Have you ever wanted to camp among manatees, alligators, and even black panthers? Everglades camping can provide you the opportunity to camp among this diverse ecosystem unlike any other. Whether you want to camp in a tent or an RV, we’ve found five of the best places for Everglades camping in this national park in Florida.
Let’s get started.
Explore the Incredible Everglades National Park
Even if you’ve visited other national parks, you’ve likely never seen anything quite like Everglades National Park. Here you’ll find a host of rare and endangered species within the 1.5 million-acre preserve in southern Florida.
The park typically experiences two distinct seasons. The dry season will usually run from December through April and the wet season from May through November. Make sure you bring your bug spray if you visit the park during the wet season, or you’ll likely get attacked by mosquitos.
Some of the most popular activities include wildlife viewing, hiking, fishing, and boating. It has plenty of bicycle trails and geocaching opportunities as well. Whether you come for a single day or multiple days, Everglades camping offers something for everybody to fill their schedules.
What Kind of Camping Can You Expect in Everglades National Park?
If you want to camp in Everglades National Park, you’ll find a handful of camping options. It has a mixture of RV and tent sites. It also offers some unique backcountry camping.
The backcountry sites require a boat to reach them and are a mixture of beach, ground, and chickee sites. A chickee is a 10’x12’ platform elevated above the water.
You can reserve many of the campsites, and all wilderness ones require guests to obtain a permit. Those wishing to camp in the park must pick up their pass and check-in with rangers. This allows them to update campers on any potential closures or adjustments.
Pro Tip: Everglades National Park isn’t the only amazing national park in Florida. Discover more about What Are the Best National Parks in Florida?
5 Best Places to Camp Near Everglades National Park
There are a handful of great options for camping near Everglades National Park. Let’s take a look at five of the best and why you might consider calling them home for your trip to the Everglades.
1. Flamingo Campground, Everglades National Park
Address: Flamingo Lodge Hwy, Homestead, FL 33034
About: Flamingo Campground offers a mixture of 278 campsites for RVs and tent camping. During the busy season from December through April, you’ll want to secure reservations months in advance.
For being such a large campground, they’ve done a tremendous job when it comes to spacing out the sites. Most sites have plenty of room so everyone can spread out and enjoy themselves.
Campground Features: The campground offers an abundance of recreational activities and some of the best views you can find of the largest subtropical wilderness in the country. The park has expanded its offerings by constructing an indoor/outdoor restaurant and 24 lodging rooms.
Campsites here are large enough to house rigs under 35’ in length. The campground has bathhouses, a dump station, picnic tables, grills, and an amphitheater for hosting winter programs. This is one of the best campgrounds to stay at, especially if you plan to spend time adventuring in the national park.
Cost to Camp: Non-electric cost $30 Monday through Thursday and an additional $5 on the weekends. Electric hook-up sites cost $45 on weekdays and $55 on Friday through Sunday.
Morton Road Trip Rating: 8/10; it has spacious sites and easy access for exploring the park. Make sure you bring the bug spray in the warmer months.
2. Long Pine Key Campground, Everglades National Park
Address: Homestead, FL 33034
About: Long Pine Key Campground is open seasonally from Nov. 1 through April 30. The 108 dry camping sites mean you’ll need a way to create your own power and fill up your water tanks. However, staying here puts you close to two excellent national parks, Biscayne and Everglades National Park.
Campground Features: Campsites at this Everglades camping site are flat, level, and spacious. The park has done a great job of using natural vegetation to create privacy. You can enjoy a walk around a small lake, catch some fish, or bike or hike any of the several trails in the campground.
It has a shower house, dump station, and potable water station in the campground. Long Pine Key Campground is hard to beat if you want a place to unplug and connect with nature.
Cost to Camp: Staying here costs $30 Monday through Thursday and $35 on the weekends.
Morton Road Trip Rating: 8/10; you’ll feel like you’re camping in the wilderness, with each site embracing natural vegetation for barriers between sites.
3. Chokoloskee Island Park, Chokoloskee
Address: 1150 Hamilton Ln, Chokoloskee, FL 34138
About: Chokoloskee Island Park is an RV park with 54 sites. If you want to fish and relax, consider staying here. The clean and well-manicured facilities give you the luxury resort feel but at a cost-effective price.
The park is currently not big-rig friendly, so go elsewhere if your rig is over 35’ long. However, Cove Communities purchased the campground in 2021 and are making necessary upgrades to the park. Chokoloskee fills up each winter with residents who spend the entire season in the park. But it has plenty of sites for short-term guests as well.
Campground Features: This campground is an angler’s dream due to its proximity to the water. You’ll find a marina, fish cleaning station, and some great spots to cast a line from the shore.
The campground also has a rec hall with a full kitchen for those who want to do some baking or prepare a larger meal. RV sites have full hookups and have everything you could need for a fantastic time in the Everglades.
Cost to Camp: Chokoloskee Island Park costs $59 per night.
Morton Road Trip Rating: 7/10; this park is in the middle of an update but will likely be a top-notch campground when complete. If you can look past the upgrades, you can enjoy some incredible sunsets and stargaze in this hidden Everglades camping trip.
4. Boardwalk RV Resort, Homestead
Address: 100 NE 6th Ave, Homestead, FL 33030
About: Whether you want a short getaway or a long-term stay, Boardwalk RV Resort in Homestead could work well for you.
The resort offers a mixture of full-time mobile home residents and 145 back-in, full-hookup RV sites. Several overflow campsites get used during special events, mainly for the large races in the area. You’re just a 20-minute drive from Everglades National Park.
Campground Features: Besides world-class fishing in the area, the park offers easy access to a host of golf courses, white sand beaches, and many natural and manufactured wonders to see. However, you can also go shopping at the outlet center if you prefer.
The park offers a clubhouse, billiard room, library, and fitness center. However, can you visit Florida without taking a dip in a pool? The resort offers a heated swimming pool so you can go for a swim no matter the season. You’ll also find laundry facilities and bathrooms and shower facilities on site.
Cost To Camp: Summer rates cost $70 per night or $320 per week. Winter camping costs $80 per night or $380 per week.
Morton Road Trip Rating: 7/10; this Everglades camping option works great for the location and its proximity to the national park and other activities.
5. Trail Lakes Campground, Ochopee
Address: 40904 Tamiami Trail E, Ochopee, FL 34141
About: The Shealy family owns this family-owned campground, fourth-generation native Floridians. They’ve created an authentic Everglades camping environment.
You’ll find it easy to enjoy the sunsets and gaze up at the stars in the private atmosphere the Shealy’s have created. Whether you want to camp in a tent, RV, or rent a cabin or chickee spot, you can find a camping situation just right for you.
Campground Features: You may find sites with electricity and water connections, but it has no full-hookup sites here. All campers have access to the on-site dump station and bathroom facilities.
The park staff uses their knowledge and experience in the Everglades to offer guests options for kayaking, canoeing, and hiking tours. If you want to walk the swamps or catch a glimpse of a gator, this is the way to do it.
Cost To Camp: Rates range from $45 to $75 per night.
Morton Road Trip Rating: 8/10; this campground provides a family-friendly atmosphere and an authentic Everglades camping experience.
Pro Tip: After exploring the Everglades, check out this magical place On the Edge of the Everglades – Picayune Strand.
Can You Backpack (Camp) in the Everglades?
Yes, it’s certainly possible to do some backpack camping in the Everglades. However, backcountry camping in Everglades National Park requires a wilderness permit. While most backcountry campsites require a kayak or boat, you can possibly hike to Clubhouse Beach.
You’ll need to do adequate research before heading out for a camping adventure in the Everglades. You have to consider the changing tides, snakes, alligators, and other reptiles that call the park home.
Enjoy Your Stay in Everglades National Park
Visiting Everglades National Park is one thing, but staying overnight in it is another. The park is full of wildlife and provides plenty of incredible viewing opportunities. Pack the bug spray, sunscreen, and your camera.
These campgrounds have private spots, many amenities, and fun activities. They can make a great place to stay while exploring such a unique and diverse park. Leave us your Everglades camping suggestions.
Have you visited or camped in Everglades National Park? Drop a comment below!
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