North Head Lighthouse is an active aid to navigation overlooking the Pacific Ocean from a rocky promontory located north of Cape Disappointment and the mouth of the Columbia River, approximately 14 miles (23 km) northwest of Astoria and 2 miles (3.2 km) southwest of Ilwaco, Washington.
The light at North Head was built because mariners approaching the Columbia River from the north could not see the Cape Disappointment light until they had nearly reached the river mouth. This need was supported by the many shipwrecks that occurred along the Long Beach Peninsula, just north of the Columbia River.
The North Head Light was first turned on in 1897 and is now the most intact light station on the Pacific Northwest coast. All of the original buildings remain standing, including the tower, two oil houses, two residences, a barn, a chicken coop, and garages. In 2012, the Coast Guard turned over ownership of the light station to Washington State Parks. Repair and restoration efforts are being undertaken by the state and an independent preservation group called the Keepers of the North Head Lighthouse which is an arm of the non-profit Friends of the Columbia River Gateway. Read more here and here. Explore more of North Head here: