Top 20 Oregon Trips

Cape Arago Lighthouse

See Cape Arago Lighthouse on Chief's Island on the Southern Oregon Coast.

Cape Arago Lighthouse is 10-miles west of Coos Bay, on the Southern Oregon Coast.

This picturesque lighthouse is on Chief's Island at Gregory Point, and not accessible to the public.  However, you can see it from the beach at nearby Bastendorff Beach County Park

Stay at the nearby Mill Casino, for a beautiful room in a northwestern-style lodge, and enjoy the restaurants, patio dining in summer, and indoor swimming pool.

5 best things about Cape Arago Lighthouse

1. Cape Arago Lighthouse was built three times on Chief's Island!  The two earlier lighthouses were constructed in 1866 and 1909 on the island, but were both subject to erosion and destroyed.  The current Cape Arago Lighthouse was first lit in 1934, and was the third attempt at constructing a lighthouse that could withstand the brutal elements of its exposed island location. The octagonal tower at Cape Arago Lighthouse stands 44 feet tall, with a fog horn building attached to the tower. 

2. A tramway bridge once ran from the mainland to the island.  The tramway was originally constructed to transport supplies to the Cape Arago Lighthouse (pictured below), but this has since been removed to prevent visitors accessing the island.

3. The lighthouse was built to navigate ships through thick fog at the entrance of Coos Bay.  By the late 1800s, Coos Bay was a bustling logging port attracting a lot of marine commerce. Today Coos Bay is a lot sleepier, but has reinvented itself as a tourist town with great attractions like the magnificent Shore Acres State Park, famous for its annual Christmas Lights display. 

4. The Cape Arago Lighthouse was fully deactivated in 2006. The Cape Arago Lighthouse was automated in 1966, and in 1993 the fresnel lens was removed and placed on display in at the Coast Guard Air Station North Bend. Finally, in 2006 the electric light was fully deactivated and went dark.

5. In 2013, the Coast Guard handed jurisdiction of the Cape Arago Lighthouse and surrounding lands, over to the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians. A ceremony was held on August 3, 2013, handing over the 24-acres of Chief's Island to the local tribes who have a deep connection to this area.

Explore three State Parks near the Cape Arago Lighthouse.

Coos Bay is blessed with three State Parks along 3-miles of the Cape Arago Highway, next to the Cape Arago Lighthouse.  The drive begins with the Sunset Bay State Park that has a lovely sandy beach, followed by the popular cliff-top garden and enchanting Simpson Cove at Shore Acres State Park, and finally the dramatic rock forms at Cape Arago State Park.

Stroll along Sunset Beach, at beautiful Sunset Beach State Park.

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