Pigeon Point Light Station was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and is considered an important landmark. Today, the tower is closed to the public for structural repairs but it still continues to function as a light tower with an automated beacon.

The first order Fresnel lens can be seen inside the Fog Signal Building along with interpretive panels on shipwrecks and fog signals and a scale model showing the inside of the lighthouse.

The coastal area surrounding Pigeon Point Light Station is rich with life. Marine mammals, such as seals, whales and dolphins can be seen regularly from the observation deck. The intertidal zone along this part of the coast, particularly the rocky reefs that flank the light station, contains diverse plant and animal life.

Tower Restoration

After two sections of the cast iron collar around the upper section of the tower broke away and fell to the ground in 2001, the tower was closed to the public, and the grounds directly adjacent to the tower were closed off with a wire fence. The rest of the grounds are open, and the lighthouse can be viewed from the grounds.

Plans to restore the structure were soon formulated and after nearly 20 years of planning, fundraising, stabilization and maintenance work, the The Pigeon Point Lighthouse Restoration Project is now under way!

Click here for updates on the Lighthouse Restoration Project details and timeline.

Whale Watch

From mid-March through the end of May, over 18,000 gray whales pass Pigeon Point during their annual migration from the protected lagoons of Baja California to their feeding grounds in the Bering Sea. This display of nature is particularly enhanced by the extremely close proximity with which the whales pass Pigeon Point.

Gray whale surfaces to breath. (Photo: CSPA archive)

During the spring whale watch, docents provide additional information and assist visitors in identifying characteristics of the gray whales at a distance.

Throughout the summer, humpback whales can often be seen as they follow and feed on schools of small fish. However, predicting when they can be seen is difficult

The Hostel

The one-time Coast Guard cottages, located within the grounds of the park, are now available to rent through Hostelling International. These structures offer overnight lodging for up to 50 guests of all ages. Each house has male or female bunkrooms; separate bunkrooms may be reserved for families and couples. Guests share bathrooms with hot showers, fully-equipped kitchens and living rooms. Meeting space is available.

Hostel information can be obtained at HI-Pigeon Point Lighthouse

The Anniversary

As a tribute to the first lighting, a celebratory event is held on the Saturday closest to November 15 each year. This day-time event includes music, ground-level history tours and an update on the restoration efforts.

The Lens

The first-order Fresnel lens is now in the Fog Signal Building. (Photo: CSPA archive)

The first-order Fresnel lens stands 16 feet tall, six feet in diameter and weighs 2000 pounds. When lit in the top of the tower, the light, limited by weather and the earth's curvature, could be seen for up to 24 miles at sea.

Now on display in the Fog Signal Building, the lens' removal from the tower was the first step in the restoration project of the tower.  This allows the treasure to be viewed by many people, thereby increasing awareness of the restoration efforts. The plan is to restore the lens to the lantern room in the tower once the tower is structurally sound.

The Station

Pigeon Point was a Light Station, which means that there was more than just a light tower. In this case, the fog signals were equally important given the levels of fog in this area. Today there is an interpretive display inside the Fog Signal Building demonstrating the sounds of the various fog signals along with information on their source of power.  Unfortunately, the exterior horns are in serious need of refurbishment.

CSPA’s Support for Pigeon Point Light Station SHP
  • Pigeon Point’s docent program – training, support and ongoing education.
  • Interpretive panels both in the historic buildings, along the trails and on the observation deck.
  • Funded the Historical Structures Report for the site.
  • Funded the storm doors for the Fog Signal Building to protect the first-order Fresnel lens.
  • Support Native Plant program to landscape the grounds in an effort to restore the area.
  • Restore and protect the historic Fog Signal Building.
  • Operate the Park Store.**
  • Funded the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Restoration Project

**All proceeds directly support CSPA’s programs in the State Parks on the San Mateo Coast.