There are some stunning scenes along the coast of San Juan Island, from jagged cliffs to waterfront forests to pebble beaches. San Juan Island lighthouses also tend to stand out amongst the landscape. While Lime Kiln Lighthouse stands as a whale watching monument, the Cattle Point Lighthouse of Friday Harbor, WA, is a historic monument of its own.
For more information on what lighthouses you will discover in the San Juan Islands, download our free Vacation Guide! Discover more about the Cattle Point Lighthouse, and then plan your visit!
History of the Cattle Point Lighthouse
Among Friday Harbor points of interest is the magnificent Cattle Point Light, which was built in 1935. This lighthouse is preceded by a navigational landmark that served the area from 1888. The lighthouse was named after the area in which it is located, which was dubbed Cattle Point on British charts in 1858. This is due to the ranch on the southern end of the island that populated the location with sheep and cattle that were off-loaded near the point. In the mid-1800s, a ship was stranded in the area, and its load of cattle had to swim ashore near the point. The following year, the title Cattle Point was made official.
The Cattle Point Lighthouse Today
The modern structure is a 34-foot octagonal concrete tower, which was constructed in 1935 after the Navy closed the previous compass station in the area. The Cattle Point Lighthouse served as an aid to ships sailing through the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. In 1984, the lighthouse received a temporary makeover when it was used as the backdrop for an Exxon TV commercial. During the filming, the tower was given a faux lantern room, railing, and a hipped roof. So, you can see that several images of the Cattle Point Light feature these elements, though they were temporary. Now, the lighthouse stands as a testament to its past days of guiding vessels through the strait.
Visiting the Cattle Point Lighthouse
The Cattle Point Lighthouse currently sits in a windswept meadow of grassy dunes, spotted with seabirds and golden eagles. Adjacent to the Cattle Point Natural Resources Conservation Area, the lighthouse is a beautiful monument among the surrounding San Juan Island nature. When you visit the lighthouse, you will be able to see the structure in its splendor. Trails lead from the conservation area to the lighthouse, allowing visitors to see it close up.
Stay in Friday Harbor at Our Bed and Breakfast
As you explore Friday Harbor, make Tucker House Inn your bed and breakfast choice. There is so much to see and do just in our town. As you expand to other areas of San Juan Island, make sure you have a home base. Tucker House Inn is just steps away from the ferry landing and a short drive from the Friday Harbor Airport. It is within walking distance to art galleries, local boutiques, and much more. You will love Tucker House Inn, and we hope you decide to make it your home away from home!