NPS Offers Sun Rise Tour of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

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Date: August 25, 2006
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111

As a very special experience for the visiting public and local communities, the National Park Service will be offering the first Sun Rise Tour of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on the morning of Thursday, August 31.  The single tour will be given at 6:15 a.m. and is limited to 30 people.  Tickets must be purchased in advance.  Sun Rise Tour ticket sales will start on Tuesday, August 29.  The lighthouse ticket booth is open from 8:15 a.m. to 5:40 p.m. daily.  Sun Rise Tour tickets are non-refundable.


As there are no lights inside the lighthouse, pre-dawn climbers will navigate the 257 step staircase using handheld flashlights.   In the lantern room, visitors will be able to view the light up close and in motion before it automatically turns off after the break of dawn - a truly unique experience.  Outside on the lighthouse balcony (weather cooperating) 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 sun as it rises over the horizon.

Things to know:


  1. Sun Rise Tour tickets, limited to the first 30 purchasers, must be purchased in person, in advance, at the lighthouse ticket booth.  Sun Rise Tour ticket sales will begin Tuesday, August 28.  It is anticipated that tickets will sell out early.  Standard admissions fees apply - $6 for adults, and $3 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. Participants will bring with them a working D-cell handheld flashlight, containing no more than two batteries (a typical flashlight available most everywhere at a modest cost).  Failure to show for the tour with your flashlight will render you ineligible to make the climb.
  3. Participants MUST be at least 42 inches tall and must climb the steps on their own – they can not be carried!  Possession of a ticket does not guarantee admission if the group’s leader deems a person too short.  If unsure, check with the Rangers before you purchase your non-refundable ticket.  Also, keep in mind that some youngsters, although meeting height requirements, may not take well to 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 their group.  No exceptions.
  6. Know your limitations!  The lighthouse is tall, 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, ticket holders may exchange tickets the same morning, August 31, between 8:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. for a replacement ticket useable only on August 31 during normal visiting hours between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. 




Last updated: April 14, 2015

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Mailing Address:

Cape Hatteras National Seashore
1401 National Park Drive

Manteo, NC 27954


(252) 473-2111

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