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

    Cape Hatteras

    National Seashore North Carolina

NPS Offers Full Moon Tour of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse July 26, 2010

Image of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse at night
NPS Photo

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News Release Date: July 20, 2010
Contact: Jason Ginder, 252-995-4474 x24

As a special experience for the visiting public and local communities, the National Park Service will be offering Full Moon Tours of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse the evening of July 26. Two tours will be given, one at 8:15 p.m. and a second at 9:15 p.m. Each tour is limited to 30 people. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Full Moon Tour ticket sales will start on Saturday July 24, 2010. The lighthouse ticket booth is open from 8:15 a.m. to 5:40 p.m. daily. Full Moon Tour tickets are non-refundable.

As there are no lights inside the lighthouse, climbers will navigate the 257 stair staircase using handheld flashlights. During the climb, park rangers will provide stories of the arduous duties of the lighthouse keeper. From the watch room, visitors will be able to view the light up close and in motion and hear of the operation of the beacon, past and present - a truly unique experience. Outside on the lighthouse balcony (weather permitting) climbers will get a glimpse of what the lighthouse keepers of old were able to experience - seeing that beam of light reaching out to sea and the startling reflection of the newly risen moon on the ocean.

Things to know:

1. Full Moon Tour tickets, limited to the first 60 purchasers, must be purchased in person, in advance, at the lighthouse ticket booth. Full Moon Tour ticket sales will begin Saturday, July 24. It is anticipated that tickets will sell out early. Standard admissions fees apply - $7 for adults, and $3.50 for children (11 and under) as well as seniors (62 and older). The lighthouse ticket booth, located at the lighthouse site, is open from 8:15 a.m. – 5:40 p.m. daily.

2. Each participant must bring a handheld flashlight with fresh, serviceable batteries.

3. All participants are required to be at least 42 inches tall and must climb the steps on their own – they can not be carried! If unsure, check with the Rangers before purchasing your non-refundable ticket. Also, keep in mind that some youngsters, although meeting height requirements, may not enjoy the dimly lit, sometimes claustrophobic environment.

4. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

5. For safety reasons, all participants must climb and descend with the group. No exceptions.

6. Know your limitations! The lighthouse is tall, dark, often hot, humid, and can be a challenge to climb. There are no internal lights or air conditioning.

7. All routine lighthouse safety requirements, as well as restrictions as to eating, drinking, gum, etc., apply. This information will be provided to you when you purchase your ticket.

8. Tickets are non-refundable. If the program is cancelled due to weather, the ticket holder may exchange the ticket the following morning, July 27, between the hours of 8:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. for a replacement ticket useable only on July 27. This ticket will be for day climbing only.

Did You Know?

This artist's rendering shows the U.S.S. Monitor foundering in a storm off of Cape Hatteras in December 1862.

The U.S.S. Monitor sank off Cape Hatteras during a storm in December 1862. The wreck's location was a mystery until 1973 when a research vessel found the ship 16 miles off the cape in 230 feet of water. In 1975, the Monitor was named the nation’s first National Marine Sanctuary.