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North Head Lighthouse, Ilwaco

(130+ reviews on the web)
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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  • Absolutely gorgeous, plenty of parking, and a short fort walk in a gravel road. Currently closed for tours due to renovation but still able to enjoy the outside and the views are amazing. A must see!  more »
  • What a beautiful walk and gorgeous views! Lighthouse is under reconstruction, so couldn't get close, but it was a great stop!  more »
  • Been a long time since I last visited. Much more people travel and now a paved trail to the lighthouse. Still one of my favorite lighthouse views. Just in the middle of a paint job right now. Still a ...  more »
  • Once an active lighthouse with quarters and now available for rentals. They are doing some restoration so closed temporarily. The gift shop is open though and you can walk around on a variety of trails. Beautiful views of the ocean.
  • Interesting little lighthouse with some history behind it. Very easy to walk to and from. Unfortunately, as of this review the lighthouse is closed for restoration, but the view is still fantastic and it's not bad for a small excursion.
  • Beautiful views, old light house, not a lot of parking but it's worth visiting.
  • Had a great time here the lighthouse was closed up but we still had a great time walking around and we got some great pictures.
  • Wonderful Light House. I took my fiancee at the time to this light house. we both loved it and the view. The lady in the gift shop was a sweet person to talk too. We did not pay any fees to go see this LH, But we did spend money in the gift shop......was worth the trip.