Pigeon Point

First Operational: 1872

Height: 115 feet

Accessibility: museum, gift shop and grounds open, overnight accommodations at the hostel, lighthouse closed

Visitor Information

General

Grounds: 8am to Sunset

Visitor Center and Park Store: 
Thursdays--Mondays, 10am--4pm

 

(650) 879-2120

Directions

210 Pigeon Point Road

Highway 1

Pescadero, CA 94060

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

History

Pigeon Point, a coastal headland along the central California coast south of San Francisco, was considered a prime spot for a lighthouse since the mid 1800's, when ship traffic in the region increased. Most famously, the clipper ship Carrier Pigeon sank at the spot of the lighthouse, giving the point its name. Locals called for a lighthouse to be built on the spot for over a decade, with Congress finally approving a 1st order lighthouse at the site in 1871.

 

A year later, the tallest lighthouse on the California coast (tied with Point Arena, roughly 140 miles to the north), was finally completed. Around the same time, a fog signal and light station were also established on Ano Nuevo Island, just a few miles south. The station and its elegant keepers dwellings housed families for decades until the Coast Guard demolished the original keepers houses and automated the station. The lighthouse eventually fell into disrepair, particularly after, in late 2001, two chucks of iron and brick from the upper portion of the tower fell, forcing the lighthouse to close. However, the lighthouse's future appears to be bright, with the California Department of Parks and Restoration recently announcing that the lighthouse will receive $18+ million for restoration.