Oregon has its fair share of lovely beachy stuff – cliffs, sand, rock formations, tide pools, impressive tides, sea stacks, and so much more. It even has lighthouses. One that caught our attention – mostly because we took a hike with it nearly always in view along Beverly Beach – was the Yaquina Head Lighthouse near Newport, OR. There aren’t a lot of facilities – one of the reasons we visited was to find their non-existent picnic area. But the lighthouse itself is worth seeing, and views of the coastline are also pretty great (especially considering it’s wheelchair accessible!)
We pulled in in the middle of the afternoon, intent on finding a picnic spot. We stopped at the visitor center first, a very large parking area and a building with some interesting exhibits. After picking up a map, we continued on our way to the end of the road at the lighthouse.
Some of the best views of the lighthouse we had were along the road (good thing there are pullouts!) There are a couple hiking trails from the lighthouse area; one ascends the hill for views of the lighthouse and surrounding area, while the other is wide and paved and circles the lighthouse. There is another trail nearby that takes you down to the beach and tide pools.
We weren’t in the mood for another hike, so we wandered up the walk toward the lighthouse. There were plenty of people around, but not enough to really feel like a “crowd”. There is a very nice viewpoint on the left that looks south along the coastline and toward some sea stacks. Then the trail goes around the back of the lighthouse.
Here there is a platform with exhibits about the lighthouse and whale watching. We didn’t see any whales there, but since we had seen some further south, it was ok.
We wandered around for a bit, then went back to the parking area on the northerly side of the path.
Overall it was a nice little place, quite charming, really. We didn’t find our picnic area, but we did have a good time (and saw some nice views, too!)
Round Trip Trail Length: About 0.25 miles
Elevation change: Negligible
Trail surface: Pavement
Facilities: Visitor center has restrooms
Fees: $5 per vehicle per day. Waived with America the Beautiful / Interagency passes and Northwest Forest Pass (the site is administered by the Oregon BLM)
Trail Notes: The line to get into the park can be long on a summer afternoon. No picnicking facilities; few restroom facilities. If you want to tour the lighthouse, you’ll have to sign up (first come, first serve) at the visitor center; space is limited to 16 people. They say that whale watching is quite good in the winter. Overall, it’s short, it’s sweet, it’s fun!
Would I go 100 miles out of my way for this?
Yaquina Head Lighthouse GPS Coordinates
Yaquina Parking: 44.67638N / -124.07808W (44° 40′ 34.9680″ / -124° 4′ 41.0874″) (74ft.)
The gpx file for the Yaquina Head Lighthouse can be downloaded – please note that this and the GPS Coordinates are for reference only and should not be used as a sole resource when hiking this trail.
Download GPX File size: 17.3 KB Downloaded 6 times
(Note: I do my best to ensure that all downloads, the webpage, etc. are virus-free and accurate; however, I cannot be held responsible for any damage that might result, including but not limited to loss of data, damages to hardware, harm to users, from use of files, information, etc. from this website. Thanks!)
Getting to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse
From the south, take US-101 north through Newport. About 4 miles north of the bridge over Yaquina Bay (just south of Newport), turn left following the large, brown signs for the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area and “Historic Lighthouse”. Drive about 1 mile to the end of the road at the parking area for the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.
From the north, head south on US-101. At 3.8 miles south of Beverly Beach State Park, turn right following the large, brown signs for the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area and “Historic Lighthouse”. Drive about 1 mile to the end of the road at the parking area for the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.
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If you like lighthouses of the Pacific Northwest, this guide takes you to most – if not all – of them, with sidebars about the lighthouses and their keepers.
Thu Aug 17
Some clouds this morning will give way to generally sunny skies for the afternoon. High 67F. Winds NNW at 15 to 25 mph.
Fri Aug 18
Sunny skies with gusty winds developing later in the day. High 68F. Winds NNW at 20 to 30 mph.
Sat Aug 19
Wind increasing. A few clouds from time to time. High 66F. Winds NNW at 20 to 30 mph.
Sun Aug 20
Sunny skies. High 68F. Winds NNW at 15 to 25 mph.
Mon Aug 21
Sunny skies. High near 65F. Winds NNW at 10 to 20 mph.