Winds gust up to 100 miles per hour at North Head, where a 65-foot-tall lighthouse stands atop a 130-foot cliff. Positioned near the mouth of the Columbia River, two miles north of Cape Disappointment, the lighthouse faced the ocean—a beacon to guide ships traveling north.

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Expert Review of North Head Lighthouse

Beach Review of North Head Lighthouse

Away Travel Expert: Christine Loomis
expert favorite Beach Expert Favorite
BeachExpert Rating 4.0 out of 5
BeachExpert Tips & Helpful Hints
  • December to March look for gray whales blowing off shore.
  • Speaking of blowing, North Head Lighthouse is said to be the second windiest spot in the nation; winds reaching 160 miles per hour have been recorded. The incessant howling was too much for one keeper's wife, who was rumored to have thrown herself off the cliff just for a little peace and quiet.
  • Tours are offered seasonally for a modest fee, and today, you can stay overnight in the former keepers' residences. The grounds are open at no charge for day visits.
At this historic lighthouse, built in 1896, visitors can climb 69 steps to the lantern room for 360-degree views of the state's 26-mile-long southwestern spit of land (say that five times fast). The lighthouse was built to help guide ships arriving at the Columbia River from the north.

North Head Lighthouse Dr.
Parking: 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. in summer

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: 360-642-3078
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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