While camping in Everglades National Park may seem a bit daunting (due to the prevalence of mosquitoes and alligators!), it really is an amazing experience that you should undoubtedly consider, no matter how adventurous you are. And don’t worry, there are ways of avoiding “predators” and having a great time!
There are several campgrounds that offer a wide range of accommodations, from camping on the water to camping on wooden platforms. Regardless of your preferences, you’re likely to find a campground that fits your style, even if only for a night.
We hope our guides on the Best Campgrounds in Everglades National Park gives you a few tips on what to consider!
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK CAMPGROUNDS: OVERVIEW
Everglades National Park is very well known and draws over one-million visitors each year with the peak months being between December and April. While that is quite a few people, camping offers a great way of having access to many parts of the park without much of a drive, and allows you to be in the park when many of the day-visitors have left (which is what most people do). In fact, some of our most memorable times in the park were in the evening hours, or in times right after a storm when there isn’t anyone around. The colors are amazing and it really is very quiet!
Now, being that the park does draw a lot of people, you will want to get reservations ahead of your trip for the campgrounds if visiting during the busy months. In the slower months of the year, campground reservations are generally not needed.
If you are looking for a place to stock up on supplies for your camping trip, then nearby Homestead, FL is the place to go. It has all the necessary stores to get groceries or last-minute supplies (even camping gear). However, since it’s at least 30 minutes away from any campground, you’ll want to be sure you do what you can to have what you need ahead of your trip.
One thing you should do ahead of your visit is to download our guide for Everglades National Park. We have all the things you will want to see and do documented, as well as sample itineraries for all skill levels and tips on what to pack and what to do nearby.
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK CAMPING – ROYAL PALM AREA
Map of the Royal Palm Area in Everglades National Park Road, courtesy of the National Park Service
Long Pine Key Campground:
- Location: The Long Pine Key Campground is located near the main entrance to Everglades National Park on Park Road, about 5.5 miles west of the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center. Directions from the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center to the Long Pine Key Campground.
- Accessible via:
- Reservations: Offered for when the campground is open, from November through May. Long Pine Key Campground Reservations.
- Capacity: 108 sites.
- Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / Yes.
- Toilets / Showers: Flush toilets and showers.
- Nearby: This campground as the best access to the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center and areas outside the park, including the city of Homestead, FL if you need supplies. One of our favorites, the Anhinga Trail, is located right nearby. The trail is easy (0.8 mi round-trip) on a boardwalk and has amazing access to wildlife. The Gumbo Limbo Trail is also nearby, and it offers a shaded loop trail of 0.5 mi. You should also check out the Pa-hay-okee Overlook Trail (only 0.2 mi) and the Pinelands Trail, which is a short 0.4 mi trail through pine forest.
- Additional details: Since this campground is located near the main entrance, it is the easiest to get to in the park. Don’t expect much in the way of cell service here. There is plenty of sun here if you are in need of solar power!
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK CAMPING – FLAMINGO AREA
Map of the Flamingo Area in Everglades National Park, courtesy of the National Park Service
- Location: The Flamingo Campground is located 38 miles south of the main park entrance just south of the Flamingo Visitor Center. It will take about an hour to get there from the main park entrance. Directions from the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center to the Flamingo Campground.
- Accessible via:
- Reservations: Offered year round, but recommended during the peak months (from November through May). Flamingo Campground Reservations.
- Capacity: 274 sites.
- Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: Yes / No / Yes.
- Toilets / Showers: Flush toilets and showers.
- Nearby: This campground is deep in the park and has great access to the Flamingo Visitor Center and nearby boating / kayak rentals. The Guy Bradley Trail is a short 1.0-mile trail that runs along the water and gives some nice views. We also recommend the Eco Pond Trail, which is across the Visitor Center and gives great birding opportunities. For something a bit longer (with plenty of mosquitoes), head to the Snake Bight Trail, which is 3.7 miles (round-trip) that head through thick mangroves on the way to Florida Bay.
- Additional details: Cell service is decent. Be advised that the campground in more open and more popular than the Long Pine Key Campground.
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK BACKCOUNTRY CAMPING
There are 46 different locations to Backcountry Camp in Everglades National Park, and a large number of total sites to camp within those locations. If you are looking for peace and solitude, then this is a terrific option. However, it does require a bit of preplanning, as well as getting a backcountry camping permit. You can do this from the Flamingo or Gulf Coast Visitor Centers, and it has to be done within 24 hours of the start of the trip.
There is a lot involved in preparing for backcountry camping in Everglades National Park, and we recommend visiting the NPS page for details.
The options for camping out while kayaking or exploring are endless. There are sites with platforms available for tents, beach camping and camping on a dock surrounded by water! In general, the platforms are 10 feet by 12 feet with a nearby toilet! The ground sites are slightly elevated, and there are also beach sites along the coast.
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK - GROUP CAMPING
Group camping is offered at both of the established campgrounds, and you can get reservations ahead of time.
CAMPING OUTSIDE EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK
If are in the need for more amenities or availability is a challenge inside the park, try camping outside the park. Homestead, FL has a few camping options, as well as near Naples, FL. Other locations in Florida are within a few hours’ drive.
FURTHER INFORMATION ON EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK FROM JUST GO TRAVEL STUDIOS
- Be sure do download a copy of our itinerary for Everglades National Park ahead of your trip!
- For an overview of the park, check out our blog on What to See and Do in Everglades National Park. We also have a blog dedicated to the Anhinga Trail and What to See and Do in Shark Valley.
- When you return from your trip, send us a picture and we’ll turn it into a custom, vintage travel poster. We promise you’ll be happy with our personalized service and the final product!