Saturday, 21 March 2015

Pigeon Point Lighthouse near Pescadero

To make the most of the beautiful spring sunshine we decided to go for a hike on a bluff along the Pacific. So we made our way to the Pigeon Point Light Station State Park, near Pescadero, on California Highway 1.

The 115 foot high Pigeon Point Lighthouse, is one of the tallest in America and has been guiding mariners since 1872. It is still a working lighthouse with an aero beacon, and the lighthouse itself is being restored. The original Fresnel lense, comprised of 1008 prisms mounted on a brass frame stands 16 feet tall, 6 feet in diameter and weighing 8000 pounds can also be seen in the adjoining Fog Signal building. Once the lighthouse restoration is complete, they plan to refurbish the lense and mount it back - won't that be amazing!

There are picnic tables and restrooms as well as 2 trails on either side of the lighthouse, both leading down to the beach. There is also a hostel that offers inexpensive lodging and a hot tub on the cliffs! Behind the lighthouse there is a small boardwalk from which you can see seals on the rocks below and farther out you can see the spouts of humpback and blue whales. We spent a lot of time at this overlook boardwalk, just looking out at the serene ocean, the spouts of the whales and the seals sunning themselves on the rocks below, close to the fishermen who were having a field day. 

We then walked down to the beach to explore the tidal pools along the beach. We could see lots of algae, seaweed and small crabs. The 5 yo immediately got down to playing in the sand too, so this hike was a little bit of tourism - historic lighthouse, little bit of marine life - whale spouts and little bit of beach day. All in all we did walk about 2.5 miles, so not strenuous but still lots of fun.

Points to note:

1) April is Whale Watch month at the pigeon Point Light Station State Historic - and there are docent led tours every Thursday through Monday in April from 10:00 am to 4:00pm, where female grey whales and their calves, dolphins, harbour seals and sea otters.

2) There is a parking lot close by and steps to the beach below about 100 yards away.

3) There are a couple of restrooms, not too clean.

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