Only one place in the United States both protects and allows visitors to see, up close and personal, endangered species like West Indian manatees, Florida panthers, and American crocodiles, and that place is the incomparable Everglades National Park. A World Heritage Site, Wetland of International Importance, and an International Biosphere Reserve, the park serves to protect the southern twenty-percent of the original natural Everglades, the largest subtropical wilderness in America. The park enlightens the public about the significance and fragility of both salt- and freshwater ecosystems in close proximity to mankind.
Camping is available all year in the park, with frontcountry camping available at Lone Pine Key, and backcountry camping available along the Wilderness Waterway, Gulf Coast sites, and other places (permit required). Four on-site visitor centers (Shark Valley Visitor Center, Gulf Coast Visitor Center, Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center, and Flamingo Visitor Center) offer guests everything from live alligator sightings to a 99-mile-long canoe trail. Anhinga Trail, Gumbo Limbo Trail, Snake Bight Trail, Rowdy Bend Trail, Christian Point Trail, and Coastal Prairie Trail allow hikers of various ability levels and ambitions to traverse wetlands on foot, check out the Glade wildlife in person, and explore timeless cypress forests.
Entrance fee for private vehicles is $10, good for seven days. Entrance fee for pedestrians & cyclists is $5, good for seven days. There are no entrance fees for individuals 16 years old and under. Annual Passes are $25. Commercial tours range from $25 to $200, depending on seating capacity of vehicles.
Best time to visit
The park is open 24 hours a day, all 365 days of the year, though some entrances are closed seasonally or at night. December to March is the busiest visiting season, because temperatures are at their lowest, and airborne pests are mostly absent.
Near by POI
Found along Tamiami Trail, Shark Valley is part of Everglades National Park, and contains a visitor center which offers information and educational materials about the snakes, alligators, lizards, deer, raccoons, herons, and storks that live there. South of Miami lays Biscayne National Park, which offers spectacular scuba diving and snorkeling over a roughly 173,000-acre area.