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S. Oregon Coast Landmark Reopens Late: Cape Blanco Lighthouse Season Starts May 1

Published 03/20/23 at 6:30 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

S. Oregon Coast Landmark Reopens Late: Cape Blanco Season Starts May 1

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(Port Orford, Oregon) – One south Oregon coast legend is getting ready to open back up, albeit a little bit late after this year's heavy snow and rains wreaked havoc on its entry road. (Photo Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more.)

Normally, the Cape Blanco Lighthouse and its two historic companion buildings open for the season on April 1. This year, the Port Orford-area attraction will open back up on May 1 instead. This means the lighthouse itself, the Lighthouse Greeting Center Gift Shop, the Port Orford Lifeboat Station Museum and the historic Hughes House all resume taking visitors a month later than usual.

Cape Blanco Historical Society (CBHS) executive director Rebecca Malamud-Evans said the decision was reached by board members of CBHS after examining conditions of the short entrance road to the south Oregon coast landmark.

“This road has experienced considerable damage over time and the seasonal rains and unusual snowfall of this Winter has taken additional toll on the road,” Malamud-Evans said. “The damage has led to the closure of the road to all vehicles, including visitors, staff and volunteers.”

This, in turn, has created another disappointment for visitors and volunteers alike. Because of the shorter season, Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) has decided not provide docents for lighthouse tours. Luckily, that doesn't mean absolutely no tours of the 1870 lighthouse. CBHS volunteers will begin staffing both the gift center and the lighthouse, offering some limited tour schedules. Keep track of more information on tours at the Cape Blanco Lighthouse this summer at (

Along with the lighthouse, two other south Oregon coast faves, the Hughes House and Port Orford Lifeboat Station Museum, will both open on May 1 as well. Days of operation will be from Wednesdays through Mondays, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays will be cleaning days and the three sites will not be open.

In addition to the Lighthouse opening, the historic Hughes House and the Port Orford Lifeboat Station Museum will open on May 1 as well.

The days of operation for these sites will continue to be Wednesday — Monday, 10AM to 3:30PM (with Tuesdays reserved for cleaning and maintenance). Please call 541-332-0521 for more information or if you are interested in volunteering at one of the three sites this season (May through October).

These historic south Oregon coast attractions were all closed during the pandemic and through most of 2021, reopening only briefly in the fall of that year.

Inside the Hughes House, courtesy photo

Port Orford's Cape Blanco Lighthouse has 63 steps to its top via three flights of stairs and one ladder. Cape Blanco itself is the westernmost point in Oregon and and the second farthest west point in the U.S. It also holds the unique distinction of being a kind of dividing line in weather along the Oregon coast: weather is often different north of the cape than south in one way or another [How Cape Blanco is a Dividing Line in South Oregon Coast Weather].

Keep a watch on or the Cape Blanco Facebook page for updates on tours. MORE PHOTOS BELOW

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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