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Umpqua River Lighthouse

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

The Umpqua River Lighthouse, Umpqua Lighthouse State Park (bobcat)
Whale watching viewpoint near the Umpqua River Lighthouse (bobcat)


The Umpqua River Lighthouse sits behind a fence at a Coast Guard station and can only be visited on a guided tour. This is the second incarnation of a lighthouse in the area. Oregon’s first lighthouse was constructed down next to the river and began operation in 1857. River action constantly undermined the structure, it became unsafe, and it collapsed in 1863 while a crew was in the process of dismantling it. It wasn’t until 1894 that the next lighthouse, safely located atop the bluff, began signaling. This location makes it the farthest from the coast of any of Oregon’s maritime lighthouses. The light’s lens also emits the only bicolored beam on the Oregon coast: alternate flashes of red and white.

North of the lighthouse is the lighthouse museum, operated by Douglas County. After the Coast Guard declared the light “no longer a critical component for safe navigation” in 2009, the county has also maintained the lighthouse itself and offers tours from May to October.

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