February 13, 2015

Lighthouses will open
for climbing April 17-Oct. 14

The Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras lighthouses will be open for climbing in 2015 from Friday, April 17, through Monday, Oct. 14.

Bodie Island Lighthouse climbing hours will be 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily with ticket sales from 8:45 a.m. to 4:25 p.m. 

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse climbing hours will be 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily in the spring and fall, and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., May 22 through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7.  Ticket sales for the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse begin at 8:15 a.m. daily and close at 4:30 p.m. in the spring and fall, and at 5:30 p.m. May 22 through Labor Day.

Climbing tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for senior citizens (62 or older), children 11 years of age and under, and those holding a National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Access Pass.  Tickets are available on a first come/first served basis and can be purchased only in-person at the site the day of the climb.  There are no advance ticket sales.

Children must be at least 42 inches tall, and children under 12 must be escorted by a person at least 16 years old.

Climbing the lighthouses is strenuous—climbing the Bodie Island Lighthouse is equivalent to climbing a 10-story building and climbing the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is equivalent to climbing a 12-story building.  For more information on what to expect, check the park website www.nps.gov/caha.

This year, the Bodie Island Lighthouse will be open as a self-guided experience, similar to how the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is operated.  Over the past two years, the Bodie Island Lighthouse has been a guided tour operation -- visitors expressed frustration at the wait time for tours to start and at the 45-minute long tour schedule.  By switching to a self-guided experience, the wait-time will be significantly reduced and the amount of time spent experiencing the lighthouse will be self-determined.  This change should allow more visitors to have an opportunity climb the lighthouse each day.

Members of the local Outer Banks communities and park visitors are invited to climb the lighthouses at no charge on opening day, Friday, April 17.  Free tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and can only be obtained in-person, that day, on-site.

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