Top 20 Oregon Trips

Umpqua Lighthouse

Umpqua Lighthouse

The Umpqua Lighthouse and museum is on the Southern Oregon Coast.

The Umpqua Lighthouse is located on the Central Oregon Coast, just 30-minutes south of Florence.  It sits on top of a 100 foot bluff at Winchester Bay.

Tour the Umpqua Lighthouse and Museum.

Both the museum and lighthouse are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and are open from May to September.

This 65-foot lighthouse was first lit in 1894.  Visitors can tour the inside of the Umpqua Lighthouse for an up-close look at the stunning red and white lens.  The museum is just a short distance from the lighthouse, housed in the former US Coast Guard building.  

If you're visiting the lighthouse, stay at the nearby river town of Florence, or book a campsite at the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park.

The Umpqua Lighthouse and Museum is usually open May through September (call to confirm). 

The Umpqua Lighthouse is on a spectacular coastal ridge, with commanding views of the entrance to Winchester Bay to the north, and open coastal dunes to the west.  

The Umpqua Lighthouse stands 65-feet tall, and was constructed in 1894.  The first lighthouse was established in 1857 at the entrance of the mouth of Winchester Bay, but was vulnerable to flooding and eventually collapsed.  

The Lighthouse Keepers warmed themselves beside this fire in the Umpqua Lighthouse workroom.

They kept detailed, handwritten notes in a journal about weather conditions, cleaning and upkeep.

These are the coats the Lighthouse Keepers wore when cleaning the lens.

There are 67 steps up the spiral staircase to the Umpqua Lighthouse.

Look up at the landing platform.

Explore some artifacts in a glass case on the landing platform, including the bulbs when it was electrified in 1934.

The final steps to the Lantern Room.

The clockwork mechanism to rotate the fresnel lens was eventually automated.  Back in the day, Lighthouse Keepers had to wind this up every 70 minutes!

The Umpqua Lighthouse emits two white flashes followed by a red flash.  It's active 24 hours a day.

The lens was constructed from 616 red and white prisms, made by Barbier & Cie in 1890 in France.  It's one of the few lighthouses that still operate with first order Fresnel lens.

The Umpqua River Lighthouse Museum is a short distance from the lighthouse.

The US Coast Guard station barracks was built in 1939, and houses the museum.  

The US Coast Guard took over the Umpqua River Lighthouse in 1939, from the Lifesaving Service.  Douglas County now manages both the museum and Umpqua River Lighthouse.

See an authentic lifeboat from the 1930s, designed to hold 3 crew members and 20 survivors.  This was the main life boat used by the Coast Guard around the country, with the last unit removed in 1987.

The Coast Guard put themselves at great risk in these boats, navigating treacherous waters in an open cockpit.

Here's an example of the 36-foot lifeboat in action by the Coast Guard.

Check out this vintage Coast Guard scuba gear.

Here are some fascinating items used by Lighthouse Keepers, like the brass lamp oil filling can, the oil measuring can, and the wick trimmer.

The Umpqua Lighthouse could be seen 20 miles away.

These are some vintage Coast Guard uniforms and flotation devices.

Learn about the Coast Guard flag with the blue eagle and 13 stars.

Follow the trail down to the sandy beach at tranquil Lake Marie for swimming (no lifeguards).  There's also a 1-mile path around the lake.

Enjoy a picnic on the grassed area near the lake.  Visit Oregon State Parks to reserve a campsite, RV hook-up, log cabin or yurt at Lake Marie in the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park.  There are seven deluxe yurts, with TV's, a microwave, fridge and shower. 

Visitors also have access to an attractive ocean beach at Umpqua Lighthouse State Park, popular for crabbing, fishing and surfing.

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