PHOTO-ESSAY. The Pigeon Point Light Station lighthouse has been closed to visitors for over 17 years while undergoing renovations after pieces fell from the tower. In honor of its 146th…
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 2,000 pounds. Now on display in the Fog Signal building, it sat in a lantern room 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 Vega Marine Rotating Beacon.
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 innertidal 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
In December 2001, a section of the iron belt course 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 more information go to Lighthouse RestorationActivities
Tours: Half hour guided history walks around the lighthouse grounds are available daily at 1pm, staff permitting, or upon request by calling 650-879-2120
Day-use Area 8am to Sunset.
Visitor Center Hours
Summer (June-August): Everyday 10am-4pm.
Winter (September-May): Thursdays through Mondays 10am-4pm.
Park Store Hours
Mondays through Thursdays 10am-4pm.
Fridays through Sundays 10am-6pm.
Thursdays through Mondays 10am-4pm.
Basic Park Information
DOGS are not permitted on the lighthouse grounds (except for service animals).
ADMISSION & PARKING is free.
SMOKING is not permitted in the park.
DRONES are not allowed in the park. To protect wildlife and cultural resources, and for the safety and welfare of visitors and staff, the park is closed to the use of Model Aircraft, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and Gliders in flight.
FACILITIES — The park has restrooms near the parking lot, a pay phone, and limited picnic tables. A park store is located in the historic carpenter’s shop. A small public beach is located 100 yards from the main parking lot.
PIGEON POINT HOSTEL is run by hosteling international for guests who are interested in staying overnight. For more information and reservations, please click here.
WEDDING & SPECAIL EVENT PERMITS: SMPermits@parks.ca.gov or (650) 726-8815
~Thanks to Kathy Taylor for her photos