Alerts & Conditions

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Beach & Ocean Info

  • Beach Access Map
  • Important reminder to beachgoers that most of Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches remain open for the purpose of staying healthy while following federal, state, and county guidelines to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Beachgoers can help keep these areas open by staying at least 6 feet from each other and by not creating a gathering of more than 25 people in a single location. Additionally, vehicles should be parked roughly 20 feet apart. Adequate social distancing is easily achievable as there are currently many miles of ocean-facing beaches available to spread out on.

  • Before driving on designated off-road vehicle routes, we strongly recommend that tire pressure be lowered to at least 20 psi. The softer the sand, the lower the pressure needed. Reinflate tires to normal pressure as soon as possible after returning to paved roads. Many local businesses have air pumps.
  • [Daily Rip Current Forecast] [Rip Current Safety Info]
    • Low risk means that wind and/or wave conditions are expected to support the development of rip currents.

    • Moderate risk means that wind and/or wave conditions support stronger or more frequent rip currents. Only experienced surf swimmers should enter the surf on moderate risk days.
    • High risk means that wind and/or wave conditions support dangerous rip currents. Rip currents on high risk days are life-threatening to anyone entering the surf.
  • Recreational shellfishing advisories - N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries info

 

Beach Access Status

Last Update: August 13, 2020 at 3:04 p.m.


Dates and times only change when there are status updates to report.
Consider the info below to be current, even if the date listed above is not today's date.
 

Bodie Island

Ramp 2 (Priority Ramp)
-North: Pedestrian access only

  • Conditions: 3-4 foot cliffs in front of NPS housing

-South: Open to ORVs

  • Hours: Ramp 2 is open for ORV use (south of ramp only) from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Beach route may be impassable during high tide conditions. 1-3 foot cliffs and one lane of travel in some areas.

Ramp 4 (Priority Ramp)
-North: Open to ORVs

  • Hours: Ramp 4 is open for ORV use from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Beach route may be impassable during high tide conditions.

-South: Open to ORVs for 0.20 miles. Open to pedestrians for 1 mile. Visitors interested in viewing the Ocean Pursuit shipwreck can walk 0.70 miles and take photos of it from the outside of the vessel.

  • Hours: Ramp 4 is open for ORV use from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
 

Hatteras Island

Ramp 23
-North: Seasonal ORV route closed until October 15. No pedestrian access from the ramp due to colonial waterbird nesting (CW).
-South: Seasonal ORV route closed until October 15. Pedestrians can access the beach via dunes at 0.25 miles south of Ramp 23 (CW). Signs will point you in the right direction.

Ramp 25 (Priority Ramp)
-North: Open to ORVs for 1.05 miles (ST)

  • Hours: Ramp 25 is open for ORV use from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Beach route may be impassable during high tide conditions.

-South: Open to ORVs for 50 meters (ST)

  • Hours: Ramp 25 is open for ORV use from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Beach route may be impassable during high tide conditions.


Ramp 27 (Priority Ramp)
-North: Open to ORVs for 1.95 miles (ST)

  • Hours: Ramp 27 is open for ORV use (north of ramp only) from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Beach route may be impassable during high tide conditions

-South: Pedestrian only access

Ramp 30
-North: Pedestrian only access
-South: Open to ORVs for 0.29 miles (ST)

  • Hours: Ramp 30 is open for ORV use (south of ramp only) from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Soft sand and deep ruts along the route


Ramp 32
-North
: Open to ORVs for 1.59 miles (ST)

  • Hours: Ramp 32 is open for ORV use from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Beach route may be impassable during high tide conditions

-South: Open to ORVs until the vehicle free boundary. Pedestrian access for 1.52 miles (CW)

  • Hours: Ramp 32 is open for ORV use from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Beach route may be impassable during high tide conditions.


Ramp 34
-North: Seasonal ORV route closed until October 15. Pedestrian access for 0.45 miles using the boardwalk (CW).
-South: Seasonal ORV route closed until October 15


Ramp 38
-North: Seasonal ORV route closed until October 15
-South: Open to ORVs for 1.5 miles

  • Hours: Ramp 38 is open for ORV use (south of ramp only) from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Beach route may be impassable during high tide conditions

Ramp 43 (Priority Ramp)
-North: Open to ORVs until the vehicle free boundary

  • Hours: Ramp 43 is open for ORV use from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

-South: Open to ORVs

  • Hours: Ramp 43 is open for ORV use from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.


Ramp 44 (Priority Ramp)
-North: Open to ORVs

  • Hours: Ramp 44 is open for ORV use from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Beach route may be impassable during high tide conditions. Soft sand along route.

-South: Open to ORVs. Cape Point fully reopened on July 20, 2020. The short ORV route west of the hook is currently not accessible due to significant beach erosion.

  • Hours: Ramp 44 is open for ORV use from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Due to significant beach erosion and a large escarpment at the south of the Bypass Road, along with multiple visitor safety concerns, the Bypass Road is temporarily closed. There is plenty of wide-open beach east of the Bypass Road dune to drive on to get to Cape Point while we monitor the conditions on the south-facing beach.
Bypass Road condition on August 7, 2020

Photo of escarpment and temporary Bypass Road closure the morning of August 7. Anglers shown enjoying expanded ocean fishing opportunities.

Inside Road
-Open to ORVs

  • Hours: Inside Road is available for ORV use 24 hours a day.


South Beach Road (Old Ramp 45)

-East: Open
-West: Open

Ramp 48 (Priority Ramp)
-East: Open to ORVs until the vehicle free boundary. Open to pedestrians for 0.98 miles (CW)

  • Hours: Ramp 48 is open for ORV use from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

-West: Open to ORVs

  • Hours: Ramp 48 is open for ORV use from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.


Ramp 49 (Priority Ramp)
-East: Open to ORVs

  • Hours: Ramp 49 is open for ORV use from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

-West: Open to ORVs until the seasonal ORV boundary. ORV corridors are located at 0.41 and 0.62 miles for sea turtle nests expected to hatch soon.

  • Hours: Ramp 49 is open for ORV use from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.


Ramp 55
-East: Seasonal ORV route closed until October 15
-West: Open to ORVs for 0.24 miles (ST). Use Pole Road as an alternate route for bypassing multiple sea turtle nest closures.

  • Hours: Ramp 55 is open for ORV use (west of ramp only) from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Beach route may be impassable during high tide conditions. If you want to cut through to Pole Road, pay close attention to signs.


Pole Road
-Open to ORVs

  • Hours: Pole Road is open for ORV use 24 hours a day. From 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., only cross over the ocean-facing beach using designated routes. From 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., the ocean-facing beach is closed to ORVs.
 

Ocracoke Island

Ramp 59
-North: Pedestrian access only
-South: Open to ORVs for 0.87 miles (ST)

  • Hours: Ramp 59 is open for ORV use (south of ramp only) from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Beach route may be impassable during high tide conditions


Ramp 63
-North: Open to ORVs for 3.09 miles (ST)

  • Hours: Ramp 63 is open for ORV use from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

-South: Open to ORVs until vehicle free boundary.

  • Hours: Ramp 63 is open for ORV use from 7 am. to 9 p.m.


Ramp 67
-North: Open to ORVs

  • Hours: Ramp 67 is open for ORV use from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

-South: Open to ORVs

  • Hours: Ramp 67 is open for ORV use from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.


Ramp 68
-North: Seasonal ORV route closed until October 15. Open to pedestrians.
-South: Seasonal ORV route closed until October 15. Open to pedestrians.


Ramp 70 (Priority Ramp)
-North: Open to ORVs

  • Hours: Ramp 70 is open for ORV use from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

-South: Open to ORVs

  • Hours: Ramp 70 is open for ORV use from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.


Ramp 72 (Priority Ramp)
-North: Open to ORVs

  • Hours: Ramp 72 is open for ORV use from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

-South: Open to ORVs for 1.59 miles (CW). Full access to South Point is not available at this time.

  • Hours: Ramp 72 is open for ORV use from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
 

ORV: Off-Road Vehicle; AO: American Oystercatcher; CW: Colonial Waterbird; PP: Piping Plover; ST: Sea Turtle; WP: Wilson's Plover

Pedestrians have access to all ORV areas, unless otherwise noted
 

Mileage Summary

Last Updated: August 13 at 9:18 a.m.

The mileage summary is updated weekly from the middle of April through the end of sea turtle nesting season.

Total Current % Open
Bodie Island 5.90 5.65 95.8%
Vehicle Free Areas 3.30 3.05 92.4%
ORV Areas 2.60 2.60 100%
Temporary Resource Closures 0.25
Hatteras Island 43.80 41.71 95.2%
Vehicle Free Areas 27.70 25.98 93.8%
ORV Areas 16.10 15.73 97.7%
Temporary Resource Closures 2.09
Ocracoke Island 17.00 15.35 90.3%
Vehicle Free Areas 6.70 5.70 85.1%
ORV Areas 10.30 9.65 93.7%
Temporary Resource Closures 1.65
Seashore Mileage Totals
Vehicle Free Areas 37.70 34.73 92.1%
ORV Areas 29.00 27.98 96.5%
Temporary Closures 3.99
 

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Last updated: August 13, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Cape Hatteras National Seashore
1401 National Park Drive

Manteo, NC 27954

Phone:

(252) 473-2111

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