The tallest brick lighthouse in the U.S, it protected one of the most hazardous sections of the Atlantic Coast. Extending about 14 miles offshore from Cape Hatteras are the shallow, shifting Diamond Shoals, a hazard to near-shore navigation. By day or night, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse provided a navigational bearing, enabling ships to avoid the treacherous shoals.
The lighthouse is open for climbing from the third Friday in April through Columbus Day in October. Tickets are available on a first come/first served basis and can only be purchased in-person at the site the day of the climb. There are no advance ticket sales for regular climbing tours.