Best Time to Visit Everglades National Park

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A lake with a rock reflecting the sunny sky and greenery in the distance
Everglades National Park welcomes over a million visitors every year

Located in South Florida, Everglades National Park is one of the most unique and wild places in the world. It is part of the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States and is home to a variety of rare wildlife. Alligators, birds, panthers, and the elusive American crocodile all live in the vast wilderness of Everglades National Park.

With over one million visitors a year, Everglades National Park is a top destination in Florida and one of the most visited National Parks in the US. Whether you're looking to hike through the forests, kayak on the waterways, or spot an alligator, there's no shortage of adventure in the park. Read on to learn the best time to visit Everglades National Park!

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When to Visit Everglades National Park

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Everglades National Park Vacation Planning Questions

A boardwalk stretching into a swamp with an airboat next to it on a sunny day
The park offers many adventurous options, whether on its waterways or in its forests
A tent in a camping space with trees, a van, and a small building in the background
The best time to visit Everglades National Park for camping is during the dry season

When is the best time to visit Everglades National Park?

The best time of year to visit Everglades National Park is November through April. This is the dry season when weather conditions are more pleasant. The skies are typically clear and sunny, temperatures rarely exceed the 80-degree Fahrenheit mark, and rain and humidity levels are lower.

Most importantly, during the Everglades dry season, there are fewer mosquitos than during the rainy season. This makes hiking and camping much more bearable.

Changes to the landscape during the dry season also offer more wildlife viewing opportunities. With less overall water in the park, animals tend to congregate in certain areas. Birds, alligators, and turtles are much easier to spot during the dry season.

While many other national parks on the East Coast are still thawing out from winter during this time, the Everglades offers a warm and sunny oasis.

A hiking trail lined with shrubs and trees in a forest on a sunny day
There are dozens of hiking trails to choose from in Everglades National Park

What are the best hikes in Everglades National Park?

Everglades National Park has dozens of hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulties to suit all levels of hikers. The most popular hikes are, no doubt, the ones where you can spot the most wildlife.

The Anhinga Trail is one of the best trails in Everglades National Park. This easy 0.8-mile boardwalk trail offers spectacular views of the lakes and rivers and provides endless opportunities to see wildlife, including alligators.

Another popular trail in Everglades National Park is Shark Valley Road. This 15-mile trail has scenic viewpoints, including an observation tower overlooking the park. Alligators, turtles, and birds can usually be spotted along the road. However, hikers need to be careful as this is a very busy trail and is shared by bikes and trams.

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Two airplanes, one with a red striped tail, parked at an airport with a tower
Miami International Airport is the nearest airport to Everglades National Park

What are the airports near Everglades National Park?

Miami International Airport is the closest airport to Everglades National Park. It's about an hour from the park's main entrance and is one of the busiest airports in the country, meaning direct flights from most major cities head toward Miami.

Further north, the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is another option and caters to travelers who want to explore other parts of South Florida before heading to the park. Getting to Everglades National Park from Fort Lauderdale airport takes about an hour and a half.

Rows of cars in a parking lot next to a narrow body of water lined with greenery
Driving through Alligator Alley is one way to reach Everglades National Park

How to get to Everglades National Park?

Everglades National Park covers over 1.5 million acres in South Florida, and this massive park has several entry points in three cities. Unless you can drive from somewhere else in Florida, the best way to get to Everglades National Park would be to fly into the Miami International Airport.

From the airport, it takes about an hour to get to Everglades National Park when using a rented car or taking a shuttle. If driving, Everglades National Park is accessible via Alligator Alley (I-75) or Tamiami Trail (US Hwy 41). Most visitors coming from Miami will opt for either the Miami or Homestead entrance.

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A park with a set of benches and a table against a backdrop of trees on a sunny day
Long Pine Key Campground is one of the places to stay in the Everglades National Park

Where are the best places to stay in Everglades National Park?

Campgrounds are the only places to stay in Everglades National Park. There are two campgrounds for tents and RVs, the Flamingo Campground and Long Pine Key Campground. Backcountry and wilderness camping are also allowed in certain areas, but you need a permit that can be obtained at the visitor centers.

While camping is available year-round, the best time of year to visit Everglades National Park for camping is during the dry season, which runs from November through April.

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A huge rock with an "Everglades National Park" sign surrounded by trees
There are various accommodation options close to the entrances of the park

Where are the best places to stay near Everglades National Park?

Various lodging options are a short distance from every entrance of Everglades National Park. Near the Gulf Coast Entrance, the rustic Everglades Chickee Bungalows is a popular choice for nature lovers. These "glamping" style bungalows offer the basics in an elevated, open-air cabin in the middle of the Everglades wilderness.

A more luxurious experience can be found at the Miccosukee Resort and Casino near the Shark Valley Entrance. Here travelers can relax poolside or enjoy cocktails while trying their luck at over 2,000 games in the casino.

In Florida City, the Holiday Inn Express is close to the Homestead Entrance of Everglades National Park. This budget-friendly option offers all the comfy basics, including complimentary breakfast and wifi.

A concrete walkway to an observation tower overlooking greenery on a sunny day
The park's Shark Valley Entrance leads to the Shark Valley Observation Tower

What are the hotels near Everglades National Park?

There are a variety of hotels to choose from just outside of Everglades National Park. Near the Homestead Entrance, you'll find plenty of hotels in Florida City, including Best Western, Fairfeld Inn & Suites, and Travelodge.

The Shark Valley Entrance has two popular options, Town Place Suites and Miccosukee Resort and Casino. In Everglades City, the Everglades Adventures Suites and Everglades City Motel will put you closest to the Gulf Coast Entrance

Weather, Prices, and Crowds in Everglades National Park

The best time to visit Everglades National Park is in January
It's easier to spot wildlife during the dry season in Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park in January

January is the best time to visit Everglades National Park because the weather is typically the mildest of the year. Temperatures rarely pass 76 degrees Fahrenheit, with very low rainfall and humidity levels.

Occasionally the temperature dips into the 60s, which means alligators can be spotted sunning themselves on the banks to warm up. While the weather is at its best in January, it is one of the busiest months in Everglades National Park, meaning that crowd levels will be at their highest.

Flight prices are usually not affected since the airport serves many areas of Miami, but hotels certainly are. Accommodation costs in the hotels near the park are usually highest in January.

Everglades National Park in February

February is another popular month to visit Everglades National Park. The weather is still mild, with low humidity and almost no rain. Temperatures hover around the 76 degrees Fahrenheit mark, making it an excellent time for hiking, biking, and wildlife spotting without getting overheated or bitten by mosquitos.

Crowd levels remain steady in February, with weekends being the busiest. On weekends, parking lots fill up as soon as the park opens, so to buy yourself more space and less crowding, visit on a weekday.

Hotel prices remain high, and reservations are difficult to make, but those willing to drive further north can usually find accommodation. The campsites around the Gulf Coast Entrance are the most popular for tourists around mid-February because the Everglades Seafood Festival is held in nearby Everglades City.

Everglades National Park in March

March at Everglades National Park starts seeing warmer weather and the crowds dissipating. Temperatures range from the 70s to 80s degrees Fahrenheit, and you can feel the humidity slowly rising. While some days are pretty hot, March is still a great time to explore the park.

You can see lots of birdlife as it's the beginning of nesting season for wading birds. Of course, sightings of the ubiquitous alligators won't disappoint you either!

Crowd levels are usually moderate during the week and high on the weekends. Hotel prices near the park in March range from reasonable to high, depending on proximity.

Everglades National Park in April

April is the end of the dry season at Everglades National Park. Rain becomes more frequent, humidity is higher, and temperatures extend into mid-80s degrees Fahrenheit. Crowd levels and hotel prices range from low to moderate, peaking at the beginning of the month during spring break.

The best time to hike in April is early to mid-morning to avoid the midday sun and afternoon rain. You could also take a boat tour or ride the tram around the park. As April is the start of alligator mating season, spotting these creatures in the water and around the river banks is more likely as well!

Everglades National Park in May

The weather really starts to heat up in May at Everglades National Park. Temperatures range from the mid to high 80s degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity is high and afternoon thunderstorms are common.

Hiking is still doable but visitors should be prepared for the heat and rain. Bug repellent is also a must have, especially when traversing any of the densely wooded trails. Mosquitos are everywhere at this time of year!

While alligators can be spotted year-round in the Everglades, May is a popular month to visit this Florida landmark to see these big guys on the move. Alligator mating season is in full swing so you will see more of them out and about, you may even hear their signature mating calls known as bellows.

Crowds and hotel prices in May remain moderate with a slight uptick near Memorial Day weekend at the end of the month. The best time to go to the Everglades in May is earlier in the month.

Everglades National Park in June

June ushers in the heavier part of the rainy season at Everglades National Park. Thunderstorms are frequent, especially in the afternoons, and temperatures remain in the high 80s degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity levels.

The weather can make some activities challenging, but early morning hikes are still possible. Taking the tram will also offer some respite from the elements. The mosquitos are out in full force in June, so be sure to pack bug repellent, or you can purchase it at local kiosks.

Tourist visits are typically at their lowest in June, so it's an excellent time to plan a trip if you want to jump on the lower hotel prices and beat the crowds.

Everglades National Park in July

July is another scorcher at Everglades National Park. Temperatures reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and humidity is off the charts. Rain is the norm in July in the form of strong afternoon thunderstorms. Visitors must check the forecast before heading out on any long hikes because you don't want to be far from cover when there's a probability of lightning.

With the heat and humidity, boating is often a popular choice of activity. You can book an airboat tour to get an up-close view of alligators. Alternatively, spend a relaxing afternoon kayaking through the mangroves.

Hotel pricing and crowd levels in Everglades National Park remain low to moderate, with the exception of the Independence Day (July 4th) holiday weekend.

Everglades National Park in August

August sees the highest heat, uncomfortable humidity, and the heaviest downpours at Everglades National Park. Temperatures soar into the upper 90s degrees Fahrenheit, and it rains almost daily. August is also peak hurricane season in Florida, so visitors should watch for any storm warnings.

The upside to August is that the park has low crowd levels, so you can enjoy close-to-deserted trails if you decide to hike. However, do note that hiking can be challenging in the hot weather and should only be attempted with proper gear.

Boating is always a good option as well. You can even schedule a nighttime airboat ride to beat the heat and see the alligators when they are most active.

In addition, hotels and other accommodation around the park reduce their rates considerably in August to tempt people to visit despite the sweltering conditions.

Everglades National Park in September

September is another hot, humid, and rainy month at Everglades National Park, with temperatures fluctuating between the 80s and 90s degrees Fahrenheit. During September, you should also continue to monitor the possibility of hurricanes.

Taking the tram around the park is a great way to see all the wildlife without overheating on the trails. September visitors could even see baby alligators as their signature chirps are commonly heard around the boardwalk trails after they've hatched in late August and early September.

Visitation rates remain relatively low in September, so you can find affordable deals on hotels and campground sites.

Everglades National Park in October

October brings lower temperatures and less rain as the transition from the Everglades wet season to the dry season begins. Temperatures remain around the 80 degrees Fahrenheit range. October is the best time to go to Everglades National Park for a taste of the dry season before it gets too crowded.

Hiking and biking are more tolerable in October, and there are plenty of opportunities to see wildlife. October crowd levels can be moderate to high, depending on the weather, and cooler days tend to bring out the Florida locals.

Everglades National Park in November

November kicks off the official dry season in the Everglades, and the weather becomes much more tolerable. Humidity levels come down, and temperatures range between the 70s and 80s degrees Fahrenheit, making hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities more pleasant.

Alligators and birds are an Everglades National Park staple, but November is also an excellent time to see migrating manatees. You can take a kayak eco-tour to see the manatees and other wildlife that reside in the bay this time of year.

However, November brings out the tourists again, especially near the Thanksgiving holiday at the end of the month, resulting in higher-priced accommodation.

Everglades National Park in December

December is one of the best months to visit Everglades National Park. The weather is pleasant for all outdoor activities with temperatures that rarely pass 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Rain, humidity, and bugs are also very low. It's a great time of year to book a guided walking and boating tour.

The cooler weather in December usually means more alligators can be spotted sunning themselves on the banks of the waterways. In the very southern end of the park, you may even luck out and spot a crocodile this time of year. One of the best fun facts about Florida, it's the only place in the US where alligators and crocodiles coexist!

Unfortunately, with great weather comes higher crowds and hotel pricing. December is one of the busiest months so visitors can expect longer lines and higher prices for places to stay around this famous US landmark. Flights to Miami are also more expensive in December.

In Summary

Having read this article, you should be ready to plan your epic adventure to Everglades National Park! The moment you set foot in this wild place and lock eyes with an alligator and the stunning scenery, you'll see why it's such a popular destination.

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Written by Lauren Rey

L_Rey FORMER WRITER Lauren might be based in Florida, but she is always plotting out a new road trip route with her partner-in-crime, Pickles. Pickles is a mixed-breed rescue dog that loves hiking, road trips, and Starbucks as much as her mom does!

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