Point Montara Light

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Point Montara Light
Point Montara Light (2013).jpg
Point Montara Lighthouse
Point Montara Light is located in California
Point Montara Light
Location Montara, California
Coordinates 37°32′11″N 122°31′08″W / 37.5363°N 122.519°W / 37.5363; -122.519Coordinates: 37°32′11″N 122°31′08″W / 37.5363°N 122.519°W / 37.5363; -122.519
Year first constructed 1875
Year first lit 1928
Automated 1970
Foundation Concrete
Construction Steel
Tower shape Conical
Height 30 ft
Original lens Fourth order Fresnel lens
Current lens FA 251 lens
Characteristic white flash every 5 s
Admiralty number G4010
ARLHS number USA-629
USCG number 6-0335

The Point Montara Light is a lighthouse in Montara, California, United States, on the southern approach to the San Francisco Bay, California approximately 25 miles south of San Francisco.


Point Montara Lighthouse was established in February 1875. It originally had a kerosene lantern, but was upgraded in 1912 to a fourth order Fresnel lens. The current tower was first erected in 1881 in Wellfleet, Massachusetts as the Mayo Beach Lighthouse. In 1925, the cast iron tower from the discontinued Mayo Beach Light was disassembled and moved to Yerba Buena. It was moved and rebuilt as the Point Montara Light station in 1928, where it stands today.[1] The lens was transferred to the San Mateo Historical Society when the lighthouse was automated in 1970, and is currently on display at the library at the College of Notre Dame in Belmont, California.

The lighthouse is open to the public, and is the site of a youth hostel sponsored by Hostelling International USA (part of Hostelling International).[2]

The following was written prior to 1970: "Three men, including a First Class Boatswains Mate, as Officer-in-Charge, operate Point Montara Light, which provides a light and fog signal. This is a family station with quarters in a duplex constructed in 1961, which contains a 3 and bedroom unit. A house built in 1863 provides quarters with a 2 bedroom and a separate relief keepers quarters. The station has no small boats assigned, but does have a pickup truck. Personnel and dependents at Point Montara utilize Government medical facilities, commissary and post exchange in the San Francisco area. The nearest school is within walking distance (1/4 mile) from the station."

In 2001 the lighthouse, specifically the hostel, was used in the film Bandits starring Bruce Willis, Cate Blanchett and Billy Bob Thornton. The location was converted into a small roadside inn. [1].

Marine Protected Areas[edit]

Undated USCG photo

Montara State Marine Reserve & Pillar Point State Marine Conservation Area extend offshore from Montara. Like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems.


  1. ^ "Missing Cape Cod lighthouse located in Calif.". Associated Press. 2008-06-04. Retrieved 2008-06-04. [dead link]
  2. ^ Hostelling International USA - Point Montara Lighthouse

External links[edit]