School Field Trips to Cape Hatteras Light Station

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the tallest brick lighthouse in North America, is open for climbing from the third Friday in April to Columbus Day (in October). The Cape Hatteras Light Station site also includes a visitor center, bookstore, and the Museum of the Sea.

To schedule a date and specific times for a school group program or lighthouse climb, call the Hatteras Island Visitor Center at (252) 473-2111 x9622. Fees are charged for climbing the lighthouse unless you have an academic waiver (see below). There is no fee for school group programs.

Before you schedule a lighthouse climb, please know that:

1) Only 30 people are allowed to climb the lighthouse every ten minutes and climbing times are scheduled accordingly. If you have a large group, it might take an hour or more before everyone gets a chance to climb.

Approximate times it will take your students to climb and exit the lighthouse:

50 students

30 minutes

80 students

40 minutes

150 students

70 minutes

2) Chaperones are required to accompany students for the entire lighthouse climb. Chaperone to student ratios are: 1:5 for elementary school; 1:8 for middle school; 1:12 for high school; and 1:20 for college students.

After you have scheduled a lighthouse climb and before you start your field trip:

1) If you wish to have the climbing fees waived, you must request an Academic Fee Waiver from the Outer Banks Group Fee Manager at least four weeks in advance of your scheduled visit. If approved, you will receive an approval letter from the Fee Manager. The letter must be presented at the lighthouse ticket booth to receive your free tickets on the day of your climb. If you do not have an approval letter with you when you arrive at the site, you will be charged the applicable climbing fees.

2) Read and discuss all rules and regulations for climbing the lighthouse with your students before arrival.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse


Last updated: April 14, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Cape Hatteras National Seashore
1401 National Park Drive

Manteo, NC 27954


(252) 473-2111

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