• Spring-time view of the seashore, with shorebirds returning to the surf.

    Cape Hatteras

    National Seashore North Carolina

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse to Open April 20 – Annual Opening Date Changed to the Third Friday in April

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: March 30, 2007
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111

National Park Service Outer Banks Group Superintendent, Michael B. Murray reminds the public that the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will open to the public for climbing from April 20 through Columbus Day, October 8, 2007.

Climbing fees for the Lighthouse will be $7 per adult, and $3.50 for children under 12 and senior citizens. The Friday opening of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will continue to be a fee-free day, as it has in the past, for the local community members to climb the Lighthouse.

The National Park Service keeps the Lighthouse grounds open year-round, and the nearby Hatteras Island Visitor Center and Museum of the Sea open every day except for Christmas.

Climbing The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse – What to Know Before You Go

The climb is strenuous! The 248 iron spiral stairs to the top equal climbing a 12 story building. The stairs have a handrail only on one side and a landing every 31 steps. There is no air conditioning. It may be noisy, humid, hot and dim inside the lighthouse and there is two-way traffic on the narrow stairs.

Visitors with heart, respiratory or other medical conditions or who have trouble climbing stairs should use their own discretion as to whether to climb the tower.

Climbing tickets are available on a first come/first served basis and can only be purchased in-person at the site on the day of the climb. There are no advance ticket sales.

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 at 5:30 p.m. the Friday of Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. Ticket holders should arrive at the lighthouse gate five minutes prior to their ticketed tour time.

The lighthouse may close at any time if weather conditions are unsafe.

The following safety rules apply:

· Children must be at least 42" tall

· Children must be capable of climbing all steps on their own

· No person may be lifted or carried

· Children under the age of 12 years old must be escorted by an adult.

· Running, jumping, or stomping on stairs and landings is prohibited

· Do not eat, drink, smoke or chew tobacco

· No pets, other than service animals

· Do not arrive in bare feet and heels over 1 ½ inches high

· Umbrellas need to be left in your car

· Backpacks, tripods, coolers, beach bags, surfboards, fishing poles, etc. also need to be left in your car

· Frisbees, boomerangs and other throwing equipment are prohibited

Did You Know?

A navigational chart showing Cape Hatteras and Diamond Shoals

When the Home sank on Diamond Shoals off of Cape Hatteras in 1837, there were only two life jackets for all 130 people on board. Ninety people died. Congress passed the Steamboat Act the next year, requiring all vessels to carry one life jacket per passenger.