Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Northern California (with Map & Photos)

Pigeon Point Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse located on the coast of California, USA. It is one of the most iconic and recognizable lighthouses on the West Coast of the United States.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse
Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Here are some key facts and information about Pigeon Point Lighthouse:

1. Location

Pigeon Point Lighthouse is situated on the scenic Highway 1, about 50 miles south of San Francisco, near the town of Pescadero in San Mateo County, California.

2. History

The lighthouse was first illuminated in 1872 and was named after the clipper ship "Carrier Pigeon," which ran aground in the area in 1853. The lighthouse served as a critical navigational aid for ships traveling along the rugged California coastline.

3. Architecture

Pigeon Point Lighthouse stands at 115 feet (35 meters) tall, making it one of the tallest lighthouses on the West Coast. It features a distinctive white tower with black stripes, which makes it easily recognizable. The lighthouse is surrounded by a complex of historic buildings, including the lighthouse keeper's quarters.

4. Fresnel Lens

The lighthouse originally had a first-order Fresnel lens, which is a type of advanced lens used to magnify and focus the light. The lens was visible for miles out to sea, guiding ships safely along the coastline.

5. Automated Light

The lighthouse was automated in 1972, and the original Fresnel lens was replaced by a modern airport beacon. The beacon continues to serve as a navigational aid for ships, but the lighthouse itself is no longer used for its original purpose.

6. Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel

The lighthouse complex includes a youth hostel, known as the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel, where visitors can stay overnight and enjoy breathtaking ocean views. The hostel is a popular destination for travelers exploring the California coast.

7. State Park

Pigeon Point Lighthouse is part of Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park. Visitors can explore the grounds, learn about the history of the lighthouse, and take in the stunning coastal scenery.

8. Preservation

Efforts have been made to preserve and restore Pigeon Point Lighthouse over the years, ensuring that this historic landmark remains a symbol of California's maritime history.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse is a popular stop for tourists and photographers, offering not only a glimpse into California's maritime heritage but also spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the rugged coastline.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse Map