The Newport, Oregon Lighthouse, also known as the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, is one of the most beautiful lighthouses on the coast of the Pacific Northwest. Nearby, you'll also find the Heceta Head Lighthouse closer to Florence.
Once the most-visited lighthouse in the United States, today, the Yaquina Lighthouse still sees around 400,000 visitors a year. It sits nearly a mile out from the shoreline on Yaquina Head and is surrounded by vast landscapes.
The Yaquina Head Lighthouse | Oregon's Tallest Lighthouse
Facts About the Yaquina Head Lighthouse
Here are a few important facts about this Newport, Oregon lighthouse, Oregon's tallest lighthouse!
Height: 93 feet tall
Decommissioned: 1874 (later privately restored in December 1996)
Open for visitors? Yes, the lighthouse is open for visitors from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. (or sunset).
Where is the Yaquina Head Lighthouse?
Planning a trip to Newport, Oregon, and hoping to visit the lighthouses? Well, you're in luck; the Yaquina Head Lighthouse is open for visitors throughout the year.
The Newport, Oregon Lighthouse is within the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, just west of the town of Agate Beach and a few miles north of Newport. You can get there by taking Highway 101 north and turning off on NW Lighthouse Dr in the town of Agate.
Drive to the end of the road and park in the looped parking area. You'll need to hike into the lighthouse along a paved path, but it shouldn't take more than a minute or two! You can loop around the lighthouse and even go inside!
To get there, follow the map below:
Exploring Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
If you're visiting the Newport, Oregon Lighthouse, it'll be impossible not to appreciate the beauty of the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, where the lighthouse is located within. The natural area extends out a mile into the Pacific ocean from the shoreline and is an ideal place to build a lighthouse, as the builders chose to do in the late 1800s.
History of Yaquina Head Lighthouse
The history of Yaquina Head Lighthouse is long and varied. In fact, the lighthouse is believed to be one of, if not the, oldest structures in Newport and the surrounding areas. It's also the only lighthouse with living quarters attached (in Oregon).
The area is the traditional land of the Yaquina people, and the lighthouse that stands there today can be seen from up to 19 miles away at sea.
The Newport lighthouse construction did not go smoothly; Oregon Encyclopedia includes some really interesting information about this period. This includes the fact that it took nearly $2 million in today's US dollars to construct the lighthouse.
Workers contended with horrible conditions throughout the construction, including poor weather, slow-moving materials, and lost boats. The lighthouse keeper's house was added in 1872, followed by another house in 1922.
During the early-mid 1900s, visitors locked to Yaquina head to explore the lighthouse, and for a period of time, it was the most-visited lighthouse in the country, seeing tens of thousands of tourists.
If you want to learn more about the Newport, Oregon Lighthouse, we highly recommend stopping in at the Interpretative Center. It's along the same road you'll drive to get to the lighthouse and has a large parking area just below Salal Hill. They have a full-size replica of the lighthouse's lantern inside, as well as information on surrounding wildlife.
In 1980, the area was designated as a natural scenic area and is today managed by the Bureau of Land Management. More than 400,000 tourists visit the lighthouse every year.
What to Do at Yaquina Head?
While visiting the Newport, Oregon Lighthouse, you might also want to spend time at the Interpretative Center to learn more about the area's history, go down to Cobble Beach, near the parking lot for the lighthouse, and admire the Yaquina Head Marine Garden below the beach.
You might also want to explore the incredible camping near Manzanita, Oregon.
Can you go inside the Yaquina Head Lighthouse?
Yes, at this point, you can go inside the Yaquina Head Lighthouse! But it's always best to call ahead and make sure that nothing is going to get in the way of you visiting this amazing place.
Is Yaquina Head Lighthouse free?
Yes! The Yaquina Head Lighthouse is free. There is no admission fee to the day-use area or the lighthouse itself. But donations are usually free-flowing.