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Discover the Coast Communities Events Multimedia Did you know? About Map A person walks in solitude across the beach in California as the sun is setting over the Pacific Ocean.  The rocks and islands of the California Coastal National Monument sit just off-shore.

Discover the Coast @ Piedras Blancas

A large rock sits off the coast near a light house.

A respite from the modern world, complete with historic architecture and abundant natural life, awaits visitors to the California Coast at the Piedras Blancas Light Station Outstanding Natural Area.

Built in 1875 as a safety aid to mariners, the light station once cast a flashing, oil-flame light 25 miles out to sea, warning ship captains to steer clear of the white rocks, or Piedras Blancas in Spanish, that would mean certain doom for a vessel.

Today, the light station, its first order lens and light structure long ago removed, casts a beacon to travelers on scenic California Highway 1.  It continues to provide a navigational aid to ship traffic, as well.  Visits to the light station are by guided tour only, conducted by the Bureau of Land Management, its volunteers and partners.

Insider Tips


Take a guided tour of the Piedras Blancas Light Station, featuring the historic lighthouse, support buildings, wildlife, plants, and spectacular coastal scenery long an easy 1/2 mile trail. 


Visit the nearby community of Cambria to see the first order Fresnel lens that once stood on the top of the lighthouse.  The lens, lantern room, and upper portion of the tower were removed in 1949 due to a large crack about 25 feet down from the top of the lighthouse. The crack was the result of an earthquake and the tower could not safely support the lantern room. 


Bring your binoculars and view the Pacific gray whale's annual migration from December through April.

Local Weather Conditions

Weather symbols for sun, rain, tornado, couds, lightening, and snow.

Piedras Blancas Light Station Hearst Castle/San Simeon State Historical Monument San Simeon Map of the Piedras Blancas Light Station and surrounding area.

Discover the Coast @ Piedras Blancas


Guided Tours, September 1st - June 14th
   Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays
Guided Tours, June 15th - August 31st
    Monday through Saturday
Fee:  $10 for adults, $5 ages 6-17, Free for children 5 and under

Join us for a two-hour tour of the historic lighthouse, support buildings, wildlife, plants, and while you are there, enjoy spectacular coastal scenery.  The trail is an easy 1/2 mile walk.  Meet at the former Piedras Blancas Motel located 1.5 miles north of the light station at 9:45 am.  Reservations are not required. 

Discover the Coast @ Piedras Blancas


Peek at the Past:  140th Birthday Celebration
Saturday, February 14, 2015 
Piedras Blancas Lightstation, San  Simeon, CA 
Fee: Adults $10/Ages 6-17 $5/Under 5 free

The first order light at Piedras Blancas was first lit on February 15, 1875. This year we will be celebrating the 140th birthday of the lighthouse on Saturday, February 14. A special living history tour,“Peek at the Past”, will feature guides in period attire and enactors portraying life at the light station in the 1890s. This special tour is offered at the regular tour fee of $10 for adults and $5 for ages 6 through 17.

Tours meet at the former Piedras Blancas Motel, located 1.5 miles north of the gate to the lighthouse. Be there by 9:45. It is advisable to arrive early for this popular tour. Do not wait at the gate to the lighthouse. For more information email PiedrasBlancasTours@gmail.com or call 805-927-7361.

Bureau of Land Management
California Coastal National Monument
20 Hamilton Court
Hollister, CA 95023-2535
Phone: (831) 630-5006
fax: (831) 630-5055
Contact us by e-mail

Last updated: 01-16-2015