Monday, May 6, 2019

DESTINATION: Heceta Head Lighthouse, Oregon

Our next destination, traveling south along the Oregon Coast, was the Heceta Head Lighthouse.  



Repairs being made on the Cape Creek Bridge, our car was parked in the parking lot below

First glimpse of the lighthouse on the trail up

Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint is located in a cove at the mouth of Cape Creek. There are picnic tables sheltered from the wind and a great view of the ocean. A short, but steep, trail leads to the historic Heceta Head lighthouse and assistant keeper's house.
On the west side of 1,000-foot-high Heceta Head, 205 feet above the ocean, the lighthouse is one of the most photographed on the coast. The light at top of 56-foot tower was illuminated in 1894; the automated beacon, seen 21 miles from land, is rated as the strongest light on the Oregon coast. 


From the parking lot down by the bridge, we hiked up to the lighthouse keeper's house



Lighthouse keeper's house 

View of lighthouse from the lighthouse keeper's house.  Twice ad day the keeper and his assistant would walk up the steep trail to the lighthouse

The historic assistant lighthouse keeper's house (Heceta House; built 1893) offers bed and breakfast rentals and facilities for group events.  


Lighthouse keeper's house available for events and bed and breakfast

Beautiful front door of the lighthouse keeper's house



Common murres, which lay their eggs on the bare rocks, can be easily seen by looking down, just over the railing near the lighthouse. Brown pelicans commonly fly by, as do bald eagles. Migrating gray whales can be seen as they travel to and from Alaska and Baja California. May is a great time to look right down on the migrating mothers and calves as they travel close to shore.  


Sea lion hunting below the lighthouse

Unfortunately, we did not see any whales but did see sea lions hunting in the rough waters along the rocks. There are natural caves, tidepools, and a sandy beach for building sandcastles.



Wild flowers line the trail from the lighthouse keeper's house to the lighthouse

Wild flowers line the trail from the lighthouse keeper's house to the lighthouse

Amazing views of the rock formations around the head

We spent a good portion of the afternoon roaming around the area, taking photos, and talking to the volunteers that give tours of the lighthouse.  One of the volunteers told us of a path behind the lighthouse that we could hike and get a face-to-face view of the lighthouse lens.  By far, this was one of the most fascinating and most beautiful places we visited in Oregon.  We could just imagine what a magical place this would have been to experience as a child in the late 1800's.










Tunnel on Highway 101 leading us from Heceta Head Lighthouse to Mercer Lake

Exhausted from sightseeing we headed to our accommodations for the night, The Mercer Lake Resort on Mercer Lakes just outside of Florence, Oregon.


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