The lighthouse will reopen for the 2011 season on Friday, April 16, 2011
October 11, was the last day for climbing the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
The lighthouse will reopen for the 2011 season on Friday, April 16,
For the 2010 season, approximately 130,000 people have climbed the
iconic lighthouse -- a top destination for Outer Banks visitors.
Built in 1870, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse protects one of the most
hazardous sections of the Atlantic Coast. Offshore of Cape Hatteras,
the Gulf Stream collides with the Virginia Drift, a branch of the
Labrador Current from Canada. This powerful current forces southbound
ships into a dangerous 12-mile long sandbar called Diamond Shoals.
Hundreds, and possibly thousands, of shipwrecks in this area have given
it the reputation as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.”
In 1999, after years of study and debate, the Cape Hatteras
Station was moved to its present location. The lighthouse was moved
2,900 feet in 23 days and now lies 1,500 feet from the seashore, its
original distance from the sea.
The National Park Service currently maintains the lighthouse and the
keepers’quarters. The U.S. Coast Guard operates and maintains the
The grounds of the lighthouse are open for picture taking and
exploring, and the Visitor Center is open each day from 9 a.m. until 5
p.m. except on Christmas.