From Westhaven State Park and the surrounding area, Grays Harbor Light Station is hard to spot, hiding in a stand of shore pines and set far back from the ocean. At a distance, it’s hard to believe that Grays Harbor Light Station is 107 feet tall, the tallest lighthouse in Washington. Typically, the stature of a lighthouse is seen against the backdrop of a shoreline, resting only a few hundred feet from water’s edge. Although this was true of Grays Harbor Light Station at one time, today there are approximately 3,000 feet between its base and the high tide line due to accretion from the Grays Harbor jetty system.
Any doubt about its size dissolves as you stand beside it, however. Its original characteristics remain in tact and in operation. Although the Fresnel lens that was first lit in 1898 is no longer used, the original light signature, now operated by electricity, still guides seafarers at the entrance of Grays Harbor. Inside the lighthouse, visitors can climb 135 metal stairs to view the original Fresnel lens and take in the panoramic view of the coastline through glass window panes that are a quarter of an inch thick.
Tours are operated by the Westport South Beach Historical Society for a small fee and can be scheduled by contacting the Maritime Museum in Westport. Note that the lighthouse is closed in January and February, but wandering onto the grounds is free any time of the year.