Cape Meares Lighthouse

Tillamook, Oregon - 1890 (1890**)

Photo of the Cape Meares Lighthouse.

History of the Cape Meares Lighthouse

This light is only 38 feet tall, however, the towering cliffs it stands on place the beam at 217 above mean sea level. The light contains a massive first-order Fresnel lens which makes the light visible from 21 miles out at sea. There is a rumour that the lighthouse was built on the wrong cape. The rumour states that the lighthouse was supposed to be built at Cape Lookout which is south, but due to a mapping error the light was actually built at Cape Meares. The map had the two capes switched, but construction was long underway by the time the error was detected. However, records show that a site survey was done at both capes and that Cape Meares was favorable due to a natural spring in the area as well as being slightly lower in elevation. The lower elevation was favorable due to fog which could obscure the light. The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1963 after being replaced by an automated beacon.

Directions: In the town of Tillamook, take a right onto 3rd Street, go about 1.75 miles and make a right onto Bayocean Road NW. Follow Bayocean road for several miles until you see the cut off for Cape Meares Loop. Make a left onto Cape Meares Loop, and follow that into the park. From here, it was a short walk to the Cape Meares Lighthouse.

View more Cape Meares Lighthouse pictures
Tower Information
Tower Height: 38.00'
Focal Plane: 217'
Active Aid to Navigation: Deactivated (1963)
*Latitude: 45.48600 N
*Longitude: -123.97800 W
See this lighthouse on Google Maps.


* Please note that all GPS coordinates are approximated and are meant to put you in the vicinity of the lighthouse, not for navigation purposes.

** This year denotes a station date. This is the year that a lighthouse was first reported in the vicinity or at that location.

All photographs and information on this site is copyright © 2016 Bryan Penberthy unless otherwise specified. No content may be used without written permission. Any questions or comments, please email me.