Piedras Blancas means “white rocks” in Spanish. The historic lighthouse, with its distinct light pattern of a white flash every 15 seconds, assured mariners of their location and warned of the wild rocky coastline. Construction of Piedras Blancas Light Station began in April 1874. The lighthouse was first illuminated a mere 10 months later, on February 15, 1875. The lighthouse was originally 100 feet tall and housed a first order Fresnel lens. A fog signal building was constructed in 1905 and the first sound was produced in 1906. Life at the light station was challenging for the keepers and their families.
Tours of the light station are offered Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, except federal holidays. Meet at the former Piedras Blancas Motel, located 1.5 miles north of the light station, at 9:45. Do not wait at the gate to the site! Book your tour online here.
To see all of the locations along the Highway 1 History & Heritage Trail, check out our interactive map.