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Lighthouse tours are available 7 days a week from 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. (winter 11-2), weather and staff permitting. Tour groups, school groups, and other groups please e-mail us to schedule a tour at Heceta.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Restoration of the tower finished in mid-2013. Because of ongoing maintenance and inspections of the upper levels, tours currently only cover the outdoor area around the base of the lighthouse, and the ground floor of the tower. A new schedule will be announced when tours of the upper levels resume.
Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint is located in a cove at the mouth of Cape Creek. There are picnic tables sheltered from the wind and a great view of the ocean. A short trail leads to the historic Heceta Head lighthouse and assistant keeper's house.
Heceta Head trail is part of a 7-mile network. Trails of varying difficulty feature beach and wildlife viewing areas. Wildlife refuge islands feature a view of common murres, cormorants, gulls, and other bird nesting areas. Sea lions and whales can be seen from the beach and cliff-top lighthouse.
On the west side of 1,000-foot-high Heceta Head, 205 feet above the ocean, the lighthouse is one of the most photographed on the coast. The light at top of 56-foot tower was illuminated in 1894; the automated beacon, seen 21 miles from land, is rated as the strongest light on the Oregon coast. The historic assistant lighthouse keeper's house (Heceta House; built 1893) offers bed and breakfast rentals and facilities for group events. The bed and breakfast is operated by a concessionaire of the U.S. Forest Service and can be reached at 1-866-547-3696 or http://hecetalighthouse.com/
Common murres, which lay their eggs on the bare rocks, can be easily seen by looking down, just over the railing near the lighthouse. Brown pelicans commonly fly by, as do bald eagles. Migrating gray whales can be seen as they travel to and from Alaska and Baja California. May is a great time to look right down on the migrating mothers and calves as they travel close to shore.
There are natural caves, tidepools, and a sandy beach for building sandcastles.
Day-use parking permits are required year round at Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint. A daily ($5), 12-month or 24-month permit, an Oregon Coast Passport, or a valid state park camping receipt is required. Purchase daily permits from a machine at the park. The 12-month and 24-month permits are sold at most major state park offices.