Friday, August 9, 2013

Pigeon Point Lighthouse stands tall on the central California coast

Pigeon Point Light Station in Pescadero
Along the central coast of California lies the Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park, located about 50 miles south of San Francisco off Highway 1. The Pigeon Point Lighthouse dominates as one of the tallest lighthouses in America at 115 feet. The lighthouse began operation in 1872 and, though currently closed to the public, is still in operation with the U.S. Coast Guard. 

The Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel features very affordable accommodations for those willing to sleep dorm-style and, still low rates, for those wanting private rooms. The Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel are adjacent to the lighthouse itself. Besides the accommodations, there is also a coastal hot tub for guests to "rent" (reservations available at check-in.) You will need to be a member of Hostelling International in order to stay at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel, but annual membership is very affordable at only $28 per year (a daily member rate of $3 is also available.) The hostel is part of the Northern California Hostels network of eight hostels located from Pigeon Point to Sacramento.

Pigeon Point is a beautifully scenic location on the central coast in between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. History walks around the lighthouse grounds are offered between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Fridays through Mondays. The area features a boardwalk perfect for whale watching January through April; tidal pools; and an interpretive center. You can also explore nearby Pescadero March and Año Nuevo State Park.

Pigeon Point is also part of the  California Coastal Trail, a 1,200 mile trail extending from Oregon to Mexico. The California Coastal Trail (CCT) is currently more than half complete, allowing walkers, bikers, equestrians, and wheelchair rides access to the California coastline.  Coastwalk California is a volunteer group advocating for completion of the CCT. Besides advocating for the CCT, Coastwalk offers a variety of guided day and overnight hikes along the California coastline.