Cape Hatteras National Seashore | OCRACOKE CAMPGROUND

Inner loop campsites at Ocracoke Campground, Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Inner loop campsites at Ocracoke Campground, Cape Hatteras National Seashore


See the main Camping web page for a location map.


CAMPING SEASON

Ocracoke Campground at Cape Hatteras National Seashore is located on the west end of Ocracoke Island near the town of Ocracoke. It is typically open year-round, but be sure to check the National Park Service’s Campgrounds web page for the latest schedule.

TYPE OF CAMPING

Ocracoke Campground can accommodate tent campers, RVs, and other self-contained sleeping vehicles up to 40 feet long. All sites have back-in parking.

NUMBER OF SITES

The campground has 136 sites and is divided into four loops, all of which are open to tents and RVs. Each site can accommodate up to six people, two tents, and two vehicles (or one vehicle and a trailer). All vehicles must park on the paved driveway, so if you have a large RV and a vehicle, you might have to park the vehicle in the nearby overflow parking lot. If you have more than two vehicles, you must pay for a second campsite.

There is one site for disabled visitors in Loop B.

AMENITIES

Each section of Ocracock Campground has a modern restroom and an outdoor shower with cold water (inside a wooden shelter, so nobody can see you take a shower). A dump station for RVs is located just outside the campground, but there are no electricity or water hook-ups. Only the Oregon Inlet Campground has hook-ups.

All campsites have a picnic table and grill.

For those wanting to get to the beach, there are a number of well-worn paths on the ocean-side of the campground that lead to the beach.

TERRAIN

Ocracoke Campground is like Cape Point Campground—flat and open, like camping on the fairway of a golf course. Terrain-wise, any site is as good as the next. However, the secret in picking a site is trying to get away from the bugs, and while not entirely possible, the park Ranger gave me some tips. The campsites on the outer side of the loop are up against sand dunes and brush, and that’s where you find the most mosquitoes. It is supposedly worse against the sand dunes than the brush on the opposite side of the campground. It’s the inner loop sites on the opposite side from the beach that have the least amount of mosquitoes and other bugs. Furthermore, not being backed up against the dunes or brush, the inner loop sites are more open and thus appear to be larger.

As long as the wind is blowing, the mosquitoes aren’t a big problem. But once that wind stops, watch out! The night I arrived it was windy, but when I woke up there was no wind at all. I could see mosquitoes clinging to the netting on my tent just salivating as they waited for me to come outside. I busted out like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid running into a Bolivian firing squad. It sucks waking up at 7 AM and already having to douse yourself with mosquito repellent, but that’s what I had to do. If the inner loop sites opposite the beach have the least amount of mosquitoes, I’d hate to see what it was like at the other sites!

To be fair, it was windy at all other campgrounds I stayed at—lucky my tent didn’t blow away at the Oregon Inlet Campground—so I don’t know if the mosquito problem is park-wide or just at Ocracoke. I don’t want to scare anyone off, but I’d almost think twice about camping at Ocracoke during the height of summer. If you are camping in the winter, bugs will not be a problem as long as the temperatures are low. If it ends up 80 degrees in December, bugs will come out.

Outer loop campsites at Cape Hatteras National Seashore's Ocracoke Campground are up against the brush or sand dunes

Outer loop campsites at Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Ocracoke Campground are up against the brush or sand dunes

RESERVATIONS

Campsites at Ocracoke Campground can be reserved up to six months in advance at at Recreation.gov or by calling (877) 444-6777. Walk-ups are permitted, but payment has to be made through Recreation.gov. Make sure you have a phone or other Internet-connected device, and keep in mind that you might have to drive around the island looking for good service. No payment can be made at the campground.

FEES

At the time of this writing, campsites are $28/night. Current rates are listed on Recreation.gov.

CAMPGROUND RULES

  • Check out time is noon. Check in is 1 PM.
  • From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, camping is limited to a total of 14 days within a 30-day period.
  • Wood fires are not permitted in the campground. Only charcoal cooking fires are permitted in a grill, stove, or other self-contained unit.
  • Quiet hours are 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Generators must be turned off during quiet hours.
  • Generators may not be used in D Loop campsites.

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Last updated on March 10, 2024
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