Cape Meares Lighthouse is one of the most educational and beautiful stops along the Three Capes Scenic Route. If solitude is what you desire this is not the stop for you (try Cape Meares State Park instead), but if you want to be educated while looking at breathtaking ocean views this jewel will not let you down.
Climbing up a narrow spiral staircase, attached to the interior wall of the lighthouse, you arrive mid-level where you can see the gears which once used to turn this engineering wonder. Following the narrow walkway past the gears, you ascend a short steep staircase, with little headroom and arrive at the top. A narrow catwalk will take you around the interior, next to the eight sided lens. The lens was made in France and is still considered to be world class. The original lamp burned 10 gallons of kerosene daily in it’s five wick lamp.
We found the State Park Volunteers to be very helpful and informative.
Besides the lighthouse, one of the big draws of this site is a giant Sitka Spruce tree known as the “Octopus Tree.”
The Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, better known to the locals as “Tilly”, has a sorted history. When construction was beginning, the first surveyor to set foot on the basalt rock was promptly swept into the sea by a large wave never to be seen again. Ocean 1, Humans 0.
Viewing the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse close-up isn’t an option unless you have a seagoing vessel as it is 1.2 miles out to sea. For the rest of us, travel to Ecola State Park. Be sure to bring your binoculars and telescopic lenses.
The lighthouse is 133 feet high, the tower rising 62 feet above the island. Construction was completed in 1881 and it was decommissioned in 1957. Tillamook Rock Lighthouse now serves as a columbarium.
Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is located within Yaquina Bay State Park’s 36 acres. Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is 51 feet high and was erected 1871 only to be decommissioned 3 years later in 1874 after it was discovered that the light from the lighthouse was blocked by Yaquina Head. After a new lighthouse was completed at Yaquina Head, the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse was decommissioned.
The lighthouse has been restored by the local historical society and is open to the public daily from Noon to 4pm. Inside you will find each room carefully arranged in a historically accurate setting. Narrow staircases rise between the floors before you reach the upper spiral staircase. Direct access to the very top is obstructed. The basement has been converted into two parts, a small video room and lighthouse store.
Outside the lighthouse you will find picnic tables. The drinking fountains and bathrooms with running water are behind the lighthouse.
Traveling North on Highway 101, take the first exit right after crossing the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Circle around right under the bridge and proceed to the main parking lot.
Traveling South on Highway 101, take the last right before you begin to cross the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Proceed straight to the parking area.