Lonely Planet review
Three types of backcountry campsites are available from the Flamingo and Gulf Coast Visitor Centers: beach sites, on coastal shell beaches and in the 10,000 Islands; ground sites, which are basically mounds of dirt built up above the mangroves along the interior bays and rivers; and 'chickees,' wooden platforms built above the water line on which you can pitch a free-standing (no spikes) tent. Chickees, which have toilets, are the most civilized; they're certainly unique.
There's a serenity in sleeping on what feels like a raft levitating above the water in the middle of nature. Beach sites are the most comfortable, though biting insects are rife, even in winter. Ground sites tend to be the most bug-infested.
Warning: If you're just paddling around and you see an island that looks perfectly pleasant for camping but it's not a designated campsite, beware - you may end up submerged when the tides change.
From November to April, camping permits cost around US$14; in the off-season sites are free, but you must still self-register at the Flamingo and Gulf Coast Visitor Centers.
Our independent authors have visited Wilderness Camping and selected this as one of our recommended accommodation in Everglades National Park.
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