Full "Harvest Moon" Tours Of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse This Saturday

A full moon tour of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is scheduled for Saturday...if weather cooperates. NPS photo by Chris Wonderly.

If thunderstorms in the forecast vanish, a climb up the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse this Saturday night could be spectacular thanks to the rise of a full harvest moon over Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Tickets for the Full Moon Tour of the lighthouse go on sale Thursday. There will be two tours, one at 7 p.m. and one at 8 p.m. Each is limited to 30 people.

Full Moon Tour ticket sales will start on Thursday, September 27. The lighthouse ticket booth is open from 8:15 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. daily. Full Moon Tour tickets are non-refundable.

As there are no lights inside the lighthouse, climbers will navigate the 257-stair staircase using handheld flashlights. During the climb, park rangers will provide stories of the arduous duties of the lighthouse keeper.

From the watch room, visitors will be able to view the light up close and in motion and hear about the operation of the beacon, past and present - a truly unique experience. Outside on the lighthouse balcony (weather permitting) climbers will get a glimpse of what the lighthouse keepers of old were able to experience - seeing that beam of light reaching out to sea and the startling reflection of the newly risen moon on the ocean.

Things to know:

1. Full Moon Tour tickets, limited to the first 60 purchasers, must be purchased in person, in advance, at the lighthouse ticket booth. Full Moon Tour ticket sales will begin Thurs., September 27th. It is anticipated that tickets will sell out early. Standard admissions fees apply - $7 for adults, and $3.50 for children (11 years of age and under) as well as seniors (62 and older).The lighthouse ticket booth, located at the lighthouse site, is open from 8:15 a.m. - 4:40 p.m. daily.

2. Each participant must bring a handheld flashlight with fresh, serviceable batteries.

3. All participants are required to be at least 42 inches tall and must climb the steps on their own - they can not be carried! If unsure, check with the park rangers before purchasing your non-refundable ticket. Also, keep in mind that some youngsters, although meeting height requirements, may not enjoy the dimly lit, sometimes claustrophobic environment.

4. Children 11 years of age and under must be accompanied by an adult (16 years of ageor older).

5. For safety reasons, all participants must climb and descend with the group. No exceptions.

6. Know your limitations! The lighthouse is tall, dark, often hot, humid, and can be a challenge to climb.There are no internal lights or air conditioning.

7. All routine lighthouse safety requirements, as well as restrictions as to eating, drinking, gum etc., apply. This information will be provided to you when you purchase your ticket.

8. Tickets are non-refundable. If the program is cancelled due to weather, the ticket holder may exchange the ticket the following morning, Sunday, September 30, 2012, between the hours of 8:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. for a replacement ticket useable only on September 30th. This ticket will be for day climbing only.