37 49' 34. 78"
122 25' 19. 30
Punta Gorda Lighthouse
Dubbed the "Alcatraz of Lighthouses" by light-keepers or "wickies", Punta Gorda remains amazingly isolated. Located twelve miles from the small town of Petrolia, getting to the location is an arduous adventure in itself. The road is steep, windy, filled with hairpin turns and at times has no pavement. Once you arrive, and park at Mattole State Beach, it is now a three mile hike along the shore to reach the lighthouse. The hike is tough, and the beach is made up primarily small pebbles, rather than sand, and you sink with every step. Incessant wind can accompany the hike, blowing either at your back, almost bringing you to your knees, or blasting against you from your destination. You are pitted against the wind, fighting every step of the way in your attempt to make progress. At high tide the beach is under water and impassible, so checking the tide schedule before you leave is a must, one is usually posted at Mattole Beach. There is a creek that feeds into the ocean and varies in size depending on the time of year, you may find a tree trunk upstream making the cross over easier.
For those adventurous souls who enjoy a bit of a challenge,
this is an enjoyable experience, isolated, peaceful, and beautiful.