heceta Head Lighthouse Light
The Heceta Head Lighthouse has the strongest light of any Oregon lighthouse.


Can you go inside Heceta Head Lighthouse?

Yes, you can go inside the Heceta Head Lighthouse if you have a tour. There are no reservations available (first-come-first-serve) unless you're with a tour group or a school group.

Where is Heceta lighthouse located?

The Heceta Lighthouse is on the Oregon Coast, south of Newport and north of Florence.

What is the oldest lighthouse in Oregon?

The oldest Lighthouse in Oregon is the Cape Blanco Lighthouse north of Port Orford. It was built in 1870, only a few years before the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

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