Walking to the Heceta Head (Calendar-Icon) Lighthouse

Last year we zipped down the coast of Washington and Oregon, hardly having time to look. This year we decided to spend two days in Florence, a small town on the Siuslaw River at the ocean. North of town (13 mi.) is a gem of a lighthouse, that the fog prevented us from seeing in the long view. This is last year’s picture.

Heceta Head Lighthouse
Heceta Head Lighthouse 2013

This year we made the short climb up.

Heceta lighthouse closeup

We easily found it off the Oregon Coast Hwy. With a small beach and parking lot below the bridge over Cape Creek, the lighthouse keeper’s place shone bright on this intermittent foggy morning.

8-14 Heceta Lighthouse keeper m Oregon 082

Past the bathrooms is the trailhead up to the lighthouse. It offered a wide even path. Not too steep.

Heceta Head trailA fascinating rail

Heceta Head Lighthouse railInteresting tree roots

Heceta Head tree webAnd gorgeous views of the ocean

Heceta trail ocean viewAnd the bridge over Cape Creek.

Cape Creek bridge

From the lighthouse keeper’s building (available for events and bed & breakfast rentals) the fog cleared enough to see the lighthouse. Built in 1893. Electrified in 1940. Fully automated in 1963. And the brightest light on the Oregon Coast.

 Heceta Head lighthouse

Actually it’s the assistant lightkeeper’s house that remains – but looks beautiful. Imagine the family life in this setting.

Heceta lighthouse keeper

The bridge across Cape Creek opened in 1932 (another thing to imagine about the lightkeeper’s life – this was some independent living) and resembles a Roman aqueduct.

Cape Creek bridge

I’m ready to visit again. You?

Words by Lynn Millar, pictures by Lynn & Mike Millar, available upon request.

Minimal Trail info: Near the lighthouse was a sign warning of bears and showing a trail map. It’s only a half mile up to the lighthouse – but other trails leave from here. 1.25 mi gets you to a trail with a connection down to Washburne Beach which is 2 miles long. The main trail continues through the hills to two more connections to the beach. I’m going to assume it’s a bit of a hike to get up and over the head and a couple of miles north. Lighthouse is 250′ above the ocean.

Oregon State Park: Day use is $5/vehicle or state pass, tours are 11-3 when weather and staffing permit, picnic tables, pit toilet and no water.

Directions Map

Roses at Heceta Head



Published by Lynn Millar

Walker, reader, writer, traveller - see About Walking

4 thoughts on “Walking to the Heceta Head (Calendar-Icon) Lighthouse

  1. I have been to Florence. It is a beautiful place. Next time I am there I will visit the places you recommend. Thanks for all your beautiful pictures and ideas for hiking and sight seeing. Cheers, charlene

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