Everglades Exploration Network


I am paddling down to ENP from Cape Coral the middle of october for a couple of weeks and wanted to know if anyone could give me some info on the self registration process. I normally do this trip every year in the middle of the winter. I know the price of the permit and campsite fees. What I want to know is if you have to pay these fees this time of the year. Someone told me that in the summer you have to register but you do not have to pay the fees. Is this true? 

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I noticed that the fee went to $15 plus the daily fee. Any updates on the boater safety course or boating fees? Still $5 for motorboats and $3 for canoes and kayaks?

Not sure what you are talking about. When  I go I pay the flat backcountry fee and then a per night campsite fee.

$15+$2x the number of nights I will be in the Park.


The newly released management plan. Any boat in the NP will have to complete a safety course. Motor boats already have a usage fee listed. Kayaks and canoes are supposed to be exempt, but I haven't seen anything in writing. https://www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/launchfees.htm

In addition to the park entrance fee, a boat launch fee is charged to all vehicles entering the park with boats, including canoes, kayaks, and power boats.

The per boat charges are:
7 day boat launch fee - $25.00
- Annual boat launch pass - $60.00

I'd forgotten about that. Last year at Flamingo we were charged something but I forget what( i suspect far less).. Its been two years since launching at EC.. no fee then. Of course the launch amenities are different.  We have only paddlecraft.

You'd think there would be more info in the Wilderness trip planner but I see no indication a safety course is required.


From the Park Backcountry site.
During the summer season (mid-April through mid-November) permits are free but are still required. They are available 24 hours 7 days per week. Follow self-registration instructions at either visitor center.

Permits are not issued over the telephone except for visitors coming in from the Florida Keys to camp at North Nest Key, Little Rabbit Key, Shark Point Chickee, Johnson Key Chickee and Cape Sable. Please call 239-695-2945.

I am planning a trip from Flamingo to Key Largo with a shuttle to pick up the vehicle left at Flamingo this weekend. When you go on the website and check the "fees" section it appears that it cost $25 per vehicle to enter the park (to begin the trip with one vehicle, the other left in the Keys), $25 each kayak, launch fee, for 2 kayaks = $50, and $25 for the second car to go into the park to collect the first car. Grand total $100. I emailed the park and they told me when I enter the park (at Homestead) and pay my $25, tell the ranger we are coming back in a couple of days to pick it up and they will make a note of it. Once in the park it is $5 per kayak to launch from Flamingo. The $25 fee they say is an annual kayak launch pass. When we return on Sunday, our amended park entry from Friday will let us in free to collect the other car. So the cost is $35 for 2 people instead of $100 which the website implies. Hope that makes sense.

They also said the backcountry camping office is unmanned this time of year (until mid- Nov) so permits are issued at the Flamingo Visitor center only. It is NOT possible to call for a permit if you are starting from the Keys. ALL PERMITS MUST be obtained at Flamingo, in person, on a first come/first serve basis. Permits are free out of season.

Hope that helps.

Looking forward to an awesome Florida Bay trip this weekend!!!

Here is the actual email I got from Everglades NPS....

Hi Dave, 
Thanks for asking about kayaking and backcountry permits. 
You do need a backcountry permit for your trip.  We are still in the "off" season and permits are available by self registration on a first come first serve basis from the Flamingo Visitor Center.  
As for fees, the trip would cost you $35.00.  You would be charged $25 for the initial vehicle coming into the park, if you let the ranger know when you purchase your passes that you are planning a return trip to pick up the vehicle, they will authorize your pass for a free shuttle trip when you return to pick up the car.  There is a $5.00 per kayak launch fee.  The $25 kayak pass you previously mentioned is for an annual pass if you visit often.  
The backcountry office is not staffed at this time so there is no one to arrange a permit with over the phone, all permits are self registration.  If you plan to use a chickee, or campsite, you will need to have a backcountry permit from Flamingo.  
I hope that information helps, have a great weekend.  

Sounds like a great trip Dave! Are you going by way of Little Rabbit -> Nest Key -> Key Largo ? Beautiful paddle!!

The winds have been blowing from the NE for over a week now at 15-20 knots, looks like this will continue over the weekend into early next week: http://forecast.weather.gov/shmrn.php?mz=gmz031&syn=gmz005

You will be exposed most of the time,and  if you find yourself over one of the banks on low tide, water may be gone!

As far as costs, they went up last year, yearly pass is now $40 (was $25), and they do charge a per boat fee of $5 (was $3). I think for $15 you can get an annual pass for the boat(s). So for $55 you can get access 24/7 for your vehicle with boat(s) for one year. That's still a deal!

There is no separate launch fee at Flamingo. You can launch from a dock or the boat ramps, depending what's easier for you. The backcountry fees also went up a little, but they're not charging until around T-Day. You can fill out your permit(s) on the morning of your departure from Flamingo. Be safe!

We are stopping at Shark Point Chickee and North Nest. I have to drive down from Sarasota on Friday so by the time we shuttle I figured to Shark Point would be enough. I paddled the whole area a couple of years ago so am excited to get back. It has been breezy up here this last week too.

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