Construction of the Point Cabrillo Light Station began in 1908, and its lens, a British-build 3rd order Fresnel lens, was illuminated for the first time in June of 1909. The station operated under the U.S. Lighthouse Service and then the Coast Guard before being acquired by the California State Coastal Conservancy in 1991.
Today the light station and its grounds, along with 270 acres of undeveloped coastal bluffs and prairie, are part of the California State Parks system. The light station has been completely restored, and the Fresnel lens, which was decommissioned in 1973, has been refurbished and remounted. Two of the beautiful lightkeeper’s houses and their auxiliary buildings are now vacation rentals for people visiting the Mendocino coastline. They are cozy and intimate, with ocean and headlands vistas all around. The third house is a museum, set up as the lightkeepers would have had it in the early 1900s.
The Point Cabrillo wildlife area has some of the most beautiful scenery on the West Coast. Deer roam the headlands, harbor seals play in the coves, black oystercatchers grace the rocky shorelines, while songbirds, squirrels, weasels and rabbits frolic along our bluffs. During the whale migration season you may even see some of the estimated 18,000 gray whales that migrate from Mexico to Alaska every spring.
Inside the lighthouse and fog signal building is a gift shop and museum. In 2023, the light station was damaged in an extreme winter storm. Repairs are underway. Please visit their website to check Park and Gift Shop hours. The gift shop is staffed by volunteer docents. The park is open from Sunrise to Sunset. Donations to help the recovery effort can be made on their website.
WHERE: Midway between Mendocino and Fort Bragg, off Hwy 1 on Point Cabrillo Drive, follow signs.
MORE INFO: 707-937-6123, PointCabrillo.org