Umpqua River Lighthouse

Umpqua Lighthouse State Park

Central Oregon Coast, Oregon

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Umpqua River Lighthouse


  • The former Coast Guard station is now a museum.- Umpqua River Lighthouse
  • An old Coast Guard lifeboat, designed to right itself in less than a minute when capsized.- Umpqua River Lighthouse
  • A reproduction of the Coast Guard barracks.- Umpqua River Lighthouse
  • Ropes and knots for idle hands.- Umpqua River Lighthouse
  • The museum attempts to convey the experience of living in the Coast Guard station.- Umpqua River Lighthouse
  • Umpqua River Lighthouse.- Umpqua River Lighthouse
  • Umpqua River Lighthouse.- Umpqua River Lighthouse
  • Inside the Umpqua River Lighthouse, the oil lantern that the keeper used to tend the light every four hours.- Umpqua River Lighthouse
  • When cleaning the glass in the tower, it was imperative to wear smocks that had few if any buttons to prevent scratching any surfaces.- Umpqua River Lighthouse
  • The staircase leading up to the Umpqua River Lighthouse tower.- Umpqua River Lighthouse
  • The thick walls were built to withstand massive wind.- Umpqua River Lighthouse
  • The first-order Fresnel lens at the Umpqua River Lighthouse.- Umpqua River Lighthouse
  • Umpqua River Lighthouse at night.- Umpqua River Lighthouse
Overview + Weather
Functioning lighthouse. Tours. Museum. Views.
Access around the lighthouse is limited.
Central Oregon Coast, OR
Pets allowed: 
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description


Shipping along the Oregon Coast exploded after 1850s as prominent coastal rivers became avenues for extensive logging operations. Based on its size and upstream resources, the Umpqua River was predicted to become a significant artery for the timber trade, and a lighthouse at the mouth quickly became a priority. Whether due to economic urgency, crippled foresight, or land disputes, the first edition of the Umpqua River Lighthouse was built right at the Umpqua’s mouth on relatively unstable ground in 1857. Floods and storms made short work of the structure, which was completely abandoned by 1864.

Years later, as shipping along the coast continued to expand, eliminating navigational hazards with an unbroken chain of lighthouse signals became a priority. Ideally, a ship would be able to move into the range of one light as it moved out of the range of another. Construction of the Heceta Head and Umpqua River lighthouses began, and this second draft was placed significantly farther inland and above the river’s mouth. First lit in 1894, this version has a first-order Fresnel lens that flashes two white beams followed by one read beam, giving it a 24 mile range.

While the Coast Guard has relinquished all management of the lighthouse to Douglas County, the tower and surrounding structures remain significant. The lighthouse itself is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the former Coast Guard Station is now a museum showcasing not only the history of the lighthouse but also of the Coast Guard in the area, and staff from the museum conduct lighthouse tours. The museum and tour are excellent portals into the history of the Oregon Coast. If you are traveling on the coast, the information you receive here will resonate with stops at Heceta Head Lighthouse or farther south at Port Orford Head State Park’s Coast Guard museum. Also, nearby Lake Marie is an excellent spot for a picnic and a short walk around a beautiful coastal lake.

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(17 within a 30 mile radius)

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(36 within a 30 mile radius)

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Published in collaboration with The People's Coast

A profound concept originally envisioned by governor Oswald West, in 1967 the Oregon legislature ultimately realized his vision of making the entire Oregon Coast forever open to the public in a piece of landmark legislation titled the Oregon Beach Bill, officially making all 363 miles public land. "The People's Coast" is truly a one-of-a-kind coastline, a unique blend of mountains and rocky stacks, towering old growth forests, marine sanctuaries, tide pools and kelp forests, charming towns, historic fishing communities, world-class golfing, breweries, and simply jaw-dropping scenic beaches. We encourage you to plan your next trip at or by calling (541) 574-2679.

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