• Ocean waters of Cape Hatteras National Seashore

    Cape Hatteras

    National Seashore North Carolina

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Off-Road Vehicle Regulations

    Please check here for information on how to get your Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) permit. More »

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Climbs End October 8

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: October 1, 2012
Contact: Outer Banks Group, 252-473-2111

Acting Superintendent Darrell Echols announced that Columbus Day, Monday, October 8, 2012 is the last day for climbing the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse this season. The lighthouse will reopen for the 2013 season on Friday, April 19, 2013.

For the 2012 season, to date, approximately 120,000 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. These powerful currents force ships into a dangerous twelve-mile long sandbar called the 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 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 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 automated light.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

Various tern species resting along beach wetlands

Cape Hatteras National Seashore, a Globally Important Bird Area, is a critical natural landform along the Atlantic Flyway - serving as a major resting and feeding grounds for migratory birds. More...