“When a traveler goes alone he gets acquainted with himself.”-Liberty Hyde Bailey
This tour is for any lighthouse lover or person who enjoys a great view.
First, understand that the tour is open only on weekends (Wednesdays, seasonally) and at two times during the day, once during the late morning and then in the early afternoon. My tour started around 2 p.m. Second, this is a guided, three-hour walking tour. A 360 foot rise in elevation that involves one to two flights of stairs. Third, arrive at least 30 minutes early outside the locked gate om Hwy 1 outside an old naval facility. Fourth, take money and/or a credit card with you as you are expected to pay once you reach the end of the tour.
I’ve never had an experience like this one and truly enjoyed it. You are greeted by a park ranger that directs you to travel an unpaved road that leads to the bottom of this large rock where another ranger will instruct you where to park.
The weather can change in this area so dress in layers and pack lightly; water and a few snacks. I used a walking stick. Also, wear a good pair shoes. If the group is large, the rangers will break you up into smaller groups which is helpful for the presentation.
The incline walk is manageable as the rangers lead you up and pause to tell you the history along the way while you gather your breath and shoot photos.
The scenery is breathtaking as you learn about the life of the light keepers, the lighthouse as well as the land around you. With clear skies, a warm sun and sea lions below barking away, I could not have asked for a better unplanned trip.
The lighthouse was under repair during my visit but we were still allowed to go up to the top and even walk outside against the strongest winds I’ve ever felt.
A set of stairs took us to buildings like the blacksmith shop, keepers home, water tower and several other buildings. There was even the jawbone of a young whale on display. Go inside the keepers house and look at the kitchen, sleeping area and other rooms that will bring back memories of appliances, or food packages that use to fill most American homes.
The staff was wonderful, knowledgeable and very kind. This tour was well worth the time and money. For those with disabilities and in need of help, call the park in advance for more information.