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15 Everglades National Park Free Campsites (Updated 2022)

 

We have chosen 15 Everglades National Park Free Campsites for you, boondocking and free camping is difficult in the sunshine state but not impossible.

Everglades National Park is found in the southern part of Florida. It serves as a home of various prevalent species such as the American crocodile, Florida panther, and, not to forget, the manatee. This park offers a good mixture of luxury and wilderness.


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The prime reason why you should visit Everglades National Park is due to the exceptional encounter you will get, as well as unparalleled comfort. So if you are preparing to go for a Boondocking trip, Everglades is the place to be.

Slogging and hiking are the most predominant activities that take place in Everglades National Park. However, the real fun begins after you hit the water. Fascinating right? Considering that most of the park is only reachable through a boat; fishing, canoeing, boating, and kayaking are the common recreations in this park. And this makes it ideal for boondocks like yourself.

History of Everglades National Park

Everglades National Par is one of the oldest parks in its category. It was approved back in 1934; however, due to the constraints of getting land, it wasn’t formal until 1947. This large National park is the center of attraction for thousands of visitors owing to its outdoor adventure activities.

Everglades National Park has various visitor centers with an expected rich history. However, it’s mostly popular with canoeing devotees as private companies provide boat tours in some park segments.

Off late, it measures 6,105 square kilometers, and this is part of Florida Bay. The park secures a perfect blend of temperature, freshwater, marine habitats, and other useful things. So give this park a visit and bid goodbye to the unbearable destinations.

 Free Campsites for Everglades National Park

15 Everglades Free Camping Sites



1. Everglades National Park Free Campsites – Clubhouse Beach

Address
Florida
GPS: 25.1292, -81.03889

Management: National Park Service

This is a FREE campsite. A PASS or PERMIT is required at this campsite.

Best Review:

Trail Length: 7.5 miles (12 km) one way Wheelchair Accessible: No Bicycles Allowed: No Trail Description: Step back in time as you walk this old road once used by cotton pickers and fishermen. Open prairies of succulent coastal plants dotted with shady buttonwoods surround you as you journey towards the shore of Florida Bay. The trail ends at Clubhouse Beach; a permit for backcountry camping required. Directions to Trail: Begins at the rear of Loop “C” of the Flamingo Campground.

2. Everglades National Park Free Camping –  Cracker Barrel Homestead

Address
GPS: 25.449475, -80.476034
Get Directions

Management: Retail Store

Admin Note:

While our focus is boondocking and free camping, we also list and utilize overnight RV parking locations. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, it might seem strange to run across rest areas, truck stops, and Walmart parking lots in a camping directory. However, for some RV users, it is how they get from one location to the another.

Most parking lots are completely empty at night and many travelers do not need the amenities of an RV park. They just want a couple hours of shut eye before hitting the road again. A place to park is all they need.

Best Review:

Home sweet home! Great place to stay for day trips to the keys or Miami. It’s…a parking lot. But if you go in expecting that you’ll find you’ve struck gold.

3. Everglades National Park Free Campsites – Home Depot Homestead

Address
Homestead, Florida
GPS: 25.459627, -80.472708
Elevation: 7′

Management: Retail Store

The road in is Paved. Home Depot is open year round. The maximum RV length at Home Depot is unlimited. You may stay 48 hours at Home Depot.

Admin Note:

While our focus is boondocking and free camping, we also list and utilize overnight RV parking locations. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, it might seem strange to run across rest areas, truck stops, and Walmart parking lots in a camping directory. However, for some RV users, it is how they get from one location to the another.

Most parking lots are completely empty at night and many travelers do not need the amenities of an RV park. They just want a couple hours of shut eye before hitting the road again. A place to park is all they need.

Best Review:

Home Depot allows RVs to park for up to 48 hours. Level lot, well lit, quiet.

4. Everglades National Park Free Camping – BJ’s Wholesale Club – Homestead

Address
Homestead, Florida
GPS: 25.462181, -80.46711
Elevation: 5′

Management: Retail Store

Admin Note:

While our focus is boondocking and free camping, we also list and utilize overnight RV parking locations. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, it might seem strange to run across rest areas, truck stops, and Walmart parking lots in a camping directory. However, for some RV users, it is how they get from one location to the another.

Most parking lots are completely empty at night and many travelers do not need the amenities of an RV park. They just want a couple hours of shut eye before hitting the road again. A place to park is all they need.

Best Review:

Just left here, stayed over night to sleep, saw a class c parked, so I parked and slept. Had no issues, you can hear the morning traffic get going, other than that no complaints. Simple, safe overnight stay.

5. Everglades National Park Free Campsites – Exxon

Address
19900 SW 177th Ave
Miami, Florida
GPS: 25.580924, -80.479188
Elevation: 7′

Management: Gas station

Gas station that allows overnight parking. Call ahead to verify. They can fill or exchange propane tanks.

Amenities:

Restrooms

Best Review:

It’s OK for a one-night stay, as there are no other options for a free stay in the area. We slept in our passenger car(Saturn Vue). Parked between two big semis, so it gave us some sense of privacy and less light. Cuban restaurant is equipped with bright lights, pointed towards parking.

6. Everglades National Park Free Camping – Miccosuke Resort and Casino

Address
500 SW 177th Ave
Miami, Florida
GPS: 25.764204, -80.483975
Elevation: 13′

Management: Casino

Register for PERMIT in Casino. The road in is Paved. There are 30 or more campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay 5 days at Miccosuke Resort and Casino.

Best Review:

Nice parking lot in the casino. Indian reservation so they have private police and security, nice small casino with huge bingo room, good buffet with deals, great bar with cheap drinks. You must register your rv at the security desk and get an orange permit, they’ll let you stay quite a few days with registration for free. There are trash cans in the parking lot but if they are full they ask you to pack it out.

7. Everglades National Park Free Campsites – Bass Pro Miami

Address
Miami, Florida
GPS: 25.789478, -80.383701
Elevation: 7′

Management: Retail Store

This is a FREE campsite. Per management overnight is ok. He knew of no local ordinances prohibiting. There is security and they will contact you.

Best Review:

Bass Pro Shop management said we could stay no problem. Security officer said it’s ok too. Seems to be allowed until midnight.

8. Everglades National Park Free Camping – Empty Lot/area along to SR. 41

Address
Naples, Florida
GPS: 25.910786, -81.365099
Elevation: 7′

Management: Unknown

The lot is just empty unpaved area along SR 41. It is large enough for large RVs. You may stay overnight at Empty Lot/area along to SR. 41.

Best Review:

There is a large empty lot/area next to a Marathon Gas station at the intersection of SR. 41 and SR 29. I spent a night over there and nobody bothered me. There is nothing else around – forest and bushes for miles so I doubt anyone will care if you are here. The gas station has a subway inside; they both are closed at night. This place is OK for overnight RV parking. Not good for tents.

9. Everglades National Park Free Campsites – Snake Road Truck Stop

Address
Ochopee, Florida
GPS: 26.175043, -80.855192
Elevation: 13′

Management: Truck Stop

Graveled areas to North and South of gas station. Some large pot-holed but we found a level area to park.

Amenities:

Restrooms
Showers

Best Review:

They have the biggest gator that ever can see .. yes they are all over .. be very very carful!!!!

10. Everglades National Park Free Camping – Rotenberger WMA – Powerline Levee

Address
Huff Bridge Road
Belle Glade, Florida
GPS: 26.33764, -80.844048
Elevation: 66′

Management: Fish and Wildlife

This is a free dispersed campsite. No reservations. First come, first served. This location is at low elevation

Best Review:

Do not come here. This is now a waste water plant. There is a gate that blocks the road.

11. Everglades National Park Free Campsites – Rotenberger WMA – Miami Canal

Address
Miami Canal Road
Belle Glade, Florida
GPS: 26.378342, -80.798348
Elevation: 98′

Management: Fish and Wildlife

This is a free dispersed campsite. Reservations are not accepted at this campsite. This location is at low elevation.

Best Review:

DO not go here. It took me down a dirt road that was only for commercial vehicles. The stars are beautiful back here but I doubt I was allowed to be here. They had a locked gate up once I already drove down a 10 mile rocky dirt road. I camped here in my Jeep , so it was good in a pinch but I def would not do it again. Just a heads up….

12. Everglades National Park Free Camping – Seminole Casino

Address
Immokalee, Florida
GPS: 26.41049, -81.41623
Elevation: 33′

Management: Casino

A PASS or PERMIT is required at this campsite. The price is Free. Must register with the security desk inside the casino.

Best Review:

3 nights free in the parking lot. There is a row of parking for RVs in the back lot that can fit about 8-10 rigs. Elec hookups are spread intermittently along the row. Share with your neighbor.

13. Everglades National Park Free Campsites – Dinner Island WMA

Address
17665 County Road 833
Clewiston, Florida
GPS: 26.499657, -81.130686
Elevation: 36′

Management: Fish and Wildlife

Camp year-round at one of the two designated camping areas. Kowechobe Camp is an open field with easy access for trailers. Hammock Camp is located under an oak hammock with plenty of shade and a vault toilet. You will need to bring your own water.

Amenities:

Restrooms

Best Review:

Hammock camp, and kowechobe really need separate listing. Hammock camp is looks more like a homeless camp, with sites uncomfortably close together. Kowechobe is an open field with spacious sites. We reserved Hammock camp, but when we got here we turned around and went to kowechobe. 2 stars for Hammock, 4 stars for kowechobe. There isn’t trash service at either. Only Hammock camp has a toilet. No resources here, but Verizon has 3 bars. Nice green grass, here for 8 days. If you don’t like boondocking this isn’t for you.

14. Everglades National Park Free Camping – CREW Cypress Dome Trails (Gate 5)

Address
3980 Corkscrew Road (C.R. 850)
Immokalee, Florida
GPS: 26.456392, -81.562752
Elevation: 26′

Management: Fish and Wildlife

The road in is Dirt and 1 miles from a paved road. CREW Cypress Dome Trails (Gate 5) is open year round. There are 1-5 campsites at this location. Travel I-75 to exit 123 (Corkscrew Road). Go 14 miles east on Corkscrew Road. The Cypress Dome Trails will be on your right just past a big curve to the north. Look for the brown trailhead signs.

Amenities:

BBQ Grill
Fire Ring
Picnic Tables
Restrooms

Best Review:

Main gate was closed when I showed up, but when you enter there’s a main gate to the left of the kiosk where you can walk through with your gear. Camping is still available according to the Billboard, but you’re supposed to have an SUL -Special Use License (www.sfwmd.gov/SUL). Area looks nice and maintained! This is a tent area only.

15. Everglades National Park Free Campsites – Jones/Hungryland WEA

Address
Indiantown, Florida
GPS: 26.995125, -80.275158

Management: Fish and Wildlife Service

Jones/Hungryland WEA is open year round. There are 6-15 campsites at this location. You may stay 14 days at Jones/Hungryland WEA.

Amenities:

ADA accessible
Restrooms

Best Review:

We were pleasantly surprised with this campsite. There are 5 spots, though sites A&B and C&D are basically the same sites. The only site that is on its own is site E. We stayed in site D for one night and had the space to ourselves (I think we were the only people in the whole campground). The spots are not big enough for a traditional RV but our van camper fit just fine. There is a bathroom available at the entrance, though we didn’t use it. I do highly recommend using the directions on the reservation website rather than the link here, it takes you right to the entrance rather than a random point near it.

7 Everglades Paid/Permit Camping Sites



All sites are under $10 per night and in most cases 50% off for seniors.

1. Everglades National Park Permit Camping – Bear Island Campground BCNP

Address
Naples, Florida
GPS: 25.990221, -81.503876
Elevation: 4′

Management: State Forest

$10 per night. $5 per night with a Senior or Access Pass.
The road in is Dirt. Bear Island Campground BCNP is open year round. There are 30 or more campsites at this location. You may stay – January 1 to April 30, 10 days maximum – May 1 to December 31, 14 days maximum at Bear Island Campground BCNP.

Best Review:

Primitive campground with no water. Vault toilets available. Forty designated sites. Access to the Bear Island Campground is at the end of a 20-mile secondary gravel road. Located nearby are Gator Head (9 sites) and Pink Jeep (9 sites) Campgrounds. The maximum length of stay for any camping activity within the national preserve is 180 days in a 12-month period.

2. Everglades National Park Permit Camping – Bear Island Campground BCNP

Address
Ochopee, Florida
GPS: 26.183499, -81.24756
Elevation: 14′

Management: National Park Service

$10 per night/$5 with a Senior or Access Pass. The road in is Dirt. Bear Island Campground BCNP is open year round. There are 30 or more campsites at this location. You may stay – January 1 to April 30, 10 days maximum – May 1 to December 31, 14 days maximum at Bear Island Campground BCNP.

Best Review:

Beautiful camping area with trash removal and privvies. The grass is mowed and the sites are well maintained. The long (20 mile) trek up a dirt road scares many people off so it is fairly quiet. Sites 13+ are more private and surrounded by palm trees. Other RV’ers said they filled up with water and used the dump facilities at the more developed NPS campground off Route 41 for free. I loaded up on food and water at Naples before heading here. Worth $10/night, even better with a Pass at $5/night. The best thing is it is right in ‘Alligator Alley’ and the sides of the dirt road are covered in alligators in the afternoon. Best time I’ve had in years!

3. Everglades National Park Permit Camping Sites – Gator Head Campground BCNP

Address
The Loop
Ochopee, Florida
GPS: 26.22388, -81.267688
Elevation: 14′

Management: National Park Service

Campsite $10 per night / $5 with Senior or Access Pass. The road in is 4×4. Gator Head Campground BCNP is open August 29 through June 01. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 15 feet. You may stay – January 1 to April 30, 10 days maximum – May 1 to December 31, 14 days maximum at Gator Head Campground BCNP.

Amenities:

Restrooms

Best Review:

This OHV campground is located inside of Big Cypress National Preserve. 4×4 and an OHV sticker are required. This is a primitive campground, which contains nine campsites. No water. Vault toilets are available.

4. Everglades National Park Permit Camping – Picayune Strand SF – Miller CG

Address
56th Avenue Southeast
Naples, Florida
GPS: 26.133191, -81.561599
Elevation: 118′

Management: State Park

The price is $5/night. This location is at low elevation.

Best Review:

Open area not much shade. They are set up quite nicely for the equestrian campers, lots of trails around.

5. Everglades National Park Permit Camping Sites – Picayune Strand SF – Northwest CG

Address
Everglades Parkway
Naples, Florida
GPS: 26.148412, -81.64806
Elevation: 141′

Management: State Park

The price is $5/night. This location is at low elevation.

Best Review:

None

6. Everglades National Park Permit  Camping – Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest

Address
Wild Cow Grade Road
Felda, Florida
GPS: 26.532276, -81.294205
Elevation: 29′

Management: State Forest

Primitive Sites $10.00/night. The road in is Gravel and 5 miles from a paved road. The maximum RV length at Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest is any. Located approximately thirty miles east of Fort Myers, in southeastern Hendry and northeastern Collier counties, the forest can be accessed along CR 832, marked by the various self-service pay stations. Dumpster and portajohns provided. No water or electric. The first camping area is on Panther Pond. The second area has room for larger rigs.

Amenities:

Fire Ring
Picnic Tables
Restrooms

Best Review:

Nice site. Good size. Good privacy. For shade use #3 or 8. Good pit. Clean. Great night sky. Quiet. It’s a bit wet still from the rainy season but not too buggy for September. I wish the reception was better since I only have one bar and I wouldn’t use the Porto-potty but there’s a dumpster which is in good condition.

7. Everglades Permit Camping Sites – JW Corbett WMA

Address
Hwy 710
Indiantown, Florida
GPS: 26.943571, -80.355209
Elevation: 34′

Management: Fish and Wildlife Service

The road in is Gravel and depends miles from a paved road. JW Corbett WMA is open Year-round. There are 16-29 campsites at this location. You may stay variable at JW Corbett WMA

Best Review:

None

Top Trails to Hike At the Everglades National Park



Even though Everglades National Park is known to be a marshy area, there are still some areas of the park that you can explore through some activities like hiking. Through hiking, you get to analyze various habitats. Catch a glimpse of some of the top trails to hike in this park.

1. Anhinga Trail

1. Anhinga Trail - everglades national park free campsites

Awesome wildlife trail. Saw 3 gators, 2 of them which swam right up to where we were on the boardwalk and then swam right under us. We also saw turtles, medium size fish, and so many birds. An excellent trail for wildlife viewing and seeing some of the beautiful and diverse landscape of the Everglades.

Length: 0.2 mi
Elevation gain: 0 ft
Route type: Loop

Wheelchair friendly, Kid friendly, Stroller friendly, Walking, Bird watching, Forest, Paved, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Bugs, Fee, No dogs

2. Shark Valley Tram Trail

2. Shark Valley Tram Trail - everglades national park free camping

Have to pay to enter and the pass is good for a week. Great easy flat road trail. At mile 7 there’s an observation tower with a bathroom and water fountain. 15.8 miles is 15.8 miles. I hope you don’t get tired half way. Saw over 12 gators on the side of the trail. Some of them hide as you pass by. Nice place for bird watching. We saw multiple birds I had never seen. It’s a bit of a drive to get to the park.

Length: 15.8 mi
Elevation gain: 22 ft
Route type: Loop

Wheelchair friendly, Kid friendly, Stroller friendly, Hiking, Road biking, Walking, Running, Paved, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife, No shade, Fee, No dogs

3. Gumbo Limbo Trail

3. Gumbo Limbo Trail - Everglades national park permit camping

Nice trail through the dense forests on Royal Palm Hammock (island) that sits in the swamps of the Everglades. I recommend doing both the Anhinga Trail and Gumbo Limbo Trail together as they showcase 2 completely different ecosystems. Very nice trail and easy for anybody to walk.

Length: 0.5 mi
Elevation gain: 0 ft
Route type: Loop

Wheelchair friendly, Kid friendly, Stroller friendly, Walking, Bird watching, Lake, Paved, Views, Wildlife, Fee, No dogs

4. Mahogany Hammock Trail

4. Mahogany Hammock Trail

Loved the giant mahogany trees full of air plants. the board walk trail is well maintained and feels very different than the rest of the park. saw some egrets and heron at the trail start. went twice but never saw the famous owls.

Length: 0.4 mi
Elevation gain: 0 ft
Route type: Loop

Wheelchair friendly, Kid friendly,  Stroller friendly, Walking, Bird watching, Forest, Paved, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Fee, No dogs

5. Pay-Hay-Okee Overlook

5. Pay-Hay-Okee Overlook

Not a big boardwalk, but it does provide a nice raised view of the river of grass. Especially nice during sunrise. If you’re lucky you might have an owl appear close by, and there are plenty of other birds to see.

Length: 0.2 mi
Elevation gain: 0 ft
Route type: Loop

Wheelchair friendly, Kid friendly, Stroller friendly, Walking, Bird watching, Forest, Paved, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Bugs, Fee, No dogs

These are the best destinations primarily for hikers who love to strike out on their own. However, as an essential rule, be cautious when hiking as you are more likely to fall into deep waters due to unpredictable conditions.

Cost for Paid  Camping for Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park provides you with all that you need to fulfill your requisites. Even better, the price is overly affordable and friendly to all who seek to visit. The entrance fee per person is around $25, and that of a car is $35.

Let’s now delve into some of the campgrounds available where you can do your Boondocking.

Flamingo campground

Flamingo offers stunning campgrounds and countless recreational activities, plus perfect views. Of course, people like the view of exotic wildlife and birds. Also, you will be delighted with other useful activities like camping, launch ramps, boat slips, and so much more.

Long Pine Key campground

Enjoy a wonderful stay at this camp. The staff is friendly, and you get access to see the stunning sunset and all other nearby attractions. The nights here are quiet and comfy, plus you can come along with your firewood, set up the fire, and feel the warmth within the place.

That’s not all but a few of the campgrounds you can access while at the Everglades National Park.

Places and Things to See

Whenever you want to encounter amazing attractions worldwide, Everglades National Park is no exception. Book earlier for a closer view of the attractions there.

The top-notch attractions in this park include;

Shark Valley
Anhinga Trail
Ernest F. Visitor Centre
Royal Palm Visitor Centre
HM69 Nike Missile Base
Flamingo
Nine Mile Pond Canoe Trail
Flamingo Visitor Centre
Mahogany Hammock
Gumbo Limbo Trail

Long Pine Key, and so much more to mention.

The You Have to DO

Cruise, Hike, and Airboat.

Plunge deep into the Everglades National Park and search for birds, dolphins, and manatees courtesy of the island boat trip. Thereafter, go on an airboat to catch a glimpse of alligators and move under vast cypress trees with ease. What’s even better? Lunch is part of the package.

Fishing and Tours.

As spoke of earlier, Everglades National Park is mostly surrounded by water. So as you adventure the place, you are more likely to engage in fishing amid a tour. If essential, come with fishing equipment to further sweeten the deal.

If that’s not sufficient, you also have the latitude to go many day trips, hiking trails, golf tours, and tee times.

How Much Time Is Needed to Visit the Everglades

Before visiting this large National Park, ensure that you have a concrete plan. On average, eight days is enough to maneuver the entire park. And this will create a world of difference from your previous encounter with vacations.

Housing and Dining Near Everglades National Park

Find out all the dishes and lodgings available near the park before your visit. There are merely 164 hotels within this great National Park. All bookings are made online. The most popular ones are;

Spring hill suites.
Home2 suites.
Towne Place Suites Miami Kendall West.
Candlewood suites.
Hampton Inn and so much more.

Best Time to Visit Everglades National Park

Are you wondering about the most suitable time to visit Everglades National Park? Worry not; this article is here to sort your demands.

The ecosystem in this park is ever welcoming whenever you visit. However, there are a few changes you need to focus on before visiting the place.

The best time to reach Everglades Park is between November to March. That’s because many animals are active during this period, and most adventurous tourists will have escaped the cold from the northern region to come and experience the warm climate. So be sure that this will be the busiest time to visit the place.

Essential things to carry as you visit Everglades National Park

The following list encompasses the essentials needed when you plan to visit Everglades National Park. These things will make your trip safer and Intriguing.

Hiking shoes
Snacks
Umbrella and rain jacket
Hat
Sunglasses
Long pants
Sunscreen
Clean water


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