Jockey’s Ridge State Park Fees & Hours of Operation


The tallest natural sand dune system in the eastern United States, Jockey’s Ridge State Park draws more than a million visitors a year, consistently making it the most popular state park in all of North Carolina!

Jockey's Ridge State Park in Nags Head, NC

Why are these dunes so popular with area visitors?

Well, for one thing, Jockey’s Ridge State Park is completely FREE to visit!

Yup, that’s right… there’s no fee to climb the dunes, check out the visitor center, speak with the friendly and knowledgeable staff, and stop by the museum.

When visiting this Nags Head attraction, you can either turn on Carolista Drive at milepost 12 off Hwy 158 and park your car in one of the many spots near the visitor center; or you can park at Jockey’s Ridge Crossing Shopping Center and walk across the highway to the dunes.

Either option is a good choice.

If you want to purchase a kite to fly over at the dunes, we recommend parking at the shopping complex and stopping in at Kitty Hawk Kites before heading there. This location is KHK's flagship store, and it's also one of the largest kite stores in the world.

And if you’d rather see the museum and visitor center, we recommend parking off Carolista Drive. You can get to the facilities even if you park at Jockey’s Ridge Crossing, but you’ll have to walk for a while.

Jockey’s Ridge State Park Hours of Operation

The ridge area closes 15 minutes before the park.

November – February, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
March, April, and September, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
October, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
May – August, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Closed Christmas Day

Sound Side Access Gate

October – March, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
April – September, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Park Visitor Center Hours

November – February, 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
March – October, 9 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Want to learn more about this highly-popular place to visit on the Outer Banks?
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