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.

  • Night beach driving restrictions on ocean-facing beaches began May 1 at 9 p.m. From May 1 through July 31, priority ORV ramps close at 9 p.m. and reopen the following morning at 6 a.m. All other designated oceanside ORV ramps close at 9 p.m. and reopen at 7 a.m. Night driving restrictions help protect nesting sea turtles. Priority ORV ramps are ramps 2, 4, 5, 27, 43, 44, 48, 49, 70, and 72. While night driving restrictions are in place, visitors may still park their vehicles in parking lots and walk on the beach at night. Soundside ramps, Pole Road, and the Inside Road between ramps 44 and 49, do not have night driving restrictions..
  • 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: June 30, 2020 at 2:51 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

-South: Open to ORVs

  • Hours: Ramp 2 is open for ORV use (south of ramp only) from 6 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.


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

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

-South: Open to ORV for 0.20 miles. Open to pedestrians for 1 mile. Visitors interested in viewing the Ocean Pursuit shipwrecked vessel 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 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. Signs will point you in the right direction.

Ramp 25 (Priority Ramp)
-North: Open to ORV

  • Hours: Ramp 25 is open for ORV use from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Beach route may be impassable during high tide conditions. Sand build up at ramp is causing reduced visibility when entering and exiting beach. Debris along the route.

-South: Open to ORV for 1.7 miles (AO)

  • Hours: Ramp 25 is open for ORV use from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Beach route may be impassable during high tide conditions. Sand build up at ramp is causing reduced visibility when entering and exiting beach. Debris along the route.


Ramp 27 (Priority Ramp)
-
North: Open to ORV for 0.10 miles (AO)

  • Hours: ramp 27 is open for ORV use (north of ramp only) from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Beach route may be impassable during high tide conditions. Shipwreck visible in dune line around 1.4 miles north of ramp. Debris along the route.

-South: Pedestrian only access for 1.6 miles (AO)

Ramp 30
-North: Pedestrian only access for 0.40 miles (AO)
-South: Open to ORV

  • Hours: Ramp 30 is open for ORV use (south of ramp only) from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Soft sand along the route. Beach may be impassable during high tide conditions.


Ramp 32
-North
: Open to ORV

  • 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. Soft sand along route.

-South: Open to ORV until the vehicle free area 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. Soft sand along route.


Ramp 34
-North: Seasonal ORV route closed until October 15. Pedestrian access for 0.32 miles using the boardwalk (CW).

-South: Seasonal ORV route closed until October 15. Ramp is closed (AO); pedestrians may travel north of ramp using boardwalk.


Ramp 38
-North: Seasonal ORV route closed until October 15

-South: Open to ORV for 1.3 miles (AO)

  • 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


Lighthouse Road (Buxton)

  • Conditions: Several inches of standing water on the road (warning signs are posted).

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


  • Hours: Ramp 43 is open for ORV use from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Parking area at ramp contains standing water. Beach route may be impassable during high tide conditions

-South: Open to ORV

  • Hours: Ramp 43 is open for ORV use from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Parking area at ramp contains standing water. Beach route may be impassable during high tide conditions


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

  • Hours: Ramp 44 is open for ORV use from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Soft sand along route.

-South: Open to ORV for 0.36 miles. Cape Point is currently closed to protect two American oystercatcher chicks. A protection buffer for the nest was installed on April 5th; the hatching of the eggs on May 23rd resulted in an expanded protection area that includes the Bypass Road.

  • Hours: Ramp 44 is open for ORV use from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Conditions: Roughly one foot of standing water on Lighthouse Road. Deep ruts and soft sand along beach route.


Inside Road
-Open

  • Hours: Inside Road is available for ORV use 24 hours a day
  • Conditions: Several large holes with standing water betweek Ramps 48 and 49. Recommend high clearance vehicles only.


South Beach Road (Old Ramp 45)

-East: Open to pedestrians for 0.13 miles (CW)
-West: Open to pedestrians for 0.14 miles (PP)

Ramp 48 (Priority Ramp)
-East: Open to ORV and pedestrians for 0.18 miles (AO)

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

-West: Open to ORV

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

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

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

-West: Open to ORV until the seasonal ORV boundary.

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


Ramp 55
-East: Seasonal ORV route closed until October 15

-West: Open to ORV until the vehicle free area boundary.

  • 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

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

Ocracoke Island

Ramp 59
-North: Pedestrian access only for 0.39 miles (AO)

-South: Open to ORV for 0.74 miles (AO)

  • 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 ORV for 1.72 miles (AO)

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

-South: Open to ORV; pedestrian access open for 2.53 miles (AO)

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


Ramp 67
-North: Open to ORV for 0.54 miles (AO)

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

-South: Open to ORV

  • 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 ORV

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

-South: Open to ORV using an ORV-corridor at 1.06 miles (AO). Pedestrian access for 1.06 miles.

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


Ramp 72 (Priority Ramp)
-North: Open to ORV using an ORV-corridor at 0.54 miles. Pedestrian access open for 0.54 miles (AO)

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

-South: Open to ORV for 0.70 miles (AO, CW, PP). Access to South Point is not available at this time.

  • Hours: Ramp 72 is open for ORV use from 6 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: July 2 at 8:12 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 38.79 88.6%
Vehicle Free Areas 27.70 23.87 86.2%
ORV Areas 16.10 14.92 92.7%
Temporary Resource Closures 5.01
Ocracoke Island 17.00 12.52 73.6%
Vehicle Free Areas 6.70 5.58 83.3%
ORV Areas 10.30 6.94 67.4%
Temporary Resource Closures 4.48
Seashore Mileage Totals
Vehicle Free Areas 37.70 32.50 86.2%
ORV Areas 29.00 24.46 84.3%
Temporary Closures 9.74
 

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Last updated: July 2, 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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