Piedras Blancas Light Station Natural Area in San Simeon, California
Piedras Blancas Light Station Natural Area is located seven miles north of San Simeon along the San Luis Obispo Coast. The lighthouse, which was established in 1875, is missing its top, but it still is photogenic and the history to be learned here is worth the small price of a tour. If you want to see the original light station fresnel lens, it is on display at 1000 Main Street in Cambria.
The land at Point Piedras Blancas is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (signed US Department of the Interior at the road entrance) and is part of California Coastal National Monument. Haystack Rock is visible offshore from Point Piedras Blancas and Highway 1.
There are no sandy beaches right at the point and access to the rocky shore isn’t allowed without a tour guide anyway. The beaches south of the point are overrun by elephant seals so no human access is allowed there either. Your best bet to actually touch the sand nearby is at Point Piedras Blancas Beach about a half mile north (gate and parking area on the shoulder of Highway 1). Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery, about a mile south of the light station is excellent to visit, but you can’t go on the beach there.
Tours of the lighthouse and the trails (including views of elephant seal colonies) are available typically June 15th through August 31st. See the Piedras Blancas Light Station Association website to learn about tour schedules and where to meet.
15950 Cabrillo Hwy
San Simeon, CA 93452
- Park Name
- Piedras Blancas Light Station Natural Area, California Coastal National Monument
- BLM Natural Area
- Whale Watching, Wildlife Watching, Lighthouse Tours
- Pet Policy
- No pets allowed
- Fees charged for lighthouse tours