Heceta Head Lighthouse is one of the most photographed sites in Lane County. It is located on a promontory named Heceta Head after a Basque sailor Don Bruno de Heceta who secretly sailed the west coast on a mission for the queen of Spain in 1775. Heceta Head can be reached by driving North from Florence 12 miles on HWY 101. It is at mile marker 178 1/4, which is 1/2 mile north of the sea lion caves. There is a small beach here and it's only a short 1/2 mile hike up to view the lighthouse. On the way up you will pass one of the last remaining lightkeeper's cottages on the coast. It is still in use today as a 5 bedroom bed and breakfast. Reservations are recommended if you would like to stay at the bed and breakfast. (Winter rates on the most affordable room are as low as $133. I still haven't tried out the stay yet but it's now on my list. Apparently there is a 7 course breakfast included!) There is also an interpretive center and gift shop on the bottom floor of the b and b. There you can learn more about the history of the lighthouse and lightkeepers.
Heceta Head lighthouse is a short walk up the hill past the cottage. The history of the lighthouse begins with this land belonging traditionally to the native Siuslaw people who collected sea bird eggs and hunted sea lions in the area. In 1888, settlers claimed an area of 164 acres including Heceta Head. A lighthouse was requested by sailors and commissioned in 1892. Construction included a crew of 56 men and materials were shipped in or wagoned up from Florence. The fresnel lens was ordered from England.
The light was originally created by kerosene lamp but electricity came to the site in 1930. During WW2 the Coast Guard manned the site and continued to maintain the site until the light was fully automated and turned over to computer operation in 1963. The light can now be seen for 24 miles (21 nautical miles.) From 1970-1995 the forest service turned the light keepers quarter's over to Lane Community College who used the facility as a satellite campus. Then in 1995, the cottage was transformed into the bed and breakfast it is today.
Near the top of the hill who will see a trail map and a trail head that connects Heceta Head to Hobbit Beach. It is about a mile and a half hike from Heceta Head to Hobbit Beach. Or you can drive further north on the 101 to the Hobbit Beach Trailhead for closer access.