Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint

Near Florence, Oregon, United States

COVID-19 UPDATE

Park is open to limited daytime use. Lighthouse is closed. Outside viewing area and trail to lighthouse are open. Restrooms are open daily from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Bring your own water, food and hand sanitizer. Be prepared to turn around if crowded. Facilities may close without notice.

Information below pertains to pre-COVID-19 operations.


 

Named for its crowning feature, the iconic Heceta Head Lighthouse, this park also features an historic bed and breakfast, a sheltered beach that's easy to access from the parking lot, and a challenging and scenic hike along a section of the Oregon Coast Trail. 

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Perched atop 1,000-foot-high Heceta Head, the lighthouse is one of the most photographed on the coast. The light atop the 56-foot tower was first illuminated in 1894. Its automated beacon, seen 21 miles from land, is rated as the strongest light on the Oregon coast.
 
A half-mile trail to the lighthouse begins in the parking area and passes the lightkeeper’s house on its way up to the lighthouse and viewpoint.

Lighthouse Tours

Join a park ranger for a lighthouse tour from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. in the summer and 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. in the winter, weather and staff permitting. No reservations are available for general public programs. School and tour groups may schedule ahead by e-mail to heceta.h.lighthouse@oregon.gov.

Tours include the outdoor area around the base of the lighthouse and the ground floor of the tower. Upper levels are closed to the public. The trail just before the lighthouse will take you to a viewpoint of the lens.

Heceta Lighthouse B&B

Built in 1893, the assistant lightkeeper's house is one of the last remaining on the Pacific Coast. Visitors can book a room with ocean views and imagine the life of a lightkeeper. The inn is operated by a concessionaire of the U.S. Forest Service. For reservations, call 866-547-3696 or go to hecetalighthouse.com.

Hiking and Wildlife

The lighthouse viewpoint is among the best on the coast for spotting whales during the winter and spring migration, as well as sea lions and many species of birds. Common murres lay their eggs on the rocks below the viewpoint railing. The park and surrounding ocean are part of Oregon’s largest marine reserve, the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve.

The Heceta Lighthouse Trail continues behind the lighthouse and descends steeply on its way to Washburne campground and the beach. This 7-mile, forested trail network is part of the Oregon Coast Trail. Hikers are rewarded with ocean views and the chance to see Roosevelt elk, marbled murrelets and other wildlife.

Effective Sep 18, 2020
Campfires are banned in all state parks, including campgrounds, day-use areas, and beaches. The ban includes wood, charcoal briquettes, candles, tiki torches and other devices that emit flames or embers. Propane stoves and other cooking devices that have an immediate shutoff valve are allowed for cooking only. Locally, park managers have discretion to allow fires in designated campfire rings only if conditions have improved enough to do so. 
mdi-white-balance-sunny Open for day use Year Round
COVID-19 may affect dates
mdi-currency-usd Day-use parking permit required
(purchase 1-day permit on site)
Buy annual parking permit
mdi-cellphone Call for info: 800-551-6949
Call park: 541-547-3416
Current Conditions Directions Feedback

Amenities & Features

Questions

mdi-help-circle-outline General

Is it possible to drive to the lighthouse?

No, there is no public vehicle access to the ligthouse.

Can we get married in the lighouse?

No, but you can get married outside of the lighthouse.  Groups must be 10 or fewer.  Please contact the park for further information.

I am attending a wedding at the keeper's house, do I need to pay for parking.

Yes, all visitors parking in state park day use fee areas must have a valid permit.

mdi-help-circle-outline Day use/Special Events

Do I need a day use pass to see the lighthouse?

No, but you do need a day use pass to park in the parking area.

The day use pass is not a pass to see the lighthouse. 

Of the hundreds of day-use parks in the Oregon state park system, around two dozen charge a day-use fee. This charge is a parking fee and not a charge for recreational purposes under ORS 105.672 to ORS 105.696. The immunities provided under ORS 105.682 apply to use of state park land for recreational purpose.

If you´re not camping and don´t have an annual pass, you need to buy a daily parking pass. Daily passes are $5 per day, per vehicle. You can only purchase them at a park that charges a day-use parking fee. Most are dispensed from cute, little yellow machines near the park entrance or parking area, but some are sold from the park booth or office.

The daily pass is good for parking entire day at any state park (you can leave one day-use fee park and travel to another).

How long is the trail to the lighthouse?

The trail is 1/2 a mile long and climbs 150 feet in elevation to get to the lighthouse.

For more questions, review our statewide FAQ

History

Heceta Head is named for Bruno de Heceta, a Spanish navigator and explorer, who surveyed the Oregon coast in 1775. The lighthouse was constructed between 1892 and 1893 and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The head lightkeeper’s  house was demolished and the lumber purchased for $10 in 1940 following the move from kerosene to electricity to power the lighthouse. The salvaged wood was used to construct the Alpha-Bit Café in nearby Mapleton. The state of Oregon was granted a license to use the lighthouse and surrounding property by the Coast Guard in 1963, the same year that the lighthouse became fully automated. The assistant lightkeeper’s house, which still stands, is now a bed and breakfast operated by concessionaires of the U.S. Forest Service. The already-existing Devil’s Elbow State Park, which included a cove south of the lighthouse, was enlarged to include the lighthouse and renamed Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint, connecting it with Washburne State Park to the north. The land for Devil’s Elbow State Park was acquired between 1930 and 1987 by purchase from private owners as well as gifts and exchanges with U.S. government agencies. In 1998, Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint was officially deeded to OPRD by ODOT.  In 2001, the remaining Coast Guard property was transferred to OPRD.

Brochures and Maps

mdi-file-pdf-box 2020 Tide Tables – Central Coast mdi-file-pdf-box Heceta Head Light history and trail map mdi-file-pdf-box Historic Lighthouse Floorplan

Photos & Video

Some parks are open for day-use and camping, with reduced services. Check the Park Status Map and FAQ for details. Campfire restrictions may be in place.