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Yaquina Head Natural Area

Things to Know Before You Visit Yaquina Head


The trail along the western edge of the headland that leads to the lighthouse is wheelchair accessible, as are the three observation areas: (1) overlooking Cobble Beach, (2) behind the lighthouse, and (3) Quarry Cove. The gate at Quarry Cove can be opened to allow visitors who are physically challenged easy access to Quarry Cove's beach area. Request a remote gate opener from the Entrance Station or Interpretive Center.

The natural history video shown in the interpretive center is closed captioned.

The public phone in the interpretive center includes TTY service.

The Access Pass allows free entrance to federal fee areas and can be shown for some discounts on services. The pass is free for citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. who present documentation (such as from a licensed physician, the Veteran's Administration, or a vocational rehabilitation agency) of a permanent medical disability. Obtain the Access Pass at Yaquina Head's entrance station or http://store.usgs.gov/pass.

Weather Conditions

Visitors should be aware that summer weather at Yaquina Head is very unpredictable and can bring cold temperatures, high winds and fog. Winter usually brings rain and high winds.

Summer daytime temperatures are often in the mid-60s (15-18°C) and occasionally in the mid-50s (12-14°C). Fog is common and the winds near the lighthouse can be 10-15 mph. If you visit the Oregon Coast, be prepared for cool air temperatures and cold ocean temperatures, even in the summer months.

Winter temperatures can range from 39°F to 51°F (4-11°C) throughout the day. The record low temperature is 1°F  (-17°C). Daily rainfall is highly variable, but average total rainfall in January and December is over 10 inches. Winds can reach 30 mph with extreme gusts over 50 mph.

At any time of year, be prepared for sudden changes. Unpredictability, more than anything else, characterizes Oregon's coastal weather. Always be equipped with a wide range of clothing options. Be sure to bring a warm jacket and rain gear even in the summer.

Weather Forecasts

Historical Weather Information

Park Rules and Regulations

Code of Federal Regulations

Most rules that apply to all Bureau of Land Management sites can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations under Title 36.

Firearm Regulations

As of February 22, 2010, a new Federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws to legally possess firearms in this park. It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering this park. As a starting point, please visit our state's website.

Federal law continues to prohibit the possession of firearms in designated "federal facilities" on federal land, for example, visitor centers, offices, and maintenance buildings. You must not discharge a firearm or device that is designed for and capable of expelling a projectile by use of spring, air, gas or other explosive at any time into or from any area posted as no shooting or a safety zone, or into or from any developed camp or recreation site. This includes: bows and arrows, crossbows, air rifles, and paint ball guns (43 CFR 8365.1-6).


Most special events and activities held within the park require a Special Use Permit. These permits are issued and approved only after Bureau of Land Management staff determines that the activity will not impair park values, resources, and visitor enjoyment. Please provide Yaquina Head with as much notice as possible to consider your request.

Activities and events that require Permits include (but are not limited to):

Traveling with Pets at Yaquina Head

1. Pets may accompany you in most outdoor areas of the park.
Pets must be kept under physical control at all times - caged, crated, or on a leash not to exceed six feet in length. They are not allowed on the observation deck behind the lighthouse or in the tide pools exposed at low tide on Cobble Beach.

2. It is prohibited to leave a pet unattended and tied to an object.
If necessary, pets may remain in your vehicle while you are viewing attractions; however, we care about your pet's well-being. Be sure to provide sufficient ventilation for its comfort and survival.

Pets running at large may be impounded and the owner charged for the care and feeding of the animal. By law, any domestic animal observed by authorities to be molesting or killing wildlife may be destroyed if necessary for public safety or the protection of wildlife.

3. Pets should leave no traces other than footprints.
The owner is responsible for clean-up and disposal of all pet feces. Please be thoughtful of other visitors as well as your pet. Waste bag dispensers are provided near the park's entrance station and at the base of the Salal Hill and Communications Hill walking trails.

Your Safety

Information Every Visitor Needs to Know

Yaquina Head is a natural area with many potential hazards and no guarantee of safety. We recommend tennis shoes for exploring Cobble Beach and the tide pools. You will be walking across uneven and slippery surfaces.

The lighthouse is open almost every day for tours. Children must be at least 42 inches tall to climb the lighthouse stairs. Bare feet and heels over 1 1/2 inches tall are not allowed on the lighthouse stairs. Close-toed shoes are recommended. Please do not bring food or drink into this historical building.

Park regulations are enforced to protect you and the environment. They are defined in more detail under Park Rules and Regulations.

Wildlife Viewing

Wild animals, especially females with young, are unpredictable and dangerous. Keep a safe distance from all wildlife. Use binoculars or telephoto lenses for safe viewing and to avoid disturbing them. By being sensitive to its needs, you will see more of an animal's natural behavior and activity. If you cause an animal to move, you are too close! It is illegal to willfully remain near or approach wildlife, including birds, within ANY distance that disturbs or displaces the animal.

There are observation decks behind the lighthouse, above Cobble Beach and in Quarry Cove. These decks provide opportunities to view nesting seabirds, harbor seals and whales without disturbing them.

Avoid These Situations

Please help keep our contacts with you pleasant by paying special attention to park regulations and avoiding these problems:

  • Speeding
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Off-road travel by vehicle or bicycle
  • Pets off leash
  • Littering
  • Removal or possession of natural (shells, flowers, rocks, etc.) or cultural features (artifacts)
  • Feeding wildlife
  • Boating and fishing violations
  • Willfully remaining near or approaching wildlife, including nesting birds, within ANY distance that disturbs or displaces the animal


The following is a list of handouts available from Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. Click on the link to download the PDF.