Adventures in Oregon: Tillamook – Cape Meares Lighthouse

Cape Meares Sign

I knew little about Tillamook, OR except that it was a dairy town and I only knew that because our grocery stores have Tillamook cheeses and ice cream. The town of Tillamook itself wasn’t a major stop on our itinerary, but served more as a jump off point for the hiking areas relatively nearby.

Our first adventure outside of Tillamook was to the Cape Meares Lighthouse.

As you can see in the picture below, there is a clear path from the parking lot to the lighthouse area. It was a dreary day, but the seaside’s dramatic ambience was enticing. Ocean storms can be dramatic!

The top of the Tillamook Lighthouse
The top of the Tillamook Lighthouse seen from the walking path

I hadn’t appreciated the fact that lighthouses have lights with different color patterns. The red and clear glass created a “signal” to let captains know that this is Cape Meares. Not only are there different color patterns, but the duration that each color is visible is very precise.

Color glass pattern of the lighthouse lens
Clear and Red glass create the signal that this is Cape Meares

Before taking the lighthouse tour, we walked to the edge of the visiting area to capture a few stormy photographs of the picturesque rock formations and the choppy waters of the Pacific.

The rocky coastline was stormy this day
The rocky coastline was stormy this day

Here’s a closer view…

A closer view of the rock formations offshore

The lighouse was near the edge of the cliff overlooking the ocean and therefore did not have to be too tall for the sake of visibility.

Tillamook Lighthouse is located on the edge of a cliff
The roofline to the right helps point to the short stature of the lighthouse

From the inside, visitors can appreciate the lens arrangement and all of the mechanisms required to operate and maintain a lighthouse

Colorful glass seen inside the lighthouse
The colorful glass seen against the dark metal provide visual appeal

The polished gears gave evidence to the excellent condition of this lighthouse and the machinery needed to operate the turret.

Gears used to rotate the light
Gears used to rotate the turret

This picture gives a good representation of the size of the main tower of the lighthouse.

A picture of the vertical portion of the lighthouse
The vertical portion of the lighthouse

The tour was very interesting and the docent was very knowledgeable about lighthouses in general and of the Cape Meares structure specifically.

There were a few more stops we could have made in the park, but the weather was not conducive so we decided to head back to town. On the return path, we came across a very large Banana Slug (Ariolimax columbianus). I placed a quarter next to it to help viewers understand the size of this animal; impressive for a slug.

A very large Banana Slug (Ariolimax columbianus)
A very large Banana Slug (Ariolimax columbianus)

One last look back at the coastline before the trip back to Tillamook.

The coastline near the lighthouse


Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

Adventures in Oregon: Movin’ On Down the Road

Adventures in Oregon: Garibaldi’s Graces and Pier


Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 –

Cape Meares, lighthouse, ocean, pacific, beach, scenery, history, landscape, pacific ocean

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