Located along the Lost Coast in the King Range National Conservation Area, the Punta Gorda fog station began operating on June 22, 1888, and the lighthouse on January 15, 1912. Isolated and lonely, the lighthouse was reported to be the "Alcatraz" of lighthouses, a place where employees were stationed as a punishment for misconduct. Throughout its operation, the lighthouse remained a frontier settlement in the midst of a modernizing world. During good weather, a keeper would ride horseback into the village of Petrolia to carry back what fresh supplies he could. For much of the winter, flooded streams and fierce winds kept the area cut off from civilization. The lighthouse was in service for 39 years until it was taken over by the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II and finally closed in 1951. The property was transferred to BLM in 1963, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 5, 1976.
From Eureka, travel, 10 miles south on U.S. Highway 101 to the Ferndale exit. Proceed 5 miles on County Road 211 to Main Street in Ferndale. Follow Main Street approximately 1 mile to its end. Turn right on Ocean Street, then immediately left on Wildcat Road. Continue 45 miles to Petrolia. Turn right on Lighthouse Road and travel 5 miles to Mattole Campground. The Lost Coast Trail begins at the Mattole information kiosk, and leads south 3 miles to the lighthouse.
Arcata Field Office 1695 Heindon Road Arcata, CA 95521
Historic & Cultural Site Hiking Horseback Riding Picnicking Wildlife Viewing
BLM - Bureau of Land Management