North Head Lighthouse, Ilwaco

4.5
#2 of 9 in Things to do in Ilwaco
North Head Lighthouse is an active aid to navigation overlooking the Pacific Ocean from North Head, a rocky promontory located approximately two miles north of Cape Disappointment and the mouth of the Columbia River, near Ilwaco, Pacific County, in the U.S. state of Washington. It is part of Cape Disappointment State Park.HistoryThe North Head Light was constructed in 1897 after mariners complained that the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, installed in 1856, was obscured to ships approaching from the north by the headland extending southwest from the light. The new lighthouse was designed by Carl Leick, with a 65ft tower set on a 130ft cliff directly facing the ocean and clearly visible to ships traveling from the north. Other buildings included two oil houses east of the lighthouse, a keeper’s residence, duplex housing for two assistant keepers, a barn, and outbuildings, all of which remain on site.The first-order lens at the Cape Disappointment Light was moved to North Head and was first lit at its new location in 1898. In 1935, the first-order lens was replaced by a fourth-order lens. That lens was eventually replaced by an aerobeacon in the 1950s, and later by a modern optic mounted outside the tower. A Crous-Hinds aero marine beacon was put into use at the lighthouse August 1, 1961, and the light was automated in December of that year. A VRB-25 aerobeacon was installed in 1999. The original first-order lens is on display at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Cape Disappointment State Park. The fourth-order lens is exhibited at the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon.
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North Head Lighthouse Reviews
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  • This is a place not to be missed, a must do sightseeing venture while in Astoria ,OR. Accessible from Astoria Oregon cruise ship terminal, just rent a car and drive 20 minutes north across the Columbi...  more »
  • We visited here many years ago and enjoyed this stop but this time, it was under construction. There is ample parking and a very nice tree lined trail some some interesting historical markers and the ...  more »
  • Under construction and is fenced in but you can still walk up there and get great pictures and views you can park close by or walk 1.8 miles down and back to get a great work out in.  more »
Google
  • Enjoyed visiting the area but unfortunately the lighthouse as of 08/17/17 was still surrounded by scaffolding etc. Understandable since the Lighthouse is under renovation, just would have been nice to know ahead of time. Gift shop is great, as are the surrounding buildings and trails. Volunteers were a great aid as well.
  • Be sure to check out the armaments just north of the lighthouse there is a well laid track to get you there for the bold there are gun towers on the cliffs use extreme caution.. its rugged terrain
  • I was able to visit the North Head Lighthouse when the Lighthouse was open for tours of the inside of the North Head Lighthouse. It's a nice lighthouse with views of the coast of Washington.
  • Beautiful vistas and a nice looking lighthouse. Lots to see around here, and lots of hiking trails to take. Bring a light rain jacket at all times around here, it can rain quickly and a cold wind off the water can cool you down quickly in the shade.
  • Very close to Cape disappointment they are renovating the Lighthouse it can be used as a vacation rental I would love to care take this facility.

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