If you’re planning a vacation and would like a quick comparison of Everglades National Park and Dry Tortugas National Park, we’ve got you covered.
We’ll take a look at what they have to offer in terms of hiking and wildlife, plus what the best time of year to visit might be.
Let’s get started with an overview of Everglades National Park.
Table Of Contents
Everglades National Park Overview
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. An international treasure as well – a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, a Wetland of International Importance, and a specially protected area under the Cartagena Treaty.
Dry Tortugas National Park Overview
Almost 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West lies the remote Dry Tortugas National Park. This 100-square mile park is mostly open water with seven small islands. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, the park is known the world over as the home of magnificent Fort Jefferson, picturesque blue waters, superlative coral reefs and marine life, and the vast assortment of bird life that frequents the area.
Hiking At National Parks
Most national parks have some of the best hiking trails you’ll find anywhere in the US.
If you’re planning to take along your furry friend, double-check the rules before you go – as many of the parks have different rules about bringing animals along with you.
Everglades National Park Hiking Trails
Everglades National Park is home to a variety of different hiking trails, each with its own unique features. For those looking for an easy hike, the Anhinga Trail is a great option. The flat, one-mile trail takes visitors through a sawgrass marsh and is perfect for wildlife watching. For those looking for a more challenging hike, the Gumbo Limbo Trail is a good choice. This 1.5-mile trail winds through a hammock of gumbo limbo trees and attracts hikers of all skill levels. And for those looking to really test their limits, the difficult Flamingo Key Trail offers stunning views of the park’s mangrove forests from its elevated boardwalk. No matter what your hiking level, Everglades National Park has a trail that’s perfect for you.
Best Hikes At Everglades National Park
The ratings below are based on user-submitted data at AllTrails.com
|Hike Name||Elevation Gain||Difficulty Rating||Type||Average Rating|
|Pa-Hay-Okee Overlook Trail||0||1||loop||4|
|Gumbo Limbo Trail||0||1||loop||3.5|
|Long Pine Key Trail||0||1||out and back||4|
|Mahogany Hammock Trail||0||1||loop||3.5|
|Everglades Coastal Prairie Trail||4.8768||1||out and back||4|
|Everglades National Park East Entrance to Flamingo Scenic Route||7.9248||1||point to point||4.5|
|Nine Mile Pond||0||1||loop||4|
|Bobcat Boardwalk Trail||0||1||loop||3|
|Eco Pond Trail||0.9144||1||loop||4|
Hiking Overview at Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park is home to some of the best hiking trails in the country. The easiest trail is the Garden Key Trail, which winds through botanical gardens and offers stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. For a more challenging hike, try the Fort Hill Trail, which climbs to the top of a 19th-century fortress for sweeping panoramas of the island. Dry Tortugas is also home to the longest hiking trail in the park system, the Loggerhead Key Nature Trail. This 10-mile round-trip trek takes hikers through mangrove forests and tidal lagoons in search of wildlife. No matter what your level of experience, Dry Tortugas National Park has a hiking trail that’s perfect for you.
Top 10 Hiking Trails at Dry Tortugas National Park
|Hike Name||Elevation Gain||Difficulty Rating||Type||Average Rating|
|Fort Jefferson Loop||0.9144||1||loop||4.5|
Wildlife at Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park is home to a diverse array of wildlife, from alligators and snakes tobirds and butterflies. The park’s wetland habitats are perfect for wildlife watching, and there are a variety of tours and programs available to help visitors get the most out of their Everglades experience. Everglades National Park is also home to a variety of rare and endangered species, including the Florida panther, the manatee, and the Everglades snail kite. With so much to see and do, Everglades National Park is a must-see for any wildlife enthusiast.
Wildlife at Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park is home to a variety of plant and animal life. The park’s diverse habitats – including beaches, mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs – provide shelter and food for a wide range of species. Among the most common animals you’ll see in the park are birds; Dry Tortugas is home to over 320 species of birds, including pelicans, herons, egrets, and roseate spoonbills. The waters around the park are also teeming with marine life; snorkeling and diving are popular activities for visitors, and you can expect to see a variety of colorful fish, turtles, and coral. Dry Tortugas National Park is an important stopover for migratory birds, and it’s also home to several endangered species, such as the Key deer and the Dry Tortugas pink shrimp. Whether you’re exploring the park by land or by sea, you’re sure to see an amazing array of plant and animal life.
What’s the best time to visit?
A lot of times, weather can dictate when it makes the most sense to visit a particular national park.
Plus, depending on the types of activities you’re hoping to take part in, seasonality will be a huge factor in whether those things are even available.
Everglades National Park Weather Considerations
Everglades National Park is a unique and beautiful place, but the weather can sometimes be a bit unpredictable. The best time to visit is generally between December and April, when the temperatures are relatively cool and dry. However, Everglades is also notorious for its mosquitoes, so be sure to pack bug spray! May through November is the rainy season, which can make hiking and other outdoor activities more difficult. However, this is also the time of year when Everglades is at its most lush and green. So if you don’t mind a little wet weather, this can be a great time to explore the park. Just be sure to bring your raincoat!
Dry Tortugas National Park Weather Considerations
Dry Tortugas National Park is located in the Gulf of Mexico, about 70 miles west of Key West, Florida. The park has a tropical climate with warm weather year-round. However, there can be some variation in temperature and rainfall between the different seasons. The best time to visit Dry Tortugas National Park is from December to April. This is the dry season, with average temperatures ranging from 73-81 degrees Fahrenheit. There is also less chance of hurricanes during this time of year. The worst time to visit Dry Tortugas National Park is from May to November. This is the wet season, when average temperatures are slightly higher (78-86 degrees Fahrenheit) and chances of rainfall are increased. Hurricanes are also more likely to occur during this time of year.