Located at the mouth of the Yaquina River in Oregon, USA sits the Historic Yaquina Bay Lighthouse; it was built and lit for the first time on November 3, 1871. The Yaquina Bay light is 161 feet above sea level, it used a fifth order Fresnel lens that could be seen only 12 miles out. Whale oil, not electricity, was used to fuel the lighthouse lamps; this required the full-time job of a lighthouse keeper to simply keep the lamp lit from sundown to sunrise.
After the completion of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse a few miles north of the bay lighthouse and lit for the first time on August 20, 1873, only two years later with its first order Fresnel lens that could be seen 19 miles out, the Lighthouse Board had Yaquina Bay Lighthouse decommissioned October 1, 1874. Its light shone for only three years. It was officially restored and automated. The official relighting ceremony took place by the US Coast Guard on Pearl Harbor Day of 1996 (December 7, 1996). It is now automated and controlled by a photocell, which comes on at dusk and shines a steady white light until dawn.
It is possibly the oldest structure in Newport, and the only existing lighthouse in Oregon with the light attached on top of the living quarters, and the only historic wooden Oregon lighthouse still standing. The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is listed as a National Register of Historic Places.
The US Coast Guard used the lighthouse as lookout and living quarters from 1906 to 1915. During this period, the Coast Guard also built the eight-story steel observation tower that continues to stand next to the original lighthouse.
There is parking available right at the lighthouse so you can determine if warmer clothing is needed, there are also several picnic areas equipped with picnic tables providing a wonderful view of the Lighthouse and the lovely Yaquina Bay Bridge.
Travel Directions: Traveling north on Highway 101, right after crossing the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport watch for a sign for the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse; it should be the first exit. Follow the road west into the Yaquina Bay State Park where the Lighthouse is located.
If you are traveling south on Highway 101 take the last exit just before the Bay Bridge in Newport and follow the road west into the State Park. (If you find yourself crossing the Yaquina Bay Bridge you have gone to far).
Check the weather at Yaquina Bay Lighthouse
The Yaquina Bay Bridge. The exit for the lighthouse right off the north side of the bridge.
You will see this sign as you enter the parking area for the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.
The information on the sign pretty much says it all along with the times for visiting.
Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is the only existing lighthouse in Oregon with the light attached on top of the living quarters.
Looking through the trees at the lantern room of Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.
This is the back of the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.
Here you can see the Coast Guard observation tower to the left of the Lighthouse.