Saturday, January 25, 2014

California Lighthouses

by Steve Reiss (Dalmdad Landscape Photography - and

Some of California's Lighthouses

Over the last few weeks we have been introducing our followers to some of California's lighthouses, especially the: Point Sur Light, Pigeon Point Light, Santa Cruz Breakwater Light, Santa Cruz Light (Surfing Museum), Point Bonita Light, Point Loma Light, Point Pinos Light, Point Arena Light, Cabrillo Point Light, Cape Mendocino Light, Fort Point Light, and Alcatraz Light.

According to the Inventory of Historical Light Stations (California Lighthouses), California has had around 34 lighthouses (some being replacements for earlier lighthouses).

From the official inventory of lighthouses, some of the lights with interesting backgrounds are: 
  • generally out of public view
    • Point Hueneme - (Inventory Site/Official Site) - Open to the public on the 3rd Saturday of the month February thru October 10 am to 3 pm; closed November thru January.
    • Point Vicente(Inventory Site/Official Site) - Open to the public one Saturday a month.
    • Point Conception - (Inventory Site/No Official Site) - This light is surrounded by private land and only accessible with permission of the land owners.  The light is five miles down a dirt road that starts behind a padlocked gate.
    • Farallon Island - (Inventory Site/No Official Site) - Viewable only by boat rides offered in summer/fall).
    •  Punta Gorda - (Inventory Site/Official Site)  - After long back road driving to reach the Mendocino Coast of Northern California, the light's ruins are accessible by 3 mile each-way beach hike.
  • out on a pylon or island off the coast 
    • East Brothers - (Inventory Site/Official Site) This light is out in the middle of San Francisco and San Pablo Bays off of San Pablo.  The light is barely visible in the distance from the rightmost, westbound lane of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.  The light is an active Bed & Breakfast.  Due to limited fresh water availability on the island, only guests staying more than 1 night may shower!
    • St. George Reef Light - (Inventory Site/Official Site) This light is 6 miles off of Crescent City, CA.  Seasonal helicopter tours out to the light are/were available. 
    • Los Angeles Harbor Light (f/k/a San Pedro Harbor Light) - (Inventory Site/No Official Site) Not accessible to the public; viewable by boat.
  • converted to restaurants or marinas
  • just generally not what they used to be
    • Old Cape Mendocino - (Inventory Site/No Official Site) - The lantern room, the only surviving portion of the light is in a park in beautiful Shelter Cove.
    • Piedras Blancas - (Inventory Site/Official Site)  Lantern Room Removed.  Light very close to California Elephant Seal breeding area.  Tours of the light are available, but seeing beaches full of elephant seals are much more a sight to see than the light.
    • Fort Point Light - (Inventory Site/No Official Site) - Inventory says light not accessible to public due to lead paint chips falling from Golden Gate Bridge.  However, we visited the light in 2005.
Next up, a trip to the Point Reyes Light.

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