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Oregon
26

Oregon State Parks

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Oregon
Willamette Valley Region
Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint
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Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint Rise above © Damon Edwards
At dawn, the massive rocks nested below the 1000 high cliffs of Heceta Head give rise out of the Pacific Ocean. Located in a cove at Devils Elbow State Park near Florence, OR the rocks are home to the Common Guillemot, as they provide a safe nesting location.
Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint Get back © John Wettengel
Back off Jack
Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint Looking out from Heceta Head Lighthouse © John Wettengel
Looking south, from Heceta Head Lighthouse
Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint Devils Elbow State park © John Wettengel
Hang out on the beach
Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint © Becky Lowe
Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint © Becky Lowe
Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint © Becky Lowe
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HECETA HEAD LIGHTHOUSE STATE SCENIC VIEWPOINT
HECETA HEAD LIGHTHOUSE STATE SCENIC VIEWPOINT
97439 U.S. 101
Florence, Oregon   97439
(lat:44.1356 lon:-124.1234) map location

Phone: 800-551-6949
Heceta Head State Park (which includes Devils Elbow State Park) 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 trail leads to the historic Heceta Head lighthouse and lighthouse keeper's house. A recently-completed trail gives you a spectacular view of the coast north to Cape Perpetua.

Heceta Head trail is part of a 7-mile network. Trails of varying difficulty feature beach and wildlife viewing areas. Wildlife refuge islands feature a view of puffins, cormorants, gulls, and other bird nesting areas. Sea lions and whales can be seen from the beach and cliff-top lighthouse.

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. The historic assistant lighthouse keeper?s house (Heceta House; built 1893) offers bed and breakfast rentals and facilities for group events; call (541) 547-3696 for info.
Nature of the Area
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.
History of the Area
Located along the rugged coastline of Oregon, Heceta Head Lighthouse is a prominent landmark with an intriguing history. The lighthouse was first lit in 1894 after three years of construction that began in 1891. It stands at one of the most beautiful viewpoints on the Pacific Coast and its beacon can be seen up to twenty-one miles from land.

The name "Heceta" comes from Bruno de Heceta, a Spanish explorer who navigated this part of the coast during his voyage in 1775. However, it wasn't until over a century later when plans for constructing a lighthouse were initiated by Congress due to increased shipping traffic.

Built under challenging conditions using local materials wherever possible - including stone quarried near Florence and bricks made onsite -the final structure included not just the light tower but also houses for keepers' families as well as outbuildings such as barns and oil storage facilities.

In early days, life at Heceta Head was isolated; supplies had to come via ship or overland trail until road access improved around World War I era. Despite these hardships though many dedicated individuals served here ensuring safety for passing ships through foggy nights & stormy seas till automation took place in late twentieth-century (1963).

After being automated by U.S Coast Guard which reduced need for full-time keeper staff presence significantly ,it became more accessible leading eventually towards establishment into public park system(1998). Today visitors are able enjoy guided tours inside historic buildings while enjoying breathtaking views surrounding area offers.



Trails
1. Heceta Head Trail: This 7-mile round trip trail offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, old-growth forests and a historic lighthouse.

2. Hobbit Beach to Heceta Lighthouse Trail: A moderate difficulty level hike that is approximately 4 miles long with beautiful coastal scenery along the way.

3. Valley Overlook Loop Trail: An easy half mile loop offering panoramic views over Carl G Washburne Memorial State Park and Cape Creek Bridge from an elevated viewpoint.

4. China Creek Loop Trail: Approximately one mile in length, this trail winds through lush forested areas filled with ferns and moss-covered trees before looping back towards its starting point near Highway 101 parking area.

5. Keeper's House Pathway: Short but steep path leading directly up to the iconic lightkeeper's house which now serves as a bed:and-breakfast inn.

6. Hobbit Trails: These are two short trails (0:75 miles) taking you down to secluded beaches surrounded by cliffs covered in Sitka spruce trees; perfect for those looking for solitude or bird-watching opportunities.

7. Cape Cove Beach Access Point: Easy access pathway providing direct route onto sandy beach where visitors can enjoy picnics while watching waves crash against nearby rocks.

8. South Viewpoint Spur: Small offshoot from main hiking paths giving hikers close:up view of picturesque cove below.

9. North Ridge Old Growth Forest Walk: Longer walk showcasing some of Oregon Coast Range's oldest Douglas fir stands alongside other native plant species such as salal bushes & sword ferns.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
April 16 So divine
park review stars; one to five It is so beautiful there be aware do not faint about it
December 16 Lighthouse still open by Park host
park review stars; one to five The park and lighthouse are still open for tours. Fabulous.
August 26 Park temporarily closed
park review stars; one to five This park will be closed from August 15 to about Sept 30 due to renovations
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Area Campgrounds
Thousand Trails South Jetty
5010 South Jetty Road
Florence, OR
541-997-8296
Pacific Pines RV Park & Storage
4044 Highway 101
Florence, OR
Port of Siuslaw RV Park & Marina
100 Harbor Street
Florence, OR
541-997-3040
Sea Perch RV Resort
95480 Highway 101
Yachats, OR
541-547-3505
Nearby Hotels
Booking.com

Directions
1. Start by heading onto Highway 101 on the central coast of Oregon.
2. If you are coming from Florence (to the south), drive north for approximately 12 miles until you reach milepost 178.
3. If you are traveling from Yachats or Newport (to the north), head south on Highway 101 for about 13 miles and look out for milepost marker number 178 as well.

Once at milepost marker number 178:
4. Turn west into a large parking area that is clearly marked with signs indicating "Heceta Head Lighthouse.".
5. Park your vehicle in one of the designated spots available.

From there, depending on where exactly you parked within this scenic viewpoint:
6a) To access Heceta Beach: Walk towards its sandy shores through an easy trail leading down to it.
6b) To visit Devil's Elbow State Park: Follow another short path located near restrooms which will lead directly to this park featuring tide pools and picnic areas along with stunning views of crashing waves against rocky cliffs.

For those interested specifically in visiting Heceta Head Lighthouse itself:
7a) Take a paved uphill pathway starting behind Keeper's House Bed & Breakfast adjacent to parking lot A if arriving during daylight hours between May and October when tours operate daily except Wednesdays; otherwise,.
7b) During other times or days without guided tours offered, enjoy viewing lighthouse exterior only while exploring surrounding grounds accessible via various trails branching off main paths throughout state scenic viewpoint area mentioned earlier.

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Oregon State Parks

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