Everglades National Park Camping in 2024 (+Maps & Tips)

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Everglades National Park is one of America’s largest and most unique national parks. Covering an area of over 1.5 million acres, the Everglades preserves a truly unique ecosystem. Located in southern Florida, the park protects incredibly biodiverse landscapes including freshwater sloughs, mangrove forests, pine forests, marine and tidal estuaries, and more. We think the best way to experience this one of a kind environment is to spend a few nights under the stars camping in Everglades National Park. 

The Everglades have some truly unique options for your next camping trip. There are two developed campgrounds located in the national park, beach campsites, backcountry ‘chickee’ campsites and nearby RV sites. Needless to say, whichever type of camping trip in Everglades National Park you’re planning they’ll be a great option for you.

Keeping reading to get all the details to plan your perfect camping trip in Everglades National Park.

Tent in the Flamingo Campground in Everglades National Park
Flamingo Campground, Everglades National Park. Photo Credit NPS/Rodney Cammauf

Table of Contents

Campgrounds in Everglades National Park

There are two developed campgrounds located within Everglades National Park. Both campgrounds are located along State Highway 9336, the main road through the national park, and are easily accessed from the Miami area. To reach either campground you’ll pass through the Homestead Entrance and have the option to visit the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center.

The map below gives you a general sense of where each of these campgrounds are located in Everglades National Park as well as their relation to the surrounding area. 

Map of campgrounds in Everglades National Park.
Campgrounds in Everglades National Park. Map courtesy of NPS. (Click to enlarge)

The Flamingo Campground in Everglades National Park is open year round, although you’ll find it is much less crowded during the summer off-season. This is for good reason and camping in the summer in the Everglades can be unbearable!

The Lone Pine Key Campground is only open during the peak season, generally from November through the first part  of May.

Peak season for camping in the Everglades is from December – April, during South Florida’s dry season. During this time you’ll have the best chance for sun, milder temperatures, and avoid the mosquito swarms that are typical during the summer months.

Keep reading to learn more about reserving your campground in Everglades National Park.

More about Frontcountry and Car camping sites in Everglades National Park

There are two ‘frontcountry’ campgrounds located in Everglades National Park: Flamingo Campground and Lone Pine Key Campground. Both are located along State Highway 9336 and provide camping options for tents and RVs. Full details for both of these excellent campgrounds are below.

#1 Lone Pine Key Campground

  • Address: Long Pine Key Campgrounds, Homestead, FL
  • Number of Sites: 108 individual (up to 6 people) and 1 group site (up to 15 people)
  • Fee: $25/night for individual sites, $35/night for the group site
  • RVs: Yes. No electric or water hookups available, but a dump station is available.
  • Amenities: Cell phone reception and staff
  • Pros: Closer to Homestead, has year-round cell phone service, and potable water
  • Cons: There are some issues with the campground upkeep and maintenance, as well as with the quality of the amenities
  • Nearby attractions: Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center and trailheads
  • Reservations: Recommended for RV sites. Tent sites are first-come, first-served.

More Information

Click Here to Reserve

Entrance to the Lone Pine Key Campground
Lone Pine Key Campground. Photo credit NPS.

The Lone Pine Key Campground is the smaller and more basic of the two campgrounds located in Everglades National Park. It is also the first campground you’ll reach when entering the national park from the Homestead Entrance. Lone Pine Key is open seasonally from November – early-May. The campground is located adjacent to the Long Pine Key trail, so is a great place to spend the night prior to exploring the trail.

Lone Pine Key features 108 individual campsites that can accommodate up to 6 people each as well as one group site for up to 15 people. Reservations can be made for the RV sites at the campground, but all of the tent-sites are first-come, first-served. The RV campsites do not have any water or electric hookups, but there is a dump station at the campground.

The campground features cold water showers and each campsites comes with a picnic table, fire pit, and grill stand. There is also a small lake adjacent to the campground where fishing is permitted, but do not swim as alligators are known to frequent the area.

Pine trees behind water on the Long Pine Key Trail in Everglades National Park
The Long Pine Key Trail starts at the Lone Pine Key campground. Photo credit NPS/Denise Diaz.

#2 Flamingo Campground

  • Address: Christian Point Trail at 1 Flamingo Lodge Hwy, Homestead, FL
  • Number of Sites: 157 sites
  • Fee: $25 – $45/night depending on hookups
  • RVs: Yes.
  • Amenities: Camp store, ice and firewood for sale, an amphitheater, and potable water
  • Pros: Has year-round cell phone service, flush toilets, and free showers, while being near the coast and several popular spots
  • Cons: Mosquitos can swarm guests and there might be issues with unkept grass and scenery
  • Nearby attractions: Flamingo Beach, trailheads, Bear Lake, Mud Lake, and Coot Bay.
  • Reservations: Recommended for RV/drive in tent sites. Walk-in tent sites are first-come, first-served.

More Information
Click Here to Reserve

Tents set up at the Flamingo Campground in the Everglades
Flamingo Campground, Everglades National Park. Photo credit NPS/Rodney Cammauf.

The Flamingo Campground is the largest and most popular in the Everglades. The campground is located at the far southern tip of the national park and features drive-in RV and tent sites as well as walk-in tent sites on the Florida Bay. In addition, the campground also features ‘eco-tents’ which are small “safari style” canvas tents that include electricity, fans, and a small deck to sit on. Eco-tents can be reserved with or without a bed.

View a map of the Flamingo Campground here. 

Eco-tents at the Flamingo campground
Eco-tents at the Flamingo Campground. Photo credit NPS/Dylann Turffs.

We highly recommend reserving your RV site well in advance for the peak season as the Flamingo Campground is known to fill up. RV sites are available with or without electricity and there is potable water and a dump station available at the campground. Drive in tent sites are available in addition to the walk-in sites that are along the Florida Bay. For the walk-in campsite you’ll have to park your car and then walk your camping setup out to your site. Well worth it for a campsite on the Bay!

All campsites feature a picnic table, fire ring, and grill stand or fire grate.

The campground is near the Christian Point Trail and the Coastal Prairie Trail making it a great place to spend the night before exploring the area.

RVs parked at the Flamingo Campground in Everglades National Park
Photo credit NPS/Rodney Cammauf.

Looking for more campgrounds near the Everglades? Check out this section!

Tips for Choosing the Right Campground for Your Needs

  • Long Pine Key Campground: If you want a laid-back and quiet Everglades camping experience without needing to go fully into the backcountry, we recommend Long Pine Key Campground. It’s affordable, well-equipped with all the essentials such as showers and toilets, and very close in proximity to the Long Pine Key trail for those of you who enjoy hiking.
  • Flamingo Campground: This is the campground for you if you’re looking for a fun and family-friendly atmosphere, thanks to its large size and ability to accommodate multiple RVs.  Additionally, if you want to go camping in the Everglades but don’t want to give up on mod-cons such as showers and access to electricity, Flamingo Campground has you covered!

Reservations of the Campgrounds

Reservations for the campgrounds in Everglades National Park are recommend, but depend on which campground you are considering:

  • Lone Pine Key Campground only accepts reservations for the campsites that allow RVs and does not accept reservations for any of the tent sites, which are made available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Flamingo Campground accepts reservations for RV campsites and drive-in tent campsites, but does not accept reservations for the 38 walk-in tent sites.

While neither of the two campgrounds in Everglades National Park require advance reservations, we highly recommend making one for any time during the peak season, generally December – April. The last thing you want is to pack up all of your camping gear only to arrive at a full campground!

Unlike many of the national parks, reservations for the Lone Pine Campground and Flamingo Campground are not managed through Recreation.gov. Instead, Flamingo Adventures, a private ‘concessioner’ of the National Park Service, operates both of these campgrounds. To make a reservation at either campground, visit their website below:

Reservations for Everglades National Park Campgrounds can be made here via Flamingo Adventures

RVs in the Lone Pine Key Campground, Everglades National Park.
Expect both campgrounds in Everglades National Park to be full during peak season. Photo credit NPS.

For those interested in exploring the vast wilderness on offer in the Everglades, a wilderness permit is required. Permits can be obtained from either the Flamingo Visitor Center, located in the far south area of the park, or the Gulf Coast Visitor Center, located at the northwest entrance to the park.

Wilderness permits can only be obtained the day before or the day of your planned departure. This makes it very important to have flexible plans for your backcountry trip in the Everglades, as there is no way to ensure your preferred campground will be available.

Our best advice? Get there early and have a few options in mind! The rangers at the permit desks are also very knowledgeable and can often suggest excellent alternative itineraries.

Permits cost $15 + $2/person per day.

Learn more about wilderness camping in Everglades National Park in this section.

Backcountry and Wilderness Campsites in Everglades National Park

Exploring the backcountry wilderness of Everglades National Park is an experience like no other. Rather than setting out on a hiking trail, most visitors to the Everglades wilderness rely on canoes, kayaks, or other small boats to access the backcountry. This will reward backcountry campers with solitude, quiet, and an opportunity to immerse themselves in this spectacular ecosystem.

Wilderness camping in the Everglades is best done during the winter (December – March) as temperatures are much more moderate and you’re likely to encounter clearer weather. Only a hardy few will brave the backcountry during the summer, as the heat, humidity, and mosquitos can be unbearable. Plan ahead accordingly!

Backcountry campers should plan to bring all of the potable water they need with them on their trip. Drinking water can be scarce to non-existent in the backcountry so plan to bring at least 1 gallon per person per day. The National Park Service recommends sturdy containers to prevent wildlife from getting your water. This means no plastic gallon containers!

With the right plan in place you’re sure to have a great trip in the backcountry of Everglades National Park. Learn everything you need to know to place your trip below.

Kayak on the beach in Everglades National Park
Exploring the backcountry in Everglades National Park. Photo credit NPS.

Everglades Wilderness Campsites

Backcountry campers are required to stay at one of the 45 designated wilderness campsites located throughout the park. The campsites consist of beach sites along the Gulf of Mexico, ground sites situated on islands or other land areas, and “Chickees”, platform campsites that sit above the water.

All of the campsites within the national park have specific limits for the number of people, number of groups, and number of tents that are permitted at a specific campsite. Beach sites tend to have the largest capacity, up to 60 people in some cases, while single Chickee sites can often only accommodate up to 6 people.

The National Park Service has an excellent table listing all of the wilderness campsites in the Everglades and their capacity here. You can view a map of all of wilderness campgrounds in the Everglades below:

Map of wilderness campsites in Everglades National Park
Map of wilderness campsites in Everglades National Park. Map courtesy of NPS. (Click to enlarge)

More details on each type of campsite in Everglades National Park are below:

Everglades Beach Campsites

Beach campsites in Everglades National Park are primarily located along the Gulf Coast. Beach campsites can accommodate up to 60 people (!), although there are smaller, more secluded sites available. These campsites do not have potable water sources or bathrooms, so be prepared to bring all of the water you’ll need and properly dispose of human waste. Campfires are generally allowed at beach campsites as long as they are located below the high-tide line.

Tent and Kayak on the beach in Everglades National Park
Beach campsite in Everglades National Park. Photo credit NPS.

Everglades Ground campsites

Ground campsites are exactly what they sound like: wilderness campsites located on solid ground within the park. These campsites are located on small islands, inland areas, and other places where the ground is stable enough to support a campsite. Campfires are not allowed at ground campsites in the Everglades.

Pinelands in Everglades National Park
Ground campsite are mostly located in the interior of the Everglades. Photo credit NPS/Caitlin Rivas.

Everglades Chickees

Chickees are the most unique campsite option in the Everglades. These campsites are located over water and consist of a 10′ x 12′ wooden platform with an attached porta-pottie. Many of the chickee sites contain two platforms connected by a walkway to the bathroom. You’ll need to be sure to bring a free standing tent, as there is no way to stake a tent on a chickee. Campfires are not allowed at chickee campsites and visitors will also want to be sure to bring a rope to secure their water craft while camping.

Chickee campsite in Everglades National Park.
A chickee campsite in the Everglades. Photo credit NPS.

Everglades Wilderness Camping Permits & Regulations

All backcountry campers in Everglades National Park are required to obtain a wilderness permit prior to starting their trip. During the peak season (November – April) permits can be obtained in person at the Gulf Coast Visitor Center or Flamingo Visitor Center. During the off season (May – October) permits can be obtained via self-registering at either of the visitor centers above. When obtaining a permit for a wilderness trip in the Everglades there are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Permits cost $15 +$2/person per night in the peak season. Permits are free in the off season.
  • Permits can only be obtained up to 24 hours prior to your trip.
    • This means you may not be able to reserve your preferred campsite. Always have a backup plan!
  • Campsites have varying capacity for the number of groups, tents, and people. Be sure your planned campsite can accommodate your group.
  • Plan to arrive as early as possible to secure permits during peak season. You’ll have a better chance of getting your preferred campsite.
Mangrove in Everglades National Park.
Wilderness permits are required for backcountry camping in the Everglades. Photo credit NPS/Brian Call.

Wilderness Camping trips in Everglades National Park

As you’re planning your wilderness camping trip in Everglades National Park you’ll want to spend some time thinking about your planned route. While there are countless options, the  most popular trip is described below:

Everglades Wilderness Waterway

The Everglades Wilderness Waterway is a 99-mile route that traverses the national park via canoe, kayak, or small boat. The route connects Flamingo, FL with Everglades City, FL and is the most famous backcountry adventure in the Everglades. Expect the trip to take anywhere from between 10 – 14 days if traveling by kayak or canoe.

This is a serious undertaking so be sure you are up to the challenge and check out these helpful resources below:

Canoe on the Everglades Wilderness Waterway.
Exploring the Everglades wilderness. Photo credit NPS.

For those who are in search of a more mellow outing, don’t be dissuaded. There are plenty of easier overnight trips into the Everglades wilderness that don’t require two weeks of paddling! Your best bet is consult the Wilderness Trip Planner and to talk to one of the rangers at the Everglades National Park Visitor Centers to learn what might be a good option for you.

Other Camping Options Near Everglades National Park

Given the popularity and scarcity of options, it is always possible that you won’t be able to find a campground within Everglades National Park. However, don’t give up as there are plentiful camping options just outside the National Park boundary!

Many of these nearby campgrounds can be found in Big Cypress National Preserve, located just north of Everglades National Park. Big Cypress covers an area of over 700,000 acres and features eight developed campgrounds to choose from.  Check out your options for camping in Big Cypress National Preserve below.

Big Cypress National Preserve Campgrounds

Big Cypress National Preserve is located just north of Everglades National Park and is managed by the National Park Service. The preserve protects thousands of acres of cypress swamps and is an important ecosystem that has a symbiotic relationship with the Everglades.

Sunset in Big Cypress National Preserve
Big Cypress National Preserve provides excellent camping options near the Everglades. Photo credit NPS.

Of the eight campgrounds in the preserve four of them are available on a first-come, first-served basis, while the others are reservable via Recreation.gov. The map below gives you a general sense of where each of these campgrounds are located in Big Cypress National Preserve as well as their relation to the Everglades. 

Map of campgrounds in Big Cypress National Preserve
Map of the campgrounds in Big Cypress National Preserve. Map courtesy of NPS. (Click to enlarge)

As you look at the map above, note that Everglades National Park is located to the south (towards the bottom of the map), so a few of the campgrounds are much closer to the Everglades. The most convenient for visiting the Everglades are: Burns Lake, Monument Lake, Midway, Pinecrest, and Mitchell Landing. Details for all the campgrounds in Big Cypress National Preserve are below:

#1 Bear Island Campground

  • Number of Sites: 40 sites
  • Fee: $10/night
  • RVs: Yes, no hookups available
  • Reservations: All sites first-come, first-served.

More Information

Bear Island is a basic campground located in the northern section of Big Cypress National Preserve. Reservations are not available for Bear Island and all campsites are first-come, first-served. The campsites features pit toilets and does not have running water or hookups. 

View a map of the Bear Island Campground here. 

#2 Burns Lake Campground

  • Number of Sites: 15 sites (5 tent sites + 10 RV sites)
  • Fee: $24/night
  • RVs: Yes, no hookups available.
  • Reservations: Recommended. Click Here to Reserve

More Information

The Burns Lake Campground is centrally located along State Highway 41. It is the closest campground to the Everglades City entrance to the national park, making it a great option for those looking to explore Everglades National Park. The campground is basic and features 15 campsites, 10 of which can accommodate RVs. There is no water available at the campground, although there is an RV dump station.

Reservations can be made for the Burns Lake Campground via Recreation.gov here.

View a map of the Burns Lake Campground here. 

#3 Gator Head Campground

  • Number of Sites: 9 sites (tents only)
  • Fee: $10/night
  • RVs: No.
  • Reservations: All sites first-come, first-served.

More Information

The Gator Head Campground is located in the northern section of Big Cypress and is not very convenient to the national park. At Gator Head you’ll find a basic campground with only 9 sites. The campground can only accommodate tents, so no RVs are permitted. There is no potable water and all sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

#4 Midway Campground

  • Number of Sites: 36 sites (10 tent sites + 26 RV sites)
  • Fee: $24/night for tent sites, $30/night for RV sites
  • RVs: Yes, electric hookups available.
  • Reservations: Recommended. Click Here to Reserve

More Information

The Midway Campground is one of the largest campgrounds in Big Cypress National Preserve and is well located for visiting the Everglades. The campground has 36 campsites, 26 of which can accommodate RVs and provide electrical hookups. The campground has drinking water, restrooms, and a RV dump station.

Reservations can be made for the Midway Campground via Recreation.gov here.

You can take a virtual tour of the Midway Campground via Google Maps here

#5 Mitchell Landing Campground

  • Number of Sites: 11 sites
  • Fee: $24/night
  • RVs: Yes, no hookups available.
  • Reservations: All sites first-come, first-served.

More Information

The Mitchell Landing Campground is a basic campground located near the Shark Valley Visitor Center in the Everglades. The campground has 11 first-come, first-served campsites and provides vault toilets. There is no drinking water available at Mitchell Landing, so plan to bring all the water you’ll need for your stay.

#6 Monument Lake Campground

  • Number of Sites: 36 sites (10 tent sites + 26 RV sites)
  • Fee: $24/night for tent sites, $28/night for RV sites
  • RVs: Yes, no hookups available.
  • Reservations: Recommended. Click Here to Reserve

More Information

The Monument Lake Campground features 36 campsites, 26 of which are designated for RVs. However, there are no RV hookups available at the campground. Monument Lake does not have any potable water or a dump station, so it is important to plan accordingly. The campground is well located for visiting the Everglades, as it is just off State Highway 41.

Reservations can be made for the Monument Lake Campground via Recreation.gov here.

#7 Pinecrest Campground (Group Campground)

More Information

The Pinecrest Group Campground is well located for visiting the Everglades, but is reserved for groups up to 15 people. The campground only has four sites, and all require advance reservations. There is no drinking water available and there are also no restrooms at the campground.

Reservations can be made for the Pinecrest Group Campground via Recreation.gov here.

#8 Pink Jeep Campground

  • Number of Sites: 9 sites
  • Fee: $10/night
  • RVs: No.
  • Reservations: All sites first-come, first-served.

More Information

Pink Jeep Campground is located in the northern section of Big Cypress National Preserve. This is a basic campground, and requires an off-road vehicle to reach. There is no potable water available at Pink Jeep, although there are vault toilets.  Reservations are not available for Pink Jeep and all campsites are first-come, first-served.

RV campgrounds near the Everglades

Those camping in an RV will have plenty of options just outside Everglades National Park. RV campgrounds are conveniently located near all of the entrances to the national park. We’ve outlined your best bets for RV camping near the Everglades below.

RVs camped near Everglades National Park
There are plenty of RV campgrounds near Everglades National Park. Photo credit NPS.

#1 Florida City Campsite and RV Park

  • Number of sites: Plenty!
  • Fee: $35/night
  • Capacity: None Stated.
  • RVs: Yes.
  • Reservations: Recommended.
  • Pets: Allowed.

More Information

The Florida City Campsite and RV Park is located in the Florida City/Homestead Area. This small campground is well located for those entering the Everglades via the Homestead Entrance Station, which is only a 20 minute drive from the campground.

The campground provides free WiFi, access to laundry facilities, and tons of nearby amenities.

View the Florida City Campsite & RV Park in Google Maps here.

#2 Miami Everglades RV Resort

  • Number of sites: 471
  • Fee: $45 – $80/night depending on hookups & RV size.
  • Capacity: None stated.
  • RVs: Yes.
  • Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
  • Pets: Allowed.

More Information

The Miami Everglades RV Resort is a huge campground located in southwest Miami. The campground is close to both the Homestead and Shark Valley entrances to the national park. Here you’ll find a plethora of amenities that are sure to please even the most picky campers! Amenities include a clubhouse, laundry facilities, swimming pool, mini golf, WiFi and much more.

The Miami Everglades RV Resort can accommodate tents up to large RVs, so nearly every camper should be just fine here.

View the Miami Everglades RV Resort in Google Maps here.

#3 Trail Lakes Campground

  • Number of sites: Plenty!
  • Fee: $30 – $50 depending on site/hookups.
  • Capacity: 4 – 8 people depending on site.
  • RVs: Yes, water and electric hookups available.
  • Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve. 
  • Pets: Allowed.

More Information

The Trail Lakes Campground is located in Ochopee, FL and is only 15 minutes from the Gulf Coast Visitor Center. This is a well regarded campsite and can accommodate everything from tents to large RVs. Sites come with a variety of electric hookup options and vary in price from $30 – $50/night. This is a family-owned campground and gets great reviews for the friendly staff.

View the Trail Lakes Campground in Google Maps here.

#4 Chokoloskee Island Park

  • Number of sites: Plenty!
  • Fee: $59 – $69/night depending on season.
  • Capacity: None stated.
  • RVs: Yes, up to 30′. Full hookups available.
  • Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
  • Pets: Allowed.

More Information

The Chokoloskee Island Park Campground is located on Chokoloskee Island, just a few minutes from the Gulf Coast Visitor Center. This is a unique campground that provides the opportunity to stay on a small island adjacent to the Everglades. Chokoloskee Island Park can accommodate tents and RVs up to 30′ in length, and each site has water, sewer and electric hookups available.

Amenities include a marina store, clubhouse with tv, WiFi, a full kitchen, book exchange, and a beautiful pavilion right on the water.

View the Chokoloskee Island Campground in Google Maps here.

Best Time to Camp in Everglades National Park

The peak season in the Everglades is November-April, as the cooler weather makes for easier front and backcountry camping. This makes it the best time to visit!

This period is a lot drier so there are fewer mosquitos, and the ground is harder – making it suitable for hiking and trail running. Water levels are a lot lower too, which makes the natural wildlife a lot more visible. 

The remainder of the year is the “wet season” which is extremely rainy, humid, and full of mosquitos and other bugs. This makes for uncomfortable camping, even if you are in an RV. 

Activities You Can Do at Everglades National Park

There’s no doubt that the Everglades National Park is one of the best places to enjoy nature at its best. During your stay here, check out all of the activities below to make the most out of your trip!

Hiking

One of the best activities you can do while camping in the Everglades is to take advantage of all the hiking opportunities

Trails such as the West Lake Trail or the Snake Bight Trail offer stunning views and up close experiences with natural wildlife. 

Wildlife viewing

The Everglades are packed with thousands of interesting and vibrant species. From alligators, wading birds, and amphibians, you can see it all in the Everglades! 

Many of the hiking trails offer great views of all the local creatures, however, make sure you are respectful of the wildlife and their space. 

Airboat rides

Taking an airboat tour of the Everglades is a must-do activity when camping there. There are three authorized airboat tour operators in the area, so you can take your pick based on who has the best availability on the day. 

This is a great way to get up close and personal with the environment and see things you wouldn’t normally see if you stayed on land. 

Biking

Campers who are keen cyclists need not miss out when visiting the Everglades, as there are many bike trails catering to all ability levels. The Shark Valley Bike Trail is the most popular as it offers a scenic 15-mile loop that is suitable for cyclists of all levels.

What to bring on your Everglades National Park Camping trip

Preparing for your Everglades National Park camping trip involves more than deciding which campground best fits your needs. There is also the important job of making sure you have all the right gear you’ll need to ensure a great trip.

We’re sure you’ll already have the essentials like a great tentsleeping bags, and camp chairs, but below are some of our favorite items specifically for camping in the Everglades:

  • Pop-up canopyThe sun in South Florida can be intense. While there is some shade at Lone Pine Key Campground, if you’re camping at the Flamingo Campground this is a must.
  • Cooler The hot Florida temperatures make a good cooler essential. We can’t recommend Yeti enough!
  • Everglades GuidebookA good guidebook will provide insights and information to help you plan your perfect trip to the Everglades. We think this Falcon Guide will help you create a great itinerary.
  • First Aid Kit – Whether you are frontcountry camping in an RV, or backcountry camping in one of our beach campsites, bumps, scrapes and even more serious accidents can happen. Having a well-equipped first aid kit means you will be ready no matter what.

Things to Know When Camping in Everglades National Park

The following sections contain all the basic information you need to ensure you have a great time camping in Everglades National Park. First a few basics:

  • Be sure you know the maximum group size allowed at your planned campsite. 
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles at all of the campsites within the Everglades.
  • You are not permitted to camp in Everglades National Park for more than 30 days/year. During peak season from November 1st – April 1st you are not allowed to camp in the Everglades for more than 14 consecutive days.

Fires

Campfires are permitted at both of the developed campgrounds (Flamingo and Lone Pine Key) in Everglades National Park. Your fire must be contained in the provided fire pit and should not be left unattended at any time. Always be sure your campfire is completely put out before going to bed or leaving your campsite.

In the backcountry, campfires are only permitted on the beach campsites. Here, fires must be located below the high-tide line. You are permitted to use wood that is already down or dead, but do not cut live wood in the national park for your fire.

Campfire in Everglades National Park.

Wildlife

Everglades National Park is renowned for its incredible wildlife that inhabits the park. This unique ecosystem hosts an incredible diversity of fauna, and as such it is important to minimize your impact on this ecosystem. For campers, there are a few specific species that you’ll want to be aware of, outlined below:

  • Raccoons: While raccoons are certainly not the first animal that comes to mind when thinking about the Everglades, they are one of the most pesky for wilderness campers. Raccoons are known to steal water and food of wilderness campers so be sure you’ve properly stored both while camping.
  • Vultures: Vultures are native to the Everglades, but are known to cause problems for visitors and campers alike. They are attracted to rubber parts and pieces on automobiles, tents, and campers, and have been known to cause quite a bit of damage. The park service will provide visitors with a free tarp and bungee cords to protect your vehicle or camper. Learn more here.
  • Alligators & Crocodiles: The quintessential wildlife of the Everglades, alligators and crocodiles are found throughout the park. These creatures will generally leave campers and visitors alone, but it always pays off to be vigilant. More important, please be respectful of their habitat as they are a keystone species in the Everglades.
Alligator swimming in Everglades National Park

Pets

Pets are only allowed in specific areas of Everglades National Park. They are allowed at both of the developed campgrounds in the national park, along park roads, in areas near park facilities, and on private boats.

Pets are not allowed in the wilderness or backcountry in Everglades National Park.

If you plan to bring your pet to the Everglades, please observe these regulations:

  • Pets must be kept of a leash at all times
  • Please pick up your pet waste.
  • Always practice Leave No Trace principles.

A full description of regulations surrounding pets in the Everglades can be found here.

Where to get supplies

Given the remote nature of Everglades National Park, it is important to stock up on camping supplies prior to your trip. The best place to stock up on camping supplies will depend on which section of the park you plan to camp in. We’ve broken down your best bets by entrance stations below:

  • Homestead Entrance (Lone Pine Key & Flamingo Campgrounds)
    • Homestead, FL: The Homestead Entrance is used by campers staying at the two developed campgrounds in the Everglades. A short, 20-minute drive from the entrance station is the town of Homestead, FL. Here you’ll find everything you need to prepare for a camping trip including grocery stores, gas stations, and a fishing shop.
  • Miami Entrance (wilderness camping)
    • Miami, FL: The Miami Entrance to Everglades National Park doesn’t see many campers, as there are few wilderness campgrounds in this area of the park. However, it is the closest to the major metropolis of Miami where you’ll find any and all services you may need for your camping trip.
  • Everglades City Entrance (wilderness camping) 
    • Everglades City, FL: The Everglades City Entrance is commonly used by wilderness campers and is the traditional starting point of the Everglades Wilderness Waterway. Here you’ll find gas stations, a grocery store, and a few fishing shops. For other needs you’ll have to head to Naples, an approximate 45 minute drive from the entrance station.

Tips for Successful Camping in Everglades National Park

Looking to have a successful camping experience in the Everglades that’ll keep you coming back for more? Make sure to follow these tips!

  • Be prepared for absolutely everything! Do your research on your intended campsite and find out whether you’ll have access to water, if campfires are allowed, and what type of tent you might need for the environment. This will help you pack exactly what you need and ensure you don’t get caught out in the lurch. 
  • Prepare for an emergency. It’s also wise to be prepared for an emergency. Do you have a first aid kit? What about an emergency contact for the park should something go awry? Having these plans in place makes any future issues much easier to deal with and allows for a smooth, worry-free camping trip!
  • Leave No Trace! Additionally, the Everglades encourages following the Leave-No-Trace principles. Following these principles will help you to maximize your camping experience and minimize your impact on the environment. 

FAQs on Everglades National Park

Is camping in the Everglades safe?

Yes, it is relatively safe to camp in the Everglades, especially if you are in one of the front country RV campsites. If you are backcountry camping in a tent, you are at some level of risk due to the wildlife. However, risk can be minimized with proper education and preparation.

Where is the best place to camp in the Everglades?

This entirely depends on how you want to camp. If you want to stay in an RV, or have a tent but also have access to toilets and showers, the Front Country Flamingo and Long Pine Key campsites. If you want to experience true Everglades camping, the backcountry campsites are best.

Can you camp for free in Everglades National Park?

No, you must pay to camp in the Everglades National Park. This is due to the amenities and permits needed at each campsite. There are some nearby campsites outside of the Everglades where you may camp for free, however, these are very rudimentary.

How much is camping at Everglades National Park?

This depends on where you stay. Long Pine Key and Flamingo charge from $33 a night, and wilderness sites require a  $21 administrative fee plus an additional $2 per person per night payment.

Is it safe to swim in the Everglades?

“Swimming/snorkeling is prohibited in all canals, ponds, freshwater lakes, marked channels, and boat basins inside the park,” according to the Park. This is because it is unsafe due to the predators in the water and low visibility making it difficult to avoid them.

Do the Everglades have crocodiles?

Yes, the Everglades does have Crocodiles. In fact, it is the only place in the world where crocodiles and alligators exist in the same environment.

Can you bring a gun to the Everglades?

Yes, you can. Under federal law,  people who may legally possess firearms under applicable state, local, and federal laws, can legally possess firearms in Everglades National Park.  However, it is your responsibility to comply with these rules and regulations and to act in a safe manner.

Have a Great Trip!

That’s it! We hope you’ve found all of the information on camping in Everglades National Park in this post helpful and we know you’ll find the perfect campsite for your upcoming adventure! Be sure to let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or had a great time out camping!

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