St. George Reef Lighthouse In Northern California
Is One Of The Few Accessible Off-Shore Lighthouses In The World
Northern California’s lighthouses are much more than just a pretty scene. Any lighthouse along our coast represents precious history, and each helped to usher in countless ships to safety over the last two centuries. Visiting some of these historic landmarks is a must for anyone, and we even compiled a road trip to some of the best on the NorCal coast. However, there’s one off-shore lighthouse that you can’t exactly drive to. Instead, you can fly to it!
Located six miles off the coast near Crescent City, St. George Reef Lighthouse is a one-of-a-kind historical landmark, as it’s one of the only accessible off-shore lighthouses in the world.
The lighthouse was built in 1865 after a ship, coastal steamer Brother Jonathan, sank and claimed the lives of hundreds of people. Its purpose was to guide future ships to safety past the exposed rocks of St. George Reef, also known as the “Dragon Rocks.”
Even to this day, the lighthouse is an astonishing structure. Consisting of giant slabs of granite cut straight from Humboldt Bay, it towers 16 stories above the ocean’s sea waves.
The lighthouse was manned by keepers of the U.S. Service up until 1939. After that, it was manned by the Coast Guard. It was considered one of the most treacherous light stations on the coast, and five keepers ultimately lost their lives while performing their duties.
The lighthouse was officially decommissioned and replaced by a floating lighthouse buoy in 1975. It sat abandoned and left to crumble for many years until the St. George Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society was established in 1986. The society set to work on restoring the lighthouse, and started offering tours of the facility, as well.
To this day, the society still offers helicopter flights and tours of the lighthouse. The flight to the lighthouse’s base takes about six minutes, and the tour of the structure takes about an hour. Tours are given November through April, on Sundays only.
The tours are the society’s main source of revenue, with every penny going back into keeping this breathtaking piece of history alive and accessible to the public. Learn more about how you can tour St. George Reef Lighthouse by visiting the group’s website here.
Did you know about this gorgeous off-shore lighthouse near Crescent City?
Tell us about your favorite Northern California lighthouse in the comments below!
Address: Crescent City, CA 95531, USA