Cape Lookout Lighthouse Re-Opened For Public Climbing July 15, 2010

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Date: July 20, 2010

Contact: Wouter Ketel, (252) 728-2250 Ext. 3005

Harkers Island, North Carolina -- Cape Lookout National Seashore Superintendent Russel J. Wilson is pleased to announce that the Cape Lookout Lighthouse reopened to the public for regular climbing on July 15, 2010. Previously open four times per year, the lighthouse will be open three days per week – Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through September 25 of 2010.

Lighthouse Climbing Hours:  The lighthouse will be open for climbing on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Climbs will begin every 15 minutes from 10:00 am until 3:30 pm.  Please note: The lighthouse may close at any time if conditions (i.e. temperature/humidity, lightning or high winds) are determined to be unsafe.

The seashore will announce on Twitter ( – when lighthouse tickets are sold out for the day and when weather related closures occur).

Tickets are required. 

Prices for Tickets: $8.00 for Adults. $4.00 for children (8-12 years of age), senior citizens (62 years and older), and those holding a National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Access Pass. Please Note: Lighthouse climb ticket prices do not include the cost of ferry transportation.  For more information on ferry services please contact the ferry companies directly. 

Advance Reservations: Tickets may be reserved for climbing from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm, Tuesday through Friday by calling (252) 728-0708. Reservations can be made for dates within the same week only and must be made at least one day in advance.

Reserved tickets mustbe picked up and purchased from the Light Station Visitor Center at least 30 minutes before the date and time of the climb.  Failure to do so will result in the reservation being forfeited and the tickets being released for sale to "standby" visitors. Please make sure to allow enough lead time before your climb for the boat or ferry trip to the island.

Where to Purchase Tickets:  Tickets for climbs may be purchased from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm, Thursday through Saturday, at the Light Station Visitor Center. Each ticket is good only for the date and time stamped on the ticket. 

Only 4 groups of 10 people may enter the lighthouse per hour.  (This safety limit was established by engineers after they examined the lighthouse.)  In order to accommodate a diversity of groups, only 5 tickets may be purchased or reserved per person. 

Warning:   The climb to the top is strenuous.  It may be hot, humid, noisy and dim inside the lighthouse. Climbing the 207 steps to the gallery is roughly equal to climbing a 12-story building. The stairs are narrow and groups going up will share the stairs with groups returning to the bottom.

Visitors with heart, respiratory, or other medical conditions -- or those who have trouble climbing stairs -- should probably not attempt the climb.  Visitors who do not wish to climb can view the four outdoor “View From The Top” exhibits located near the lighthouse Keepers’ Quarters and the panorama located in the Keepers’ Quarters Museum.

Safety Guidelines Children must be 8 years old to climb the lighthouse due to the often strong winds at the top that can knock children off their feet. Climbers under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult. To keep hands free for handrails, no person may be lifted or carried and food, drinks, and bulky personal items (e.g. backpacks, tripods) should be left outside the lighthouse.  Shoes are required; heels should be less than 1½ inches.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

131 Charles St
Harkers Island, NC 28531


(252) 728-2250

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