Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is open
climbing April 15-Oct. 10
Lighthouse will be open for climbing from April 15 – Oct. 10.
The first day of climbing the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse for the 2011
season is Friday, April 15. Climbing hours will be 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
daily in the spring and fall; and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. May 27 through
Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5. The lighthouse will remain open through
Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 10.
Tickets are required.
Climbing tickets are $7 for adults and $3.50 for senior citizens (62 or
older), children (12 and under, and at least 42 inches tall), and those
holding a National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Access Pass.
Tickets are available on a first come/first served basis and can only
be purchased in-person at the site the day of the climb. There are no
advance ticket sales for climbing tours.
Ticket sales begin at 8:15 a.m. Climbing tours will begin at 9 a.m. and
will run every 10 minutes with a limit of 30 visitors per tour. Ticket
sales close at 4:30 p.m. in the spring and fall, and 5:30 p.m. May 27
through Labor Day. Ticket holders should arrive at the lighthouse gate
five minutes prior to their ticketed tour time.
On Friday, April 15, the first day of climbing for the 2011 season, the
National Park Service invites members of the local Outer
Banks’communities to climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse at no charge.
On this day only, free tickets will be available on a first come/first
served basis and can only be obtained in-person at the site the day of
the climb. This fee-free day applied to park visitors as well.
The lighthouse may close at any time if weather conditions are unsafe.
The following safety rules apply:
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 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.”
must be at
least 42 inches tall
capable of climbing all steps on their own
- No person
lifted or carried
age of 12 years old must be escorted by an adult.
stomping on stairs and landings is prohibited
- Do not
drink, smoke, or chew tobacco
- No pets,
- Do not
arrive in bare
feet or heels over 1 1/2 inches high
need to be
left in your car
coolers, beach bags, surfboards, fishing poles, etc. also need
be left in your car
and other throwing equipment are prohibited
In 1999, after years of study and debate, the Cape Hatteras Light
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 shore-- its
original distance from the sea.