Driving on the beaches of Carova &
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
- Beach Is A State Road
- On the beach, the speed limit is 35 mph.
- When traveling within 300 feet of any person, the speed limit is 15 mph.
- The entire beach, including parking areas, becomes driving areas after dark. At the end of each day, visitors please remove all personal items (beach chairs, nets, poles, ropes, etc.) and level all sand structures (sandcastles, holes, etc.) to ensure the safety of those driving on the beach at night.
- Driving a vehicle in a repeated circular motion (doing “donuts”) or driving in the surf are examples of careless and reckless driving.
- All vehicles to be driven on the beach and roads behind the dunes must be registered, properly licensed, and insured.
- Share the road, watch for pedestrians, horses, and other wildlife.
- Gas tanks should be full – there are NO gas stations on 4-wheel drive areas.
- Use 4-wheel drive onto the ramp and maintain a slow, steady speed.
The use of off-road vehicles (ORVs) is a long-standing way for visitors to enjoy the Seashore’s ocean beaches and
sound-side waters. To provide for both 4x4 enjoyment and the protection of park resources, please observe the following regulations and recommendations when using ORVs at the Seashore. For more information, please visit National Park Service . Beach driving is allowed year round on Carova Beach (home to the wild horses) & Hatteras Island.
October 1-April 30 in Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills.
An Off road vehicle use permit (ORV permit) is required by The National Park Service and is included in your Jeep rental
Corolla Wild Horses Descended from the Spanish Mustangs brought to the Outer Banks by early explorers, the Corolla Wild Horses have roamed across the Currituck Outer Banks for approximately 400 years. These horses are such a significant cultural and historic resource to our area that the Spanish Mustang was designated as the official state horse of North Carolina in 2010.
These wild horses roam freely in Corolla and are most commonly found in the four-wheel-drive areas of the beach. It is illegal to intentionally come within 50 feet of the horses, so that means no petting or feeding.