Mal Coombs, Shelter Cove

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Mal Coombs is a park managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management located at Point Delgada, on the west side of the small resort town of Shelter Cove, California. The park is within the King Range National Conservation Area that includes and surrounds Shelter Cove. The King Range encompasses over 68,000 acres (27,518 ha) of public land with diverse recreational and wilderness opportunities including the Lost Coast Trail that is part of the California Coastal Trail.

Shelter Cove is a small coastal community at an elevation of 138 feet (42 m) on California's Lost Coast where the King Range meets the Pacific Ocean. The area around Shelter Cove was originally home to the Sinkyone people. The coastal State Route 1 was built further inland due to the very steep terrain surrounding Shelter Cove. As a result the small fishing village remained very secluded from the rest of the state, despite being only 230 miles (370 km) north of San Francisco. As a result of its seclusion, the Shelter Cove area has become a popular destination for vacations.

The old lighthouse from Cape Mendocino was moved to Mal Coombs Park and preserved as a historical attraction. In July 1960, the light station at Cape Mendocino was put up for sale to the highest bidder with the stipulation that they be removed from the station. When no takers came forward, the wooden structures were burned, and the remains were pushed over the cliff. The abandoned lighthouse was slowly succumbing to rust until a citizen’s movement started to save the tower and relocate it 35 miles (56 km) south to Shelter Cove. During the first week of November 1998, a helicopter from the Army National Guard removed the lantern room off the tower and airlifted it south to Shelter Cove. The remaining pieces of the lighthouse were numbered, dismantled, and trucked to a construction yard for renovation. In the summer of 1999, the lighthouse, restored, painted, and fitted with new glass by the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse Preservation Society. It was then reassembled at its new home at Point Delgada in Mal Coombs Park and opened to the public on Memorial Day 2001. Read more here and here. Explore more of Mal Coombs here:


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