Alaska Lighthouses

List of all lighthouses in the U.S. state of Alaska as identified by the United States Coast Guard. There are eleven active lights in the state; the other five have been replaced by automated skeleton towers.

The history of Alaskan lighthouses predates the Seward purchase: the Russians erected a light at Sitka, in Baranof Castle (located on Castle Hill); this light was found unnecessary by the Lighthouse Service and discontinued, but was taken over by the army and maintained by them until 1877. The first American lighthouses in the state were erected in 1902 but most early lights were rebuilt before 1940 in a distinctive Art Deco style; the only surviving building from the earlier group is the Eldred Rock Light. The last constructed were replacements for the lights on Unimak Island in 1950.

Name Image Year first lit Current Lens Focal Height
Cape Decision Light 1932 DCB-24 096 96 ft (29 m)
Cape Hinchinbrook Light 1910 (First)
1934 (Current)
VRB-25 235 235 ft (72 m)
Cape Sarichef Light 1904 (First)
1950 (Last)
None 177 177 ft (54 m)
Cape Spencer Light 1925 Unknown 105 105 ft (32 m)
Cape St. Elias Light 1916 VRB-25 085 85 ft (26 m)
Eldred Rock Light 1906 250mm 091 91 ft (28 m)
Fairway Island Light 1904 None 041 41 ft (12 m)
Five Finger Islands Light 1902 (First)
1935 (Current)
Unknown 081 81 ft (25 m)
Guard Island Light 1904 (First)
1924 (Current)
Unknown 074 74 ft (23 m)
Lincoln Rock Light 1903 (First)
1944 (Last)
None 058 58 ft (18 m)
Mary Island Light 1903 (First)
1937 (Current)
250mm 076 76 ft (23 m)
Point Retreat Light 1904 (First)
1923 (Current)
300mm 063 63 ft (19 m)
Point Sherman Light 1904 (First)
1981 (Current)
Unknown 020 20 ft (6.1 m)
Scotch Cap Light 1903 (First)
1950 (Last)
None 116 116 ft (35 m)
Sentinel Island Light 1902 (First)
1935 (Current)
Unknown 086 86 ft (26 m)
Tree Point Light 1904 (First)
1935 (Current)
VRB-25 086 86 ft (26 m)

The Lighthouse People present lighthouses of Alaska: History, Legend, Lore, Design, Technology, Romance Hardcover

The U.S. purchased the vast territory of Alaska from Russia in 1867. However, there were no lighthouses in the territory until late in the 1800s, when the discovery of gold in Canada's neighboring Yukon Territory brought a rush of settlers and commerce to the southeastern coastal region. Eldred Rock Light is the only survivor from the first series of quickly-built wooden lighthouses. The other early lights were replaced in the 1920s and 1930s by an interesting group of Art Deco concrete towers.

Many of the lighthouses of southeastern Alaska have been transferred to local preservation groups, but there is no statewide preservation society. Because of Alaska's vigorous and generally wet climate, lighthouse restoration and maintenance is a major challenge.