News Release

Cape Lookout Lighthouse Will Reopen to Public October 5 – 8

A sunset lights up a lighthouse with a black and white diamond pattern painted on it.
The Cape Lookout Lighthouse will reopen to the public on October 5 - 8. It will close for the season on October 9.

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News Release Date: October 1, 2018

Contact: Information Officer

Harkers Island, N.C. – Cape Lookout National Seashore will open the Cape Lookout Lighthouse to the public for climbing Friday, October 5 through Monday, October 8. The national seashore will waive lighthouse ticket fees this weekend to celebrate the progress towards recovery from Hurricane Florence. Originally the public climb season was scheduled to end on September 16, but was canceled due to Hurricane Florence. This will be the final opportunity for the public to climb the lighthouse in 2018.

Climbing hours will be from 10:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis and can only be acquired in-person at the site the day of the climb. There are no advance tickets.

Children must be at least 44” tall, and children 12 and under must be escorted by a person at least 16 years old.

Visitors should prepare ahead of their visit by bringing sunscreen, bug spray, water and snacks, and plan to pack out any trash as the park is a trash-free zone. Also, check local weather ahead of time and dress accordingly. Climbing the lighthouse can be ‘strenuous’, as the climb is the equivalent to climbing a 10-story building. For more information, check the park website at

The Light Station Visitor Center and Keepers Quarters will also reopen on October 5.  This seasonal visitor center will be open daily, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until October 28, as previously scheduled.

The Island Express Ferry will resume operations on October 4. Island Express Ferry Service is the passenger ferry service to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse and to Shackleford Banks. The authorized concessioner is available for daily (weather permitting) passenger service from the ferry gateway locations in Beaufort (Town Docks at 701 Front Street, Beaufort, NC 28516) and Harkers Island (1800 Island Road, Harkers Island, NC 28531). Call the ferry at 252-728-7433 or visit for their scheduled times and fees.

On Tuesday, October 2, the Harkers Island Visitor Center will resume regular hours of operation from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  North Core Banks, South Core Banks, and Shackleford Banks will reopen to private vessels and foot traffic and day-use only.

The Beaufort Visitor Information Center reopened on Thursday, September 27.

Facilities will reopen as grounds and structures are stabilized and deemed safe for the public. The category-one storm which lingered over the area for several days caused island washover and facility damages including docks, waterways, and visitor camp cabins.

Updates about national parks impacted by Hurricane Florence are available on the park website at and the park Facebook page at

Last updated: October 1, 2018

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Mailing Address:

131 Charles St
Harkers Island, NC 28531


252 728-2250

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