Central Tower

Tower Climbs

Climb the 333 steps to the dizzying heights of the bell ringing chamber in the great central tower of Washington National Cathedral, 300 feet above the ground.

Tower Climb

The climb takes approximately 45 minutes and is a rigorous activity. Enjoy a view of Washington from one of the highest points in the city and experience a demonstration of bells. To learn more about the peal bells, the Washington Ringing Society, or volunteer opportunities, visit www.cathedral.org/wrs. To learn more about the Kibbey Carillon, visit www.nationalcathedral.org/arts/carillon.shtml.

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  • those with a fear of heights should not participate; much of the stairway is open spiral stairs
  • minimum height requirement of 48 inches (4 feet); not appropriate for young children
  • no infants in arms or carriers
  • no back-packs
  • please arrive 15 minutes prior to tour time
  • Please dress appropriately for the weather; layers suggested as the climb will take you outside

Upcoming Tower Climbs
Saturday, June 28, 2014

Climbs will be offered on Saturday, June 28, at 9:45, 10:15, 10:45, and 11:15 am. Climbs include a brief demonstration of the Cathedral bells.

The guided tour will begin from Resurrection Chapel, ascend the central tower to the bell ringing chamber and carillon. The tour will continue through Perry Auditorium and then walk along the exterior walkway between the west towers to view the many gargoyles and grotesques, including Gargoyle Gutter Gait and the closest proximity to the Darth Vader grotesque. The tour will end in the Pilgrim Observation Gallery. A maximum of 40 people can be accommodated on each climb.

Tickets are available online for $30 each: Purchase tickets »

Private Tower Climbs

If you’re interested in arranging a private tower climb for a small group (minimum: 5 people; maximum: 10 people), tours can be arranged for $40/person. Please contact Charles Fulcher (cfulcher@cathedral.org) with questions or to make arrangements.

Parking at the Cathedral

Parking in the Cathedral’s underground garage is free on Sundays for services and organ recitals; parking for concerts and programs is available for an event-parking fee. Learn more about parking options for individuals and groups.