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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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Of the two lighthouses at Cape Disappointment state park, this one is easier to access by foot. The path is wider and well maintained, easy stroll down a gentle slope. The other lighthouse, Cape Disap...  more »
  • Still closed for construction but scaffolding removed yesterday so there was still photo opportunities. Easy to walk to. Went from sunny to foggy in minutes. Beautiful.  more »
  • This lighthouse is more easily accessable than the nearby Cape Disapointment lighthouse. You can drive up to within about a quarter mile of the structure and then walk out to take in the views. Most o...  more »
Google
  • This Lighthouse has a spectacular views. It's by far the better of the two lighthouses in this park. I've been here with my family a few times and we've always enjoyed it.
  • First lighthouse I have ever been in. Awesome view and educational at the same time. Worth the trip!
  • Great place to visit. Nice views of the beach. The sign board says 7 years and older are allowed to climb the light house for a fee of $2.50 per person, but when i went it was closed. Parking available for approx. 15 vehicles. Don't forget your discovery pass. There is a kisok in the enterence as well where you can buy Discovery pass in case you don't have one.
  • Typically very windy and the lighthouse currently undergoing some maintenance but beautiful view
  • 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.

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