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Yaquina Head Natural Area

Frequently Asked Questions

Who manages Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area?

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages YHONA. The BLM is a federal agency within the Department of Interior. For more information about the BLM and what it does, see http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/About_BLM.html.

When is Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area open?

YHONA is open to the public from dawn to dusk 365 days a year. The entrance gate opens at sunrise or 6:00 AM, whichever is later, and closes five minutes after sunset.

Is there a fee to enter Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area?

A $7.00 fee for vehicles with up to 9 passengers is good for three consecutive days. Yearly passes and federal recreation passes are also available. For more information about recreation passes and entry fees, see Yaquina Head passes (PDF).

When is the lighthouse open?

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse hours change with the seasons so please call for the latest information: 541-574-3100. The lighthouse is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
July-September: 12 to 5 pm (weather permitting) every day except Wednesday.
October-June: 12 to 4 pm (weather permitting) every day except Wednesday.

Is the lighthouse the tallest?

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse is the tallest on the Oregon coast at 93 feet. Tours allow you to go up 111 of the 114 steps to view the original First Order Fresnel lens.

Is there an Interpretive Center?

Yes. It has exhibits and videos about the cultural and natural resources found at Yaquina Head, a gift store, and much more.

When is the center open?

Summer hours: 10 am - 6 pm
Fall hours: 10 am - 5 pm
Winter hours: 10 am - 4:30 pm

Can you see whales?

The California Gray Whale is a common sight. We also see Killer Whales (Orcas) occasionally during the spring months.

When do you see gray whales?

The majority of gray whales are spotted during their winter and spring migrations, from Alaska to Baja and back again. Winter migration occurs December to mid-February and spring migration is March through May. If a good food supply is available off the Pacific Northwest Coast during the summer some whales may stay in the area rather than swimming all the way to Alaska. These whales may be spotted off Yaquina Head any time prior to the winter migration.

When is the best time to view the tide pools?

The best time for tide pooling is at low tide, or as close to it as possible. A general rule of thumb is that the tide pools can be visited approximately two hours before low tide time (when the tide is receding) and two hours after (when the tide is coming back in). You can check the tides usually in the local paper, or online using the tide predictor provided by University of South Carolina.

What about nesting seabirds?

We get over 25,000 nesting birds during the spring and summer. They include common murres and Brandt's and Pelagic cormorants. Western gulls and black oystercatchers can be seen year round.

Can we volunteer at Yaquina Head?

Yes, we have volunteers from the local community, and we have park hosts with RVs that stay one or two months at a time. We couldn't operate the area without them. If you are interested in being a volunteer at Yaquina Head, please give us a call at 541-574-3100.

What telephone number do I call for more information?