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.
West Lake Developed Area and Shoreline
The following temporary closure is needed to ensure public safety due to construction, and in
order to allow for orderly and safe utilization of park resources and prevent damage to facilities.
Effective February 15, 2021 at 6AM, West Lake developed area and shoreline will be closed to
all public entry until further notice. The road, parking area, boat ramp, bathroom, boardwalk trail
and docks will all be closed. In addition, the shoreline and adjacent waters extending 50 feet
from the shore from the Northernmost end of the boat ramp to the most Southern point of the
boardwalk will be closed.
Prescribed Fire Operations may be possible from late February through June.
Some sites may temporarily experience smoky conditions.
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.
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