Backcountry Camping Symbol
Shared by: zrk13765
Everglades National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Wilderness Trip Planner You can often experience solitude at a beach site like the one above. But You’ll Need a Permit Plan Ahead be prepared for a primitive camping experience—there are no toilets Wilderness permits are required for all instructions at the Flamingo or Gulf Coast or tables at most beach sites in the wilderness of Ever- overnight camping, except in drive-in Visitor Centers (May to mid-November). glades National Park. campgrounds or when sleeping aboard Safely exploring a wilderness by water boats. There is a $10 fee for processing Wilderness users originating from the requires careful preparation and planning. permits, as well as a $2 per person/per day Florida Keys can also obtain permits by Plan at least two routes before arriving at the camping fee. Fees are subject to change. phone for North Nest Key, Little Rabbit park in case your first choice is already filled. Permits may only be obtained in person on If you require assistance planning your trip, call or stop by the Gulf Coast (Everglades Routes the day before or the day your trip begins. Key, Johnson Key, and Shark Point Chickee. Call (239) 695-2945, no more than 24 hours Possibilities are prior to the start of your trip. A credit card City) or Flamingo Visitor Centers. You may unlimited for overnight Insect conditions are so severe during is required. also find the answers to your questions by wilderness trip routes from summer months that wilderness use is visiting the Everglades National Park website Flamingo or Gulf Coast. Refer at http://www.nps.gov/ever. to maps, nautical charts, and guide minimal and permit writing desks may not be staffed. Permits Winter Hours (subject to change) Flamingo Visitor Center: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 Seasons books. are still required—follow self–registration p.m. daily; (239) 695-2945 Because of the heat, severe storms, and The 99-mile Wilderness Waterway attracts Gulf Coast Visitor Center: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 intolerable numbers of mosquitoes, summer interest because it connects Flamingo and p.m. daily; (239) 695-3311 (June –October) is not the best time of year Everglades City. Most paddlers allow at least for a wilderness trip. The winter months Main Entrance Station: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 eight days to complete the trip. This route is (December–April) tend to be more pleasant. p.m. daily. Wilderness permits are written recommended for experienced paddlers only. from the Main Entrance Station for only Arrange in advance for a vehicle shuttle. Obtain Charts two ground sites in the Long Pine Key hiking Nautical charts are necessary for finding There are many areas of very shallow First trip? area: Ernest Coe and Ingraham Highway. your way in the wilderness and are useful in water that may be encountered along the The wilderness of planning your trip. Charts may be purchased Wilderness Waterway. Powerboats over 18' Everglades National Park at the Coe and Gulf Coast Visitor Centers, long may have to detour around Alligator will be very different from Flamingo Marina, and Everglades NP Boat Creek and Plate Creek. The “Nightmare” other places you may have boated, Tours, or ordered from the Everglades is passable only to paddlers at high tide. paddled, or camped. It can be confusing Association (page 3). Some sites are not To prevent prop dredging, which results and difficult to navigate as the mazes of indicated with a tent symbol on nautical in increased turbidity and the destruction mangrove–lined creeks and bays all begin to charts. Consult visitor center maps before of submerged natural features, boats with look the same. With proper planning, you departure. drafts of two feet or more, including the can avoid the frustration and hours wasted propeller, should not use the waterway. from getting lost. Be Realistic If this is your first wilderness trip in the From the Tides and winds can make paddling Everglades, ease into it with a one or two Gulf Coast area, difficult. Most experienced paddlers night trip instead of jumping into a several follow the marked plan to travel between 8 and 12 miles per night Wilderness Waterway excursion. From channel through Indian Key day. Adverse conditions may reduce your the Flamingo area, camp along the marked Pass to Picnic or Tiger Keys, for an speed to one mile an hour or less. Boaters Hell’s Bay Canoe Trail (no motors allowed opportunity to experience camping on are expected to know their own abilities, on the trail) at either Pearl Bay or Hell’s Bay beaches. be able to use charts, understand tides and Chickees. Or, follow the shore of Florida Bay weather, and make appropriate decisions in to camp on the beach at East Cape Sable. selecting an itinerary. This is a wilderness. Campsite Type of No. of No. of No. of Campsite Name Site People Parties Nights Toilet Campfire Dock Informa- Alligator Creek Broad River Ground Ground 8 10 3 3 2 2 * * tion Camp Lonesome Ground 10 3 3 * * Canepatch Ground 12 4 3 * * Cape Sable East Cape Sable Beach 60 15 7 * The limit for number of nights at a Middle Cape Sable Beach 60 15 7 * campsite apply to the peak use season Northwest Cape Sable Beach 36 9 7 * from mid-November through late April. Clubhouse Beach (1) Beach 24 4 3 * Campsite capacities apply year-round, Darwin's Place Ground 8 2 3 * and are subject to change. Campsites East Clubhouse Beach Beach 24 4 3 * must be vacated by noon. Ernest Coe (2) Ground 8 1 3 Graveyard Creek Ground 8 2 3 * - All beach sites have shallow water Harney River Chickee 6/6 1/1 1 * * approach; motor boats use caution. Hell's Bay Chickee 6/6 1/1 1 * * Highland Beach Beach 24 4 3 * - At all beach sites, camp on the sand Hog Key Beach 8 2 2 * along the shoreline only. No clearing of Ingraham (2) Ground 8 1 3 vegetation or camping in the interior. Jewel Key (3) Beach 8 2 2 * * Joe River Chickee 6/6 1/1 1 * * - Nails and stakes are not allowed to Johnson Key Chickee 6/6 1/1 1 * * be driven into all chickees and the Lane Bay Chickee 6 1 1 * * Lostman’s Five platform. Use a free- Lard Can Ground 10 4 2 * standing tent. Little Rabbit Key Ground 12 4 2 * * Lopez River Ground 12 3 2 * - Some ground sites may have a picnic Lostman's Five Ground 10 2 3 * * table. Mormon Key Beach 12 2 3 * New Turkey Key Beach 10 2 2 * * * = Facility provided North Nest Key Ground 25 7 7 * * North River Chickee 6 1 1 * * (1) = May be accessible by foot. Check Oyster Bay Chickee 6/6 1/1 1 * * with the Flamingo Visitor Center on trail Pavilion Key Beach 24 5 3 * * status. Pearl Bay Chickee 6/6 1/1 1 * * (2) = Accessible by foot or bicycle only. Picnic Key Beach 16 3 3 * * Obtain permits at main entrance station. Plate Creek Chickee 6 1 1 * * (3) = Camping is allowed on back sand Rabbit Key Beach 8 2 2 * * spit by toilet. No Gulf side camping. Roberts River Chickee 6/6 1/1 1 * * Rodgers River Chickee 6/6 1/1 1 * * Looking for Solitude? Shark Point Chickee 6/6 1/1 1 * * Choose a single chickee, a campsite with Shark River Chickee 6 1 1 * * a smaller capacity, or camp far from South Joe River Chickee 6/6 1/1 1 * * others on the long stretches of the Cape Sunday Bay Chickee 6/6 1/1 1 * * Sable beaches. Paddlers: remember that Sweetwater Chickee 6/6 1/1 1 * * motorboats are allowed in most areas of Tiger Key Beach 12 3 3 * the wilderness, including the Wilderness Turkey Key Beach 12 3 3 * Waterway. Watson's Place Ground 20 5 2 * * Watson River Chickee 6 1 1 * * Willy Willy Ground 10 3 3 * * Types of Sites Chickees Ground Sites Beach Sites Chickees are located along rivers and bays Ground sites are mounds of earth a few feet Beach sites are located on the coast. During Sand beaches are often stabilized by tall, where dry land is inaccessable. They are higher than the surrounding mangroves, ideal conditions, insects may be scarce, but grassy plants called sea oats. Take care not elevated 10' x 12' wooden platforms with located along interior bays and rivers. They always be prepared for mosquitoes and to damage them. Sea turtles nest on beaches roofs. A walkway leads to a self-contained tend to have more insects than chickees no-see-ums (tiny biting insects), especially in late spring and summer. Avoid camping toilet. You'll need a free–standing tent, since or beach sites. No campfires are allowed at sunrise and sunset. Gulf waters at beach or building a fire where sea turtle nesting stakes or nails are not allowed. No campfires on ground sites. Use gas grills or stoves. sites can become rough; seas can exceed evidence exists. Many beach sites have no are allowed on chickees. Some paddlers Wood, charcoal, or coal fueled grills or 3 feet. Low tides often expose large mud toilets. Bury human waste at least six inches have difficulty accessing chickees from their stoves are not permitted. flats, which may make beach access difficult. below the surface, away from shorelines and boats. A loop of heavy rope may be helpful. Campfires must be below high-tide line. tent sites. Urinate directly in the water. Boat Rentals Inside the Park: Everglades National Park Boat Tours Located at the Gulf Coast Visitor Center in Everglades City: (239) 695-2591. And at the southern end of the park at the Flamingo Marina: (239) 695-3101 • Canoe and kayak rentals Outside the Park: Everglades Hostel and Tours (800) 372-3874 or (305) 248-1122 www.evergladeshostel.com Located in Florida City Key • Canoe rentals Boat Ramp Florida Bay Outfitters Ranger Station (305) 451-3018 www.kayakfloridakeys.com Wilderness Waterway Note: Two different types of markers Located in Key Largo delineate this 99-mile route; see nautical charts for locations. • Canoe and kayak rentals 123 Wilderness W aterway Marker Located in Everglades City/ 18 Coast Guard Marker Chokoloskee: Chickee Campsite Everglades Area Tours (239) 695-9107 Double Chickee Campsite www.evergladesareatours.com • Kayak rentals Beach Campsite Glades Haven G Ground Campsite (239) 695-2628 Non-motorized Vessels www.gladeshaven.com Only • Canoe, kayak, and powerboat rentals Maximum 5.5 HP Motor North American Canoe Tours Road (239) 695-3299 www.evergladesadventures.com • Canoe and kayak and canoe rentals Outdoor Resorts Marjory Stoneman (239) 695-2881 Douglas Wilderness • Canoe, kayak, and powerboat rentals Wilderness is an anchor to windward. Knowing Use of rental equipment may be limited to it is there, we can also know that we are still certain areas of the park. a rich nation, tending our resources as we should—not a people in despair searching every Some outfitters offer shuttle service and last nook and cranny of our land for a board of guided overnight trips. Please check with lumber, a barrel of oil, a blade of grass, or a tank outfitters directly. of water. All outfitters operating in Everglades National Senator Clinton P. Anderson, 1963 Park must possess a Commercial Use Permit (CUA). For a complete list of CUA holders visit Everglades National Park contains the largest the park’s website: www.nps.gov/ever designated wilderness east of the Rocky Mountains. A wilderness is defined as an area “where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” Established in 1978 and named for the Everglades’ most Everglades Association famous champion, the Marjory Stoneman You may find it helpful to purchase the charts Douglas Wilderness is comprised of 1,296,500 you will need in advance, in addition to other acres—most of Everglades National Park! trip planning literature. These items can be Plan Ahead and Prepare purchased by phone, on-line, or mail from the Leave No Trace Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Everglades Association. Proceeds from sales support educational programs in Everglades Wilderness ethics dictate that visitors to the Dispose of Waste Properly National Park. area try to leave no trace of their passage. Leave What You Find While not regulations, the seven Leave No Minimize Campfire Impacts Mailing Address Trace principles will help you get the most out 10 Parachute Key #51 A Paddler’s Guide to Everglades National Park Respect Wildlife describes 53 routes—including the Wilderness of your wilderness experience, and help you Homestead, FL 33034–6735 Waterway—and has 22 trailmaps, a rating to preserve the park’s unique values for other Be Considerate of Other Visitors (305) 247–1216 system with hazards, mileage and paddling visitors, both today and in the future. Learn more at: www.lnt.org. www.evergladesassociation.org time, and descriptions of every campsite. Paddler's Checklist Coast Guard approved life vests Important Regulations required Protected Resources Portable Motors Winds & Weather All plants, animals, and artifacts are protected; Generators, chain saws and other portable Numerous canoes, kayaks, and boats have Paddles (and a spare) do not collect or disturb them. Do not cut motors are prohibited at all backcountry sites. been swamped by rough seas on windy days. Anchor mangroves or any vegetation. Unoccupied Thunderstorms occur frequently in summer. Bailer Bow and stern lines shells may be gathered—up to one quart per Human Waste Hurricane season is June through November. person. No shells may be taken from Sandfly Use toilets where provided. Do not dispose Be prepared for sudden wind and weather Waterproof bags for gear Island or any shell mound. of moist towelettes in toilets. If there is no changes at any time. Flares toilet, dig a hole at least six inches deep and Sound producing device/whistle Light for operating at night Pets cover it after use. Pack out toilet paper. At Boating Safely Navigation Pets are not permitted at backcountry beach and coastal ground sites, urinate directly Paddlers will encounter powerboats. Angle Nautical Chart—mark your route campsites, beaches, or ashore anywhere in the in the water. To avoid soap pollution, wash into the wake of a boat to minimize the chance Compass/GPS wilderness. Pets can disrupt feeding, nesting, dishes (and yourself) away from waterways of overturning. Powerboaters should reduce Tide Chart—note tide variations for and mating activities of wildlife. and sprinkle the gray water over the ground to speed in narrow channels. Idle past paddlers your route soak in. and give them plenty of space. Approach last Binoculars to look for markers Wildlife 100 yards of any backcountry campsite at idle Permits, etc. Do not feed any animals, regardless of whether Trash speed to avoid prop dredging and excessive Wilderness Permit they have feet, fins, or feathers. It is illegal. Carry out all your trash; do not bury, burn, wave action. Paddlers: when powerboats slow Wilderness regulations Do not approach wildlife so closely that it or dispose of it in toilets. Use toilets where to idle speed, please stop paddling to allow Fishing license and regulations interrupts their natural behavior. Enjoy the provided, for human waste only. Do not throw them to pass you, and try to stay to sides of Weather forecast diverse wildlife, but from a safe distance. Do baby wipes, disposable wet/wash clothes, or channels. Shelter not leave food unattended. Store food in a insect repellent clothes in toilets. International Tent with “no-see-um” netting—must laws prohibit dumping trash at sea. If You’re In Trouble be free standing for chickees Stay with your vessel near a navigational mark- Sleeping bag Fishing Regulations er or campsite. Set anchor immediately. Try to Sleeping pad for chickees Park fishing regulations are available from attract the attention of other boaters. If you Water and Food visitor centers or on the park’s web page. A have a marine radio, transmit on channel 16. Water—one gallon/person/day (no fresh state fishing license is required; purchase one Try calling #NPS (#677) on your cell phone, water is available in the backcountry) before you come to the park from area bait and but do not count on cell phone coverage. Food—extra day supply marine supply stores. You may also obtain a Raccoon-proof storage container (not secure compartment aboard a vessel or in a hard–sided cooler (not foam). Raccoons and fishing license by calling 1-888-347-4356. Attention Boaters: styrofoam) for food and water Manatees Cooking rodents are aggressive and may chew through Closed Areas Manatees frequent many of the waterways in Portable gas stove or gas grill plastic water jugs, tents, dry bags, etc. All keys (islands) in Florida Bay are closed to Everglades National Park. Because they are Fuel for stove Waterproof matches and lighter Water landing, except Bradley Key (open sunrise to sunset), and those designated as campsites. In slow–moving and feed in shallow water, many manatees are killed each year by boats. Be espe- Cooking gear and utensils There is no fresh water available anywhere in Florida Bay, the mainland from Terrapin Point cially careful in areas posted with manatee signs. Biodegradable soap the backcountry. You must bring all of your to U.S. 1 is closed to landing. Other areas may If you see an injured or dead manatee, please Strong plastic bags for storing trash drinking and cooking water. At a minimum, close temporarily to protect wildlife. report it to the Park Dispatch at 305-242-7740. Clothing plan on bringing one gallon of water per Rain Gear person, per day. Hard–sided containers should Sleeping on Board Boat Wisely Cold and warm weather clothing be used, as raccoons often chew through If you sleep aboard a vessel, anchor out of sight Boating in Florida Bay and the Everglades Lightweight long-sleeve shirt and pants soft–sided containers (such as “milk jugs”) to of chickees and ¼ mile from other sites. backcountry can be a challenge. Much of the for sun and bug protection get to fresh water. In addition to ruining your water is quite shallow, and you can ground Wide-brimmed hat trip, when raccoons get your water, it allows Vessels your boat quickly. In addition to damaging your Personal Equipment artificially large numbers of them to survive in All vessels must conform to Coast Guard boat, groundings destroy precious seagrasses First Aid Kit a given area. In the summer, sea turtles nesting regulations. Air boats and personal watercraft and benthic communities that provide food Flashlight and spare batteries on these same remote beaches lay their eggs, (jet skis) are prohibited. and shelter to creatures inhabiting these waters. Wristwatch for calculating tides only to have over 90% of the nests destroyed Always refer to nautical charts and tide charts Sunglasses by the hungry raccoons. Don’t upset the Sunscreen balance of nature. Keep all water and food For Your Safety: for a safe boating excursion. When in doubt, go with someone familiar with the area. For Insect repellent away from wildlife. Important Supplies information on boating in Florida Bay, see the Weather radio for weather forecasts Carry fresh water (1 gallon/person/day), Florida Bay Map & Guide at www.nps.gov/ever. Knife Fires compass, nautical charts, anchor, sunscreen, Personal items Fires are not permitted at ground sites or sunglasses, rain gear, mosquito repellent or bug Toilet Keep Track of Where You Are chickees. Fires are only allowed at sites jacket, and tent (with insect netting). Trowel for burying human waste A nautical chart and compass are your best designated as “Beach.” Build fires below the equipment for staying on route, finding your Biodegradable toilet paper highest tide line. Use only dead and downed Float Plan designated campsite, and returning safely. GPS wood. No cutting of standing dead trees. File a float plan with a friend or relative before (global positioning systems) and cell phones Powerboater's Checklist Remove all traces of fires before leaving site. leaving home, and call that person when you are also helpful, but do not rely primarily on (Review above list. Note pertinent items) finish your trip. If you do not call by the pre- this technology to navigate in the backcountry. Safety Equipment—Boats must Stove/Cooking determined time, that person should notify the Batteries may die, equipment may get lost carry safety equipment on board With the exception of fires on “Beach” sites park’s 24-hour dispatch at (305) 242-7740. or malfunction, and satellite and cell phone which conforms to U.S. Coast Guard (see above), all cooking, heating, etc. must be coverage may be spotty at best. requirements. A brochure outlining done with devices that will not produce any ash Tides this equipment is available on request or a spark or ember that is capable of igniting Beware of swift currents and tides when What’s back there? 1-800-368-5647. vegetation. Wood, charcoal, or coal-fueled securing vessels overnight; tidal ranges can Remember to secure everything in your boat Marine/VHF Radio—to monitor grills, stoves or devices are not permitted. exceed four feet in some locations. Beach before heading home. Valuable items including weather. canoes above high tide line and tie down or fishing poles, life vests, seat cushions, coolers, Fuel—1/3 to get there, 1/3 to get back, Weapons and Fireworks anchor from three points at landings/docks. and clothing often blow out of boats and are 1/3 for reserve Possession and use of weapons or fireworks is Use tides to your advantage in travel. Tide found along the roads. Garbage left in boats also Tool Kit—with spare parts (to change prohibited. tables are available at the Flamingo and Gulf finds its way to the roadsides. Please help keep spun prop, unclog intake, etc.) Coast Visitor Centers or on-line. south Florida national parks litter–free!