The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is Hatteras Island’s most famous and well known landmark. Built in 1870, the lighthouse has stood tall through countless hurricanes, saved numerous ships from crashing into the Diamond Shoals, and survived a 2,870 foot move inland to a more secure location. Proudly standing at 210 feet above sea level, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States. On a clear day you can see up to 24 nautical miles (28 miles) when standing at the top.
Climbing the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the number one activity and “must do” for any visitor passing through the Outer Banks. For years visitors have traveled from all over the world to experience the climb to the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Whether it is their first climb, second climb or third climb, the experience is different every time.
The journey to the top consists of 248 steps up an iron, spiral staircase. Every 31 steps you will come upon a landing where you can peek out the window to see how far up you have gone. The landings aren’t just great for sightseeing, but also a great spot to catch your breath or take a quick photo. Don’t sit too long as you still have more stairs to climb. You will keep spiraling further up the staircase where you will finally reach the door to the iron deck at the top.
Standing on the observation deck, climbers enjoy the smell of the salt air, cool ocean breeze, and amazing panoramic views. The views of Hatteras Island and the Atlantic Ocean stretch as far as the eye can see. On a clear day climbers are able to see as far south to Frisco and North to Avon. These views are breathtaking and cannot be beat!
The next time you head to Cape Hatteras make sure you check out the lighthouse. This is an experience you do not want to miss!
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is open for climbing from late April until mid-October. Folks interesting in climbing the lighthouse can find more information at http://1.usa.gov/qgQ8jN.