The best way to truly experience the islands of the Dry Tortugas is by actually spending a night out in that island wilderness. Like most national parks, visitors to the Dry Tortugas have the option of spending a few nights out on their own. The islands feel like they are truly in the "middle of nowhere," as you are about 70 miles from civilization. To go camping in this one-of-a-kind park there are a few things you need to know in order to plan your trip.
Dry Tortugas Camping is highly limited. There is not enough space out on the islands to hold an unlimited amount of campers. Because of this, the ferry that travels to the Dry Tortugas only transports ten campers per day. It is a good idea to plan well in advance due to the low number of available spaces. Furthermore, each camper can only transport a total of 60-70 pounds. This does not include the containers of water campers will need to bring.
When camping at the Dry Tortugas National Park, there is no electricity, convenience store, or places to buy food. You must bring everything and, likewise, you must take everything back with you (including all trash). This includes water, as the islands do not have any fresh water (this is where the "dry" in Dry Tortugas came from).
The maximum-nights stay for camping is 3. This will give you plenty of time to fully enjoy the islands including the amazing snorkeling, the breathtaking sunsets, Fort Jefferson, the swimming, and everything this fantastic national park has to offer!
Getting ready to camp at the Dry Tortugas
This is a primitive camping experience. Campers must provide for all of their basic needs, including food, water, shelter, medication, and other essentials. Composting toilets are available, but all trash and garbage must be packed out. There are no showers.
Space is limited at the Dry Tortugas
Each of the regular campsites contains a table and grill. Three tents and six campers are the maximum allowed per campsite. All tents must remain within ten feet of your table. Be prepared to share the limited campground area with others, and remember that flexibility is the key to a successful experience.
Dry Tortugas National Park Entrance Fees
The Garden Key campground is a self-service fee area with a nightly fee of $15 per site. A $10 discount applies (towards park entry only) to holders of the Golden Access or Golden Age Pass, which must be provided upon checking in. No other discounts apply. On the day of arrival, campers must obtain a payment envelope at the self-service fee station. Fill out the envelope, deposit it in the fee station collection post, and keep the stub at your campsite for ranger inspection. We cannot provide change. Please make sure to bring the amount required.
Kayaks and other Crafts
Campers who bring boats of any kind must keep them out of the designated swim area. Feel free to keep boats in your site, but only launch them at the designated dinghy beach that is located near the Group and Overflow sites. Remember to wear a life jacket at all times while boating. Please call for current prices on kayak transportation.
* Prices are subject to change, we do our best to keep our prices updated and accurate.
Dry Tortugas Camping Highlights
- Guided Tour of Fort Jefferson
- Snorkeling and Swimming
- Complimentary Snorkeling Equipment
- Breakfast and Lunch (Arrival Day Only)
- Beach Walk, Snorkel, Swim, or Just Relax in the Sun