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Organization Title

Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park

Contact Information

(650) 879-2120

Park Hours

Day-use Area 8:00 am to Sunset

Driving Directions to Pigeon Point Light Station SHP

On California Highway 1, 20 miles south of Half Moon Bay and 27 miles north of Santa Cruz.

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Camping and Lodging

Online reservations are not available for this park.

Brochures and Campground Maps

Pigeon Point Light Station Tower ImagePerched on a cliff on the central California coast, 50 miles south of San Francisco, the 115-foot Pigeon Point Lighthouse, one of the tallest lighthouses in America, has been guiding mariners since 1872. Its five-wick lard oil lamp, and first-order Fresnel lens, comprised of 1,008 prisms, was first lit at sunset, November 15, 1872. The lens stands 16 feet tall, 6 feet in diameter, and weighs 2,000 pounds. It sits in a lantern room that had been constructed at the Lighthouse Service's general depot in New York before being shipped around the Horn. Although the original Fresnel lens is no longer in use, the lighthouse is still an active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation using a 24 inch Aero Beacon.

The coastal areas surrounding Pigeon Point Light Station are rich with life. Marine mammals, such as seals and whales, can be seen regularly from shore as they pass by beyond the surf. The intertidal zone along this part of the coast, particularly in the rocky reefs that flank the light station, contains a diverse and numerous variety of plant and animal life.

Lighthouse Closed for Repairs
In December 2001, a section of the cornice on the exterior of the lighthouse fell off. The lighthouse will remain closed until the structure can be restored. The lighthouse may still be viewed from the grounds. For more information go to Lighthouse Restoration

The weather can be changeable; layered clothing is recommended. Afternoon can be very windy.

The park has restrooms near the parking lot, a pay phone, and limited picnic tables. A park store is located in the historic carpenter's shop.

Also located within the park, Hosteling International runs the Pigeon Point Hostel for guests who are interested in staying overnight.

A small public beach is located 100 yards from the main parking lot.

Half hour guided history walks around the lighthouse grounds are available 10am to 4pm Friday through Monday, except on rainy days.

Whale Watch Month at Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park

Every Thursday through Monday in April from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
April is always a popular time with visitors to the lighthouse since female grey whales bring their calves close to shore on their way north.  Dolphins, harbor seals, sea otters can also be spotted in the near shore waters. Docents use hands-on exhibits to interpret the annual migration past the coast.  While you’re there, you can learn about the other marine life that frequent the area, the history of the lighthouse and more.

Events made possible by California State Park Docents, California State Parks and Coastside State Parks Association.

Available Activities and Facilities at Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park

Hiking Trails
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Beach Area
Nature & Wildlife Viewing