Camping Overview: Cape Hatteras National Seashore

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Lighthouse on Cape Hatteras.
Lighthouse on Cape Hatteras. (Photodisc/Getty)

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Highlights

  • The park has four campgrounds run by the National Park Service. They are located on the southern tip of Bodie Island at Oregon Inlet, in Buxton (Cape Point), at Frisco, and down in Ocracoke.
  • Here to boat and/or fish? Go to Oregon Inlet. It's a small campground, and you'll likely hear some traffic noise from the Bodie-Hatteras connector. Also, be aware that the beach closest to the campground is dangerous for swimming due to the currents through the inlet.
  • For family fun, Cape Point and Frisco offer close access to ice cream shops, go-carts, and other kid-friendly fare. If you're here to connect with your partner, spouse, maker, or inner child, try Ocracoke.
  • After Ocracoke, Frisco is the most secluded National Park Service campsite, and its staggered, dune-top location provides some of the best campsite views in the park. You'll be within easy walking distance of the Atlantic at any of these campgrounds.
  • If a few members of your party are fringe campers, do them a favor and book a site at the Frisco Woods Campground, a privately-owned facility within the park. It costs roughly $10–$15 more a night than the National Park Service parks, but it provides a number of frills, including hot showers, a swimming pool, wireless Internet, and electric, sewer, and cable TV hookups.
  • The park offers interpretive programs at its campgrounds and various other locations during the summer. For a schedule of events, pick up a copy of "In the Park" at the visitor centers or campground kiosks. If you'd like to check the schedule before you leave home, contact the park superintendent's office.
  • All of the National Park Service campgrounds welcome tents, trailers, and RVs. Although none of them has electrical or sewer hookups, they do provide campers with flush-toilet bathrooms, unheated showers, and drinking water. None of the park system's campgrounds, however, offer much in the way of windbreaks or shade. Bring sunscreen, insect repellant, lip balm, and a screen tent if you have one.

Lodging

Lodging, in the form of motels, hotels, and rental cottages are available in all area villages.

Camping

There are four campgrounds in the park—Oregon Inlet, Cape Point, Frisco, and Ocracoke. All are open during the summer season; contact the park for opening and closing dates. Camping fees are charged. Camping is allowed only in designated campgrounds. All campgrounds have cold showers, drinking water, tables, fire grills, and modern restrooms. No utility hookups are provided. Dumping stations are located near Oregon Inlet, Cape Point, and Ocracoke campgrounds. Sand and wind conditions require longer-than-normal tent stakes. Shade awnings and netting for insect protection will make camping more enjoyable.

To make a tour reservation, call 800-365-CAMP (2267).

Reservation Hours of Operation

Daily: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time
7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific Time
Reservation Center CLOSED Christmas and New Year's Day.

If you are calling from outside the U.S. or Canada, please call 301-722-1257. The TDD number for the hearing-impaired is 888-530-9796.

The National Park Reservation Service (NPRS) and the National Park Service (NPS) have implemented a reservation window to make booking your camping reservations more convenient. On the 15th of each month, campers will have access to an entire month of available start dates—up to three months in advance—except Katmai National Park. You may book reservations as late as one day prior to arrival, subject to availability.

Private campgrounds offer utilities for trailers and recreational vehicles. Some are open on a year-round basis.


Published: 31 Aug 2009 | Last Updated: 9 Jun 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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