Point Cabrillo

First Operational: 1909

Height: 47 feet

Accessibility: Lighthouse/fog signal building, assistant lightkeeper’s house museum, marine science exhibit, and grounds  all open

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Visitor Information

Directions

3800 Point Cabrillo Dr,

Mendocino, CA 95460

Located on the Mendocino Coast between Mendocino village and Fort Bragg, about halfway between Russian Gulch State Park and Caspar Beach, on Point Cabrillo Drive. The Light Station is approximately one half mile walk from the entry gate on Point Cabrillo Drive. Please park vehicles in the paved parking area at the gate. Handicapped access parking is available at the Light Station in front of the residences.

History

In 1873, the United States government scouted Point Cabrillo as a potential site for a lighthouse after numerous shipwrecks, and in 1906 the Senate Bill 6648 was passed to fund the project. The government bought roughly 30 acres of land on Point Cabrillo and construction started in 1908, and by 1909 the lighthouse began operation.

Unfortunately, The lighthouse was severely damaged in 1960 when a storm caused waves to flood the lighthouse with mud, although the lens was undamaged. In 1998 the California Costal Conservatory began buying land around the lighthouse, and in 1991 the station was added to the National Register of Historical Places. The nonprofit organization North Coast Interpretive Association would manage the station for the next 9 years. In 1996 the NCIA restored the station and in August of 2001 it was opened back up to the public. In 2002, the lighthouse was purchased by the California State Parks for $4 million and the NCIA, now called the Point Cabrillo Light Keeper Association, continues to run the lighthouse for the California State Parks system. Today visitors can explore hiking trials, spot whales off the coast, and stay in the keeper's houses in addition to touring the lighthouse.