Point Arena Lighthouse and Stornetta Public Lands


What? :

A beautiful tall lighthouse and a nearby coastline nature park to visit.


Where? : 

Located on Mendocino County coastline, near the town of Point Arena, 35 miles south of Mendocino.

Google Map Link

When? :

It is recommended to be there towards sunset, the lighthouse will be close to visits but the ocean sunset and lighthouse view is worth the wait.


Due note: Looks like that the road parking lot is public land so you can park for the night on the roadside. At 2020 summer we spend here two nights, just at the lighthouse parking, many others did the same.

As of Jan. 2023 there are many signs that do not allow any overnight parking here. 

My thoughts: 

We really enjoy this place, the magnificent lighthouse view, beach cliff over the ocean below, grasslands, hidden coves and beaches to explore and few short hike options.

Highly recommended place to visit, even just to see the unique lighthouse.


The visit:

The visit here includes the Lighthouse as well as hiking at Point Arena-Stornetta open land and ragged shoreline.

Interesting fact: Point Arena-Stornetta is the ONLY land-based part of the California Coastal National Monument, which is comprised of over 20,000 islands, rocks, and reefs stretched along the 1,100-mile California coastline.


The Lighthouse:

The Point Arena Lighthouse iconic landscape figure is the tallest climbable lighthouse on the Pacific Coast.

The lighthouse originally built in 1870, destroyed by an earthquake in 1906 and rebuilt again by 1908. The 115-foot structure is the tallest of its kind on the Pacific Coast.

At my Jan. 2023 visit I waited until 10am and entered the lighthouse museum.
There is an option to include also lighthouse climbing but I did not had the time to do this.
This is a small museum that explain about the lighthouse and it history.

Walk and view from outside the lighthouse close area:

The lighthouse located at the end of a lend tip and surrounded by water on three sides.

From the external parking lot, you can have a short hike 0.3 mile to the east of the lighthouse complex (right on the complex fence) north to the cliff with a much closer view on the lighthouse. Another short side trail will take you to Garcia River ocean outlet.

Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands:

The 1,665-acre Point Arena-Stornetta Unit of the California Coastal National Monument.

To hike here the best place to park your car is at the small roadside parking lot, about 1 mile before the lighthouse, at the point where the road is leaving the coastline and getting inland.

The easy hike at the reserve will take you through flat open landscape, grasslands, to the ragged rocky beaches, coastal bluffs and sea arches.

Overall, this is around 2 mile out and back hike with option to go down and explore the beaches and tide pools, you can extend the hike and continue hiking south.

At the flat landscape, not far from the cliffs,  you can also see few “sinkholes” that are connected to the ocean below, this rock formations are the result of constant erosion from the crashing waves below, creating cavernous holes at their base.







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