Point Cabrillo Light Station is about a ten minute drive from Fort Bragg, in a little community called Caspar. We visited Point Cabrillo on our Labor Day road trip to Northern California. The lighthouse was first opened in 1909, and is still in use. Today, it is part of the Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park, which protects the buildings of Point Cabrillo and land around it.
They first started to discuss building a lighthouse here in 1850, when a ship called Frolic miscalculated the distance to shore, and ran aground close to Point Cabrillo. The ship was returning from India with a cargo of home supplies. The captain was able to rescue himself, but when he later tried the save the cargo, the Pomo Indians had found it and taken most of it. Frolic Cove close to Point Cabrillo was named for the shipwreck.
Today, there is also a little museum and a gift shop by the lighthouse. Inside you can see some of it's original equipment, some items found from the Frolic shipwreck and some whale bones found on shore. The light at the lighthouse blinks every ten seconds, but the fog horn is no longer in use. In another small building by the lighthouse, you can get familiar with some sea creatures and organisms. The old lightkeeper's house has been renovated and can be rented. There are also little cottages for rent. What a lovely place to stay the night!
When arriving at the lighthouse, you will first see the Kearn Farmhouse. Parking lots are in front of it. There are also some picnic tables and restrooms by the house. The walk to the lighthouse is about half a mile, and you can choose either to walk on a paved, straight little road or to take a little hiking trail. Another restroom is located by the Lightkeeper's House. Right where the road ends, we were greeted by a volunteer who told us about the history of the lighthouse and where to find what. There are multiple hiking trails on Cabrillo Point that will take you closer to the shore. However, some of the bluffs might be dangerous because of the erosion, so be careful! Erosion has also eaten some of the land around the lighthouse so it now sits almost on an island.
We saw some seals and some deer on our visit to Point Cabrillo. No luck with whales, even though we were told that they can often be spotted from this location. Overall, this is a great place to visit with kids, and we enjoyed our day by the ocean very much!