Night Light

Catch Sunset at Point Cabrillo Light Station on the Mendocino Coast

When it comes to coastal beauty, there’s not a lot that’s more beautiful, dramatic, and romantic than a windswept lighthouse … that you stroll to during sunset! For over a century Mendocino’s Point Cabrillo Light Station has signaled coast-side danger to passing ships.

hikers at Point Cabrillo Light Station Mendocino coast

hikers at Point Cabrillo Light Station Mendocino Coast

Time your visit for a spectacular “lightshow” twofer—sunset and the lighthouse’s crowning glory: a 6,800-pound original Chance Brothers classic Fresnel lens producing a flash every 10 seconds. The lighthouse is now a state park (operated by a nonprofit) and there are two half-mile paths to walk to the lighthouse. We recommend going in on the dirt North Trail and returning on the paved Lighthouse Road.

hikers at Point Cabrillo Light Station Mendocino Coast

The North Trail is an easygoing bluff-sandwiched path that goes through grassland and coastal prairie all the way out to the end of the bluff. Turn left and follow the light! In a few minutes you’ll be at the lighthouse, a favorite among photographers as daylight dwindles. While you can’t go into the lighthouse currently, the sheer beauty of this stretch of coast with the century-old lighthouse is worth a trip in itself.

OVERNIGHT: The light station is flanked by two lightkeepers’ homes converted into rental cottages. All profits from the vacation rentals go to the nonprofit Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association, under contract with California State Parks.

The parking area is inside the gate off Point Cabrillo Dr. Dog-friendly!

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