You can’t visit Crescent City without stopping by the historic Battery Point Lighthouse.
You can see the lighthouse from many different places in the city, but if you want to see it up close then you will have to plan your trip around the tides.
Battery Point Lighthouse
We visited the lighthouse on our trip to Crescent City, CA. Since the Lighthouse is only accessible at low tide we checked the tide table and low tide was in the morning.
Normally they offer tours of the inside but tours were closed due to social distancing.
It was fun to get up close to Battery Point Lighthouse and walk around the island area that it sits on. Here is all the information that you need to plan your trip.
- Location: 235 Lighthouse Way, Crescent City, CA 95531
- Tide Table: Click here to see tide table
- Facebook: Lighthouse Facebook Page
Driving to the Lighthouse
Drive down Front Street until it dead ends. Then you will turn left onto lighthouse way and the street ends at the parking area to the lighthouse. You can even see the lighthouse right from the parking lot. Parking is free.
There are no public restrooms on the island where the lighthouse is located, but there are some restrooms near the parking lot.
Walking to Battery Point Lighthouse
From the parking area you will see a sign that has some more information about the tour schedule and the light house.
You will also see the start of the path that leads down to the beach. The pathway down to the beach area is a path that is quick and easy. After you get off the pathway you will just continue toward the light house.
If it is high tide, the trail to the light house will be completely covered in water.
When it is low tide you will clearly see the rocky pathway that goes out to the tiny island that Battery Point Lighthouse sits on.
The trail is pretty easy and the rocks are small rocks so it’s not hard to get out to the lighthouse.
The most important thing about planning your trip is to make sure you go when its low tide and that you have enough time to walk to the island, explore the light house and then walk back before the tide comes in.
Here is a link to check the tide times. After you finish walking over the rocky pathway you start up a cement walkway that leads up the hill and to the lighthouse.
Battery Point Lighthouse offers tours to the public to walk inside the lighthouse and see the historic furniture and artifacts left behind from the 1850’s.
You get to see how the lighthouse keepers lived and you even get to walk up in the light house tower.
I have toured the lighthouse in the past, but due to social distancing, they were not offering tours when we visited in July of 2020.
Tours are open daily from 10am-4pm April-September and open weekends from 10am-4pm October-March (tide and weather permitting)
Here is a link to the Battery Point Lighthouse Facebook page for updates and more information.
Exploring the Lighthouse
Even thought we didn’t get to go inside the lighthouse it was still fun getting up close to it and exploring the island.
There are some other historic buildings, some carvings, and some amazing views of the ocean.
There is a little trail that winds along the island and you can even walk behind the lighthouse.
Check out this Battery Point Lighthouse video that we made while visiting.
History of Battery Point Lighthouse
During the California Gold Rush in the mid 1800’s the coast of California became an important place for shipping timber for the mines and to build new cities.
Ships were used to bring people and supplies to California. Crescent City was also was a popular place for it’s fishing and timber industries.
Due to the increase in ships the town needed a way to protect them from the rocky coastline. So they build the lighthouse.
The lighthouse is currently registered as a California Historical Landmark and is an active lighthouse.
It was one of the first lighthouses on the west coast. It was first lit on December 10th 1856.
Through the years many different lighthouse keepers have operated and lived in the lighthouse.
There were even lighthouse keepers that were trapped on the island during the 1964 tsunami that destroyed most of downtown Crescent City, CA and claimed the lives of 11 people.
The lighthouse wasn’t destroyed and the lighthouse keepers were ok, but I can’t even imagine how scary it would be to be stranded on the island at night during an active tsunami.
Today the lighthouse is an active lighthouse and a private residence to the keepers.
Anyone can actually apply to become a lighthouse keeper. The keepers maintain the lighthouse and operate the daily tours.
In 1994 country signer Tim McGraw filmed the music video for his song “Not a Moment Too Soon” while standing on top of the lighthouse. You can view the video here.
I would highly suggest visiting the Battery Point Lighthouse if you are in Crescent City. Make sure that you check the tides and go early so that it’s not too busy.
We had fun exploring the lighthouse. We will be going back again when they open for tours.
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Battery Point Lighthouse Map: