Cape Mendocino Lighthouse

The Cape Mendocino Lighthouse

A photo of the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse on a cloudy day.

Cape Mendocino is located at the westernmost end of California, out pasts Punta Gorda by 11 miles in the south. The Sugar Loaf is a326 feet high sea hoard that stands sharply offshore from the mountainous cliff of Cape Mendocino. It is a very dangerous stretch with enormous sharp rocks jutting out from shallow waters along the coast with hidden ledges lying below the sea surface. It is a danger to misguided ships. The dodgy Blunt’s Reef is located only 3 miles away from the cape and is the first signal to the protruding rock area.

It was only in 1867 that a light station was constructed here along with a carpenter’s shop, a two-storey brick dwelling and a barn. To provide for construction sites, the level plateaus had to be carved out from the hill as the headland was almost vertically steep sloped facing the ocean. Cape Mendocino Lighthouse is a double balconied sixteen-sided light station which is joined by bolts to a wadding of concrete. It is one of the highest light stations in the world which stands at almost 422 feet above sea level. Because of its difficult terrain it was abandoned completely by 1960s. The light station was mechanised by then and did not need human keepers to live there. The wooden structures of the Cape Mendocino Light Station were burnt in the 1960s to safeguard it from illegal squatters. In 1971, the rotating beacon was transported and attached to a pole further up the hill. The abandoned light station was eroding down the hillside and was rusting into junk. A movement began which ultimately saved and relocated the rusting tower thirty-five miles south of Shelter Cove. In early November of 1998, the lantern room of the tower was lifted from the old Cape Mendocino Light Station and carried off to its new location at Shelter Cove, by an Army National Guard helicopter. The remnant was then dismantled, numbered and carried off for renovation to a construction yard. In 1999 summer, the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse was restored and repainted. A new glass was installed by the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse Preservation Society. It was then reassembled to its yet new location -Point Delgada at Mel Coombs Park.

In 2001, on its Memorial Day the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse or Cape Mendocino Light Station was opened for public after its dedication in 2000.

The lighthouse is situated in a public park inside the middle of town.

Private Note:
The drive by the mountains confident was fascinating! But the early portion of the drive was good due to the fact you drove by some genuinely great redwood groves. The lady who was tending to the garden outside of the light was seriously good and opened up the lighthouse for us.

Latitude/Longitude: 40°26’N 124°24’W

* From Route 101 take the Redwood Drive exit in Garberville. If coming from the south, turn left onto Redwood Drive. If coming from the north, take a correct onto Redwood Drive.
* Remain on Redwood Drive Rd for 2.7 miles into Redway, then take a left onto Briceland Thorn Rd.
* Take Briceland Thorn Rd. for appx. 12 miles then bear correct onto Shelter Cove Rd. (follow the indicators for Shelter Cove).
* Right after about 9 miles of driving the twisting and turning roads via the mountains, you’ll get into Shelter Cove. Take a sharp left onto Machi Rd. At that point it is best to be capable of see the lighthouse within the distance. Drive to the parking lot.

Work Needed On The Cape Mendocino Lighthouse

A look at the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse before much needed work was done.


The Cape Mendocino Lighthouse As The Sun Sets

A look at the sun setting in the background behind the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse.


The Cape Mendocino Lighthouse With The Sun In The Background

The sun shines in the back of the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse.


A Cape Mendocino Lighthouse Starry Night

A look at the stars behind the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse.


The Cape Mendocino Lighthouse From Inside

A look at the inner part of the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse.


Stairs At The Cape Mendocino Lighthouse

A look at the staircase inside the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse.


Info Plaque At The Cape Mendocino Lighthouse

A close up shot of the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse info plaque.

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