Everglades National Park Wilderness Permits
Everglades National Park
Trip planning information can be found HERE
The Marjory Stoneman Douglass Designated Wilderness, found within Everglades National Park, is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. Everglades National Park protects an unparalleled landscape that provides important habitat for numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther.
Everglades National Park designates campsites to prevent resource damage and to improve visitor experience by focusing camping impacts on resilient sites. There are currently three distinct types of campsites within the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness or other areas managed as wilderness— chickees, ground sites, and beach sites.
Chickee sites are located along waterways and bays where dry land is inaccessible for camping. Comprised of elevated wooden platforms with roofs, chickees give campers a unique experience of camping above the water surface. Chickee platforms are 10 ft by 12 ft and are built to hold a limit of 6 people or 1 group per platform. All of a group's tents must fit on one reserved platform. A portable toilet is provided at each chickee. Campfires are not allowed. There are 17 chickee sites in Everglades National Park, twelve of which are double-chickees.
Ground sites are located along interior bays and rivers, typically on mounds of earth a few feet above the surrounding mangroves. Ground sites can accommodate larger groups and can hold multiple parties. Campfires, as well as wood, charcoal, and coal-fueled grills and stoves are not permitted, so the use of gas grills or gas stoves is required. There are 13 ground sites in Everglades National Park.
Beach sites are located on the coast and provide opportunities for camping on the sand along the shoreline. Coastal breeze during ideal conditions makes insects scarce at times. Beach sites are the only type of campsite in wilderness where campfires are allowed, but fires must be built below storm surge line. There are 15 beach sites in Everglades National Park.
Any wilderness camping outside of designated campsite types listed above (ex: Shark River Slough) requires a Special Permit from the Chief Ranger’s Office.
A permit is not required for nights camping/sleeping aboard boats that are anchored out of sight of chickees and 1/4 mile from occupied beach or ground sites.
Groups over 6 people may call the Gulf Coast or Flamingo Visitor Center with questions regarding accommodating large group reservations.
Permit & Season Information
This permit allows the permit holder and their group to overnight camp at designated campsites within the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness. Reservations can be made online year-round 90-days before on a rolling basis. Reservations open daily at 10:00 am Eastern Standard Time.
Reservations holders will be required to pick-up the wilderness permit in person at either the Gulf Coast or Flamingo Visitor Center on the day before or the day of your reserved trip. All sites require a physical permit unless otherwise specifically noted in the site description.
Need to Know
- Trip planning information can be found HERE
- Permit must be picked up at the Gulf Coast or Flamingo Visitor Center, 8:00am-4:30pm EST, the day before or day of your trip.
- Entrance pass (physical or digital copy) is required for paddlers and boat operators entering park waters.
- Safety course and completion certificate from the online Everglades Boater Education course are required for all powerboat operators.
- Search and Rescue - File a trip plan with a friend or relative before leaving. If you do not return on schedule, that person is responsible for notifying Park dispatch at (844) 677-0911 (24 hrs).
- Fires are allowed at beach sites only, below the storm surge line, using downed, dead wood only. No cutting of standing dead trees. Remove all traces of fires before leaving site. Fires are not permitted at ground sites or chickees. Gas stoves, gas grills or camp stoves are allowed on ground or chickee sites.
- Trash must be packed out. Do not bury, burn, or dispose of it in toilets. Dumping trash at sea is prohibited.
- Human Waste - Use toilets where provided. Where there are no facilities, pack out human waste or bury it in a hole at least 6” deep. At beach and coastal ground sites, urinate directly in the water. Pack out toilet paper with your trash. Do not throw trash or wipes in toilets.
- Food - Remove all food particles from dishes before washing. Do not dump food scraps into the water; pack them out with trash. Wash dishes (and yourself) away from waterways and sprinkle the gray water over the ground to soak in.
- Water - Fresh water's not available anywhere along the coastal portions of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness. You must bring all drinking and cooking water. One gallon per person per day, minimum.
- Weather - Be prepared for intense sun, rain, strong winds, thunderstorms, lightning and cold. Check forecast before departing, carry a weather radio if possible.
- Tides can influence the time and difficulty to paddle to sites and to navigate shallow waters in a powerboat. Always check tide predictions for your trip.
- Nautical chart and compass are recommended.
- Designated Site - You must stay at the site listed on this permit unless safety factors require otherwise.
- Noise - Be considerate of other visitors especially when in close proximity to other groups. Generators and bug sprayers prohibited.
- Pets are not permitted at wilderness campsites, beaches or ashore anywhere in wilderness.
- Fishing - Florida State and additional Everglades National Park fishing regulations apply.
- Mosquitoes and no-see ums can be numerous and aggressive. Insect repellent, bug jackets, and/or long pants/sleeves may be desired.
- Raccoons and other wildlife will do nearly anything to get food and water. Store both in hard-sided containers or secured aboard a boat. Do not store food and water in tents.
- Manchineel - A toxic tree with shiny heart-shaped leaves. Contact causes severe burning.
- Wildlife - Do not feed or harass any wildlife.
- Preservation - Plants, animals, seashells and artifacts are protected in the park. Removal prohibited.
- Paddlers - When encountering motorboats, if you are in a narrow pass and a boat approaches, pull as far to the side as possible, point the bow of your canoe or kayak into the boat’s wake.
- Weapons - Possession of firearms in the park are permitted in accordance with federal, state and local regulations. Discharge of a firearm prohibited.
- Portable Motors: - Generators, chain saws, and other portable motors are prohibited at all wilderness sites.
- Closed Areas - All keys in Florida Bay are closed to landing, except Bradley Key (open sunrise to sunset), and designated as campsites. In Florida Bay, the mainland from Terrapin Point to U.S. 1 is closed to landing.
- Sleeping on Board - If you sleep aboard a vessel, anchor out of sight of chickees and 1/4 mile from other sites.
- Vessels - Must meet Coast Guard safety regulations. Air boats and personal watercraft (jet skis) prohibited.
- Departure - Campsites to be vacated by noon.
Administrative Fee: There is a $21 non-refundable adminstrative fee.
Recreation Fee: A $2 per person per night recreation fee is required for the length of a reservation.
Cancellation Policy: The permit holder may cancel their permit at any point prior to permit issuance/printing – no refunds are provided on cancellation of a permit reservation. Quota from cancelled permits will be immediately released and available to the public upon cancellation.
Change Policy: Once created, the permit holder may modify their group size or itinerary locations prior to permit issuance/printing. If the group size is increased (quota permitting), the permit holder will be required to pay the additional $2/person/night recreation fee. If group size reduced at any point, no refund is provided. The permit holder may not modify their permit start date; if the permit holder would like to change their start date, they will be required to cancel their existing reservation and book a new reservation.
40001 State Road 9336 Homestead FL 33034