Mile Rocks Light

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Miles Rock Light
Mile Rock Light 02.jpg
Mile Rocks Lighthouse with helicopter landing on the top
Mile Rocks Light is located in California
Mile Rocks Light
Location offshore Lands End
San Francisco
United States
Coordinates 37°47′34″N 122°30′37″W / 37.792765°N 122.510366°W / 37.792765; -122.510366Coordinates: 37°47′34″N 122°30′37″W / 37.792765°N 122.510366°W / 37.792765; -122.510366
Year first constructed 1906 (first)
Year first lit 1966 (current rebuilt)
Automated 1966
Foundation massive reinforced concrete enclosed with steel plates basement
Construction steel tower
Tower shape cylindrical tower with aerobeacon and helipad on the top (current)
3-stage cylindrical tower with balcony and lantern (first)
Markings / pattern white and red horizontal bands tower (current)
white tower
Focal height 49 feet (15 m)
Original lens 3rd order Fresnel lens
Current lens aerobeacon
Light source solar power
Characteristic Fl W 5s.
Fog signal blast every 30s. continuously
Admiralty number G4054
ARLHS number USA-496
USCG number 6-0365
Managing agent

United States Coast Guard[1] [2]


Mile Rocks Lighthouse is a lighthouse on a rock about 2 miles (3.2 km) southwest of the Golden Gate Bridge, California. It's now an automated and unnatural looking lighthouse with a flat top and red (barberpole-like) painted rings that tends to stand out very obviously between the Golden Gate Bridge and the Cliff House to the south. To one side is a smaller, though clearly visible, rock.


In 1889, the United States Lighthouse Service placed a bell buoy near the rocks. However, the strong currents in the area would pull the buoy beneath the surface of the water and set it adrift. The lighthouse was completed in 1906 after considerable difficulty caused by the heavy seas and strong currents occurring at this point. The rock upon which the lighthouse is built measured only 40 by 30 feet (12.2 by 9.1 m) at high water. The base of the tower is a large block of concrete protected by steel plating. Steel and concrete in the foundation alone weighed 1,500 tons. The superstructure is of steel, and houses the fog signal apparatus and the quarters for the keepers, with the lantern above.

It was on this rock that the SS City of Rio de Janeiro was wrecked shortly before the building of the lighthouse. One hundred and twenty-eight persons, of 209 aboard, lost their lives when the City of Rio de Janeiro sank on February 2, 1901.

The original third order Fresnel lens was transferred to the Old Point Loma lighthouse in San Diego. In 1966, all of the tower was removed and only the first story was left, and the light automated. The top of the first story is now a landing pad.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mile Rocks The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 11 June 2016
  2. ^ California Historic Light Station Information & Photography United States Coast Guard. Retrieved 11 June 2016
  3. ^ Miles Rock Light Lighthouse Friends. Retrieved 11 June 2016

External links[edit]