FAQ Cape Lookout Lighthouse entry

What is the proposed fee for climbing?

The fee proposed for climbing the lighthouse is $8.00 for adults and $4.00 for children (8 - 12 years of age) and seniors (62 and over).

Why do you want to charge a fee?

The climbing fee is necessary to recoup, in part, the expenses of managing visitor access to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. These expenses include – ensuring visitor safety within the tower, providing quality interpretation and education about the lighthouse to visitors, and for providing custodial maintenance of the tower.

Does the fee also include the ferry cost?

No. The proposed fee is only for entry into the lighthouse. You will need to make separate arrangements for a ferry.

Where will you sell the tickets?

This first year, we will be selling tickets for climbing the lighthouse at the Harkers Island Visitor Center. Tickets will be sold Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm.

Can I purchase tickets over the phone or online?

No. All tickets must be purchased, in person, at the Harkers Island Visitor Center.

Can I purchase tickets in advance?

Yes, but only for a climbing date within the same week of purchase. Tickets are only valid for the date and time stamped on the ticket.

How many tickets can I purchase?

Just as during the previous Open House special events, you may purchase up to 5 tickets.

Why am I limited in the number of tickets I can buy?

Only 4 groups of 9 people may enter the lighthouse per hour. (This limit was established by building safety engineers after they examined the lighthouse.) In order to allow as many family groups in the lighthouse as possible we have limited the number of tickets sold to one person to 5.

Is my ticket good at anytime during the day?

Tickets will be time-stamped for when you can enter the tower. Arrive at the tower at least 15 minutes before your scheduled time.

What is the latest that I can purchase a ticket for same day entry into the tower?

Tickets for same day entry may be purchased up until 2:30 that day. (1 hour before tower closing.)

What days will the lighthouse be open?

Once the lighthouse opens for the season, the lighthouse will be open for climbing three (3) days per week – Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from 10:00 am until 3:30 pm.

How long will the season be for the lighthouse?

In a typical summer season, plans are to have the tower open from May until the end of September. However, this year (2010) the tower will open about mid-summer due to construction work.

Are there any restrictions on who may climb the tower?

Yes, for everyone’s safety in the tower, all climbers must be able to climb to the top without assistance and be at least 8 years old or older. In addition, no large, bulky bags, backpacks (including child carriers), camera tripods or other bulky items may be taken inside the lighthouse.

Why can’t children under 8 climb the lighthouse?

Strong wind gusts – its often blowing 30 mph or more on the gallery – can actually blow younger children off their feet. We can’t predict the wind speed on a given day, but children 8 years and older are less likely to be blown around by the wind.

My child has been able to climb other lighthouses – why are you saying no?

Although they look the same on the outside, each lighthouse is very different inside – different style stairs, ladders and hatches. Even the wind speed experienced at the top can vary from one location on the coast to another. For this reason, each lighthouse sets its own rules for entry that provide the safest visit to all climbers.

Why can’t I carry a backpack/camera bag with me to the top?

Large, bulky items make it difficult to keep your balance on the stairs and to fit through the access hatches. These items can also make it unsafe for other visitors on the stairs and out on the gallery.

Why can’t I use a tripod to take pictures at the top?

The gallery is very narrow and a tripod takes up too much space for the safety of other visitors on the gallery.

Can my pet accompany me?

No. Your pet must remain outside the lighthouse. If you are bringing your pet to the beach, be sure to plan for someone to stay with your pet while you climb. Park staff cannot watch your pet.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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Mailing Address:

131 Charles St
Harkers Island, NC 28531


(252) 728-2250

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