• 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 September 23, 2010

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Date: September 21, 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 September 23. Two tours will be given, one at 6:45 p.m. and a second at 7:45 p.m. Each tour is limited to 30 people.  Tickets must be purchased in advance.  Full Moon Tour ticket sales will start on Tuesday September 21, 2010.  The lighthouse ticket booth is open from 8:15 a.m. to 4:40 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 Tuesday, September 21. 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. – 4:40 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 park 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, September 24, between the hours of 8:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. for a replacement ticket useable only on September 24.  This ticket will be for day climbing only.

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.