Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park

Quick Facts

Everglades National Park

Florida

(305) 242-7700

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Spanning the southern tip of the Florida peninsula and most of Florida Bay, Everglades National Park is the only subtropical preserve in North America. It contains both temperate and tropical plant communities, including sawgrass prairies, mangrove and cypress swamps, pinelands, and hardwood hammocks, as well as marine and estuarine environments. The park is known for its rich bird life, particularly large wading birds, such as the roseate spoonbill, wood stork, great blue heron and a variety of egrets. It is also the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles exist side by side. Everglades National Park has been designated a World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve, and a Wetland of International Importance.

Everglades National Park is open year-round, but other services and visitor centers have different seasons depending on weather. The Ernest Coe Visitor Center entrance is open 24 hours a day. Due to flooding, the Chekika entrance is closed May 1 through November 30 and open from December 1 through April 30. It is open from dawn to dusk otherwise. The Shark Valley entrance is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Gulf Coast entrance is open 24 hours a day. Flamingo is the only visitor center not accessible from an outside entrance. It is 38 miles into the park from the Ernest Coe Visitor Center.

Map of Everglades

Latitude, Longitude: 25.420951, -80.867615

READ MORE

Activities

  • Boating

    Visitors can explore Florida Bay, Whitewater Bay, and the Ten Thousand Islands area by boat, kayak, or canoe. Each area has its own unique characteristics and habitats to explore. Boating in the waters of the Everglades is a task for the skilled. Treacherous passes cut through long banks of mud and seagrass, separating the basins of the shallow coast in Florida Bay. Other areas, especially in the Ten Thousand Islands, have many oyster reefs and sandbars. Safely exploring this region, while protecting the sensitive underwater habitats, requires the ability to "read the water". Shallow areas are not always marked, especially in the area between Flamingo and Everglades City. Knowing the draft (depth) and limits of your boat is critical, as is the ability to read and utilize nautical charts. To learn how to safely navigate the waters of Florida Bay, boaters can take a partner sponsored online boater education course called Eco-Mariner.

  • Bicycling

    A wide array of land trails offer visitors opportunities for bicycle treks. Flamingo and Pine Island trails are accessible from the main entrance of the park in Homestead Florida, while the Shark Valley trail is closer to Miami off of U.S. 41. Brochures for each trail are available on the park website or at a visitor center.

  • Camping

    Frontcountry camping: There are two drive-in campgrounds accessible from the Homestead entrance to the park - Pine Island area and Flamingo, and both accommodate tents and RV's with a limited number of group sites. Backcountry Camping: There are a number of ground sites, beach sites, and elevated camping platforms (chickees) available in various locations in the park. Most sites are accessible by canoe, kayak, or motorboat, though a few may be reached by hikers. A backcountry permit is required for all wilderness campsites and issued the day before or day of your trip.

  • Fishing

    One third of Everglades National Park is covered by water, creating excellent boating and fishing opportunities. Snapper, sea trout, redfish, bass, and bluegill are plentiful. Saltwater fishing includes Florida Bay, Ten Thousand Islands, and elsewhere in the park's coastal zone. Freshwater and saltwater fishing require separate Florida fishing licenses. Be aware of local fishing information. Fishing from the shore is very limited. However, park waters provide thousands of acres of shallow water flats, channels, and mangrove keys in which to fish. Before leaving shore, think safety! Be aware of local boating information. Also please remember that collecting plants and animals in Everglades National Park is prohibited. This includes such things as orchids, airplants, seahorses, starfish, conch, tropical fish, coral, sponges, and driftwood (except for fuel). One quart of non-occupied sea shells may be collected per person.

  • Hiking

    A wide array of land trails offer visitors opportunities for leisurely walks or extended hikes. Flamingo and Pine Island trails are accessible from the main entrance of the park in Homestead Florida, while the Shark Valley trail is closer to Miami off of U.S. 41. Brochures for each trail are available on the park website or at a visitor center.

  • Picnicking

    Chekika area offers picnicking opportunities, and other areas are accessible for laying out a blanket for a picnic closer to the ground.

  • Water Sports

    Boating is permitted in the Everglades (see boating section), but check with the park before setting out for regulations. Personal watercraft, such as Jet Skis, are prohibited in Everglades National Park. Please contact the main number for more information.

  • Wildlife Watching

    Shark Valley, the Anhinga Trail (at Royal Palm), and Eco Pond (one mile past the Flamingo Visitor Center) are good for viewing alligators, wading birds, and other freshwater wildlife. Canoeists can paddle into Snake Bight (near Flamingo) and Chokoloskee Bay (Gulf Coast) before low tide to witness large numbers of water birds feeding in the shallows and on mud flats. A productive freshwater canoeing area is Nine Mile Pond and adjacent borrow pits (11 miles, or 18 km, up the road from Flamingo). Despite their fearsome appearance, alligators are normally wary of people; unprovoked attacks on humans are rare. Those habituated to people as a source of food, however, may be more aggressive. As with all wild animals, it is necessary to keep a safe distance.

Seasonality/Weather

The Everglades is mild and pleasant from December through April, though rare cold fronts may create near freezing conditions. Average temperatures in winter: High 77 F; Low 53 F. Summers are hot and humid, with temperatures around 90 F and humidity over 90%. Afternoon thunderstorms are common and mosquitoes are abundant. The Atlantic Hurricane Season is June-November. Tropical storms or hurricanes may affect the area. Average Rainfall: 60 inches (152 cm) per year. The rainy season is June through October (mosquito season coincides with the rainy season).

Park Partners

Everglades Association

The Everglades Association is the official private, non-profit partner supporting educational, interpretive, and historical and scientific research responsibilities of Biscayne, Dry Tortugas, and Everglades National Parks and Big Cypress National Preserve. Sales profits are returned to the parks to further support their programs to increase public understanding of and support for their long term preservation and care.

Additionally, the South Florida National Parks Trust was founded in 2002 to improve the quality of life in South Florida by supporting the national parks that define Florida landscape and enrich its culture--Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park and Dry Tortugas National Park in the Florida Keys. Over the past four years, the trust has funded a series of projects that enhance the visitor experience, promote education, and facilitate volunteerism and community involvement. For more information about the South Florida National Parks Trust, call 3056654769 or visit http://www.southfloridaparks.org.

(305) 247-1216

Everglades National Park Boat Tours

Everglades National Park Boat Tours has been in operation before the gulf coast became part of the National Park system. Everglades National Park has been declared a Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site and a Wetlands International Alliance by the United Nations. Tours are offered so visitors can see the Everglades as it is naturally with out any loud noises or interruptions to the wild life's daily routine. You will see a variety of birds, manatee's and the dolphins like to play in the wake of the boat. The park utilizes especially quiet engines so wild life is not intimidated while you view them.

(239) 695-2591

Directions

Driving

Directions to the Ernest Coe Visitor Center 40001 State Rd. 9336, Homestead, FL 33034-6733

Visitors coming from the Miami area and points north should take the Florida Turnpike (Route 821) south until it ends merging with U.S. 1 at Florida City. Turn right at the first traffic light onto Palm Drive (State Road 9336/SW 344th St.) and follow the signs to the park.

Visitors driving north from the Florida Keys should turn left on Palm Drive in Florida City and follow the signs to the park.

Directions to the Flamingo Visitor Center: Flamingo, Florida

Visitors coming from the Miami area and points north should take the Florida Turnpike (Route 821) south until it ends, merging with U.S. 1 at Florida City. Turn right at the first traffic light onto Palm Drive (State Road 9336/SW 344th St.) and follow the signs to the park.

Visitors driving north from the Florida Keys should turn left on Palm Drive in Florida City and follow the signs to the park.

The Flamingo Visitor Center lies roughly 38 miles south of the park entrance. Visitors should expect to drive about an hour before arriving at Flamingo.

Directions to Shark Valley Visitor Center: 36000 SW 8th St. Miami, FL 33194

Shark Valley Visitor Center is located on Highway 41 (Tamiami Trail / SW 8th St.) 25 miles west of the Florida Turnpike, exit 25A (from the north) and exit 25 (from the south).

From the Naples area, take U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail) approximately 70 miles east to Shark Valley.

Directions to the Gulf Coast Visitor Center: 815 Oyster Bar Ln., Everglades City, FL 34139

The Gulf Coast Visitor Center is located 5 miles south of Highway 41 (Tamiami Trail) on State Road 29, in Everglades City. From Interstate 75 (Alligator Alley), take exit 80 (State Road 29) south and proceed 20 miles to Everglades City. Once in Everglades City, follow the signs to the park. The visitor center is on the right.

Directions to the Chekika Area of Everglades National Park: 24200 SW 160th Street, Miami, FL

Chekika is located about 36 miles from downtown Miami and 18 miles from Homestead, Florida. To get there, take the Dolphin Expressway (State Road 836) to the Palmetto Expressway (State Road 826) or the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike. Exit the Palmetto or the Turnpike at Kendall Drive (SW 88th Street), and go west to Krome Avenue (SW 177th Avenue). Turn left and go south about five miles to SW 168th Street. Turn right and go west about six miles to 237th Avenue. Turn right and go north about a mile. Turn left on168th Street, and you'll be facing west with the entrance to Chekika just ahead.

From the south, take the Turnpike to Eureka Drive (SW 18th Street), go west to Krome Avenue, and turn north to SW 168th Street - or take Krome Avenue due north from Homestead to SW 168th Street and follow directions above.

Due to seasonal flooding, Chekika is closed during the wet season. This popular part of the park is located in the East Everglades area and is open from dawn to dusk. There are no amenities so be sure to bring water and any food/snacks wanted for your trip.

Flying

The closest major airport to the park is Miami International Airport.

Public Transportation

No public transportation into the park.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(305) 242-7700

Links