Long Pine Key Campground is open Seasonally November - May (closed June to October.) As this campground does not take reservations availability is first come first serve, in the unlikely event that there are no spots available campers can continue south to the Flamingo camping area.
ADA Access: Long Pine Key Campground accommodates tents and RV's and has designates accessible campsites. The parking lots contain van accessible spaces identifiable by clear signage.
This seemed like the only option around for staying on the east side of everglades. It's a very large campground. We had no problem getting a site (apparently they are first come first serve but I've read reviews that there is a way to reserve sites) during "peak season". Some of the sites are fairly close to one another but we got one on the perimeter which was really nice and a little more private. The showers are huge plus (beware water only gets luke cold at best- no hot or warm water in the winter) and having flushing toilets are always nice. Tables and fire rings at each campground. I believe I read that you needed to bring your own wood but I think you could buy some. The campground is in a pretty ideal location. Close to a couple great trails (Anhinga and Long Pine Key). We were able to break up our 2 days in the everglades by splitting it with an day in Biscayne bay- driving too and from the campground to Biscayne NP was very reasonable from this "home base". The only down side to the campground is how close sites are to one another (again perimeter sites seem a little better). Additionally, walking around and seeing people sitting in their RVs watching TV kind of takes away from the camping experience (especially a NP). It's also pretty pricey for camping in a tent. Lastly, their staff is terrible. They're not bright (they'll have trouble figuring out which sites are open and then tell you sites that are obviously taken are actually open). They also lack any customer service skills and can be rude at times.
This campground is in the Everglades National Park but is managed by a third-party. That was good for us because we were able to stay here during the government shutdown. We stayed for 8 nights at the beginning of January 2019.
First, the website shows that sites are first-come, first-serve except for a limited number of sites that can be reserved. I called and was told reservations were not accepted so we took our chances on getting a spot. When we arrived, the agent stated that there were only 3 spots available for the 3 nights we were going to originally stay (we weren’t sure about connectivity). Needless to say, that was incorrect, there were tons of spots available for the time frame we were there. Anyway, we also found out that they do take reservations somewhere on-line, but I couldn’t find the website for it. We stayed three nights in spot #5. It was a good spot, but our solar was struggling because it was in shade most of the afternoon. We decided to stay a few extra days to explore more. Connectivity was not an issue – Verizon has 3-4 bars without booster. AT&T has no service though. With our booster, we were able to get about 1-2 bars of AT&T and thankfully one of our phones as Wi-Fi call capability, so we were able to make and receive calls. Keep that in mind if you are AT&T only. The campground Flamingo about 40 miles from this campground does have AT&T connectivity, but we didn’t explore the campground to see how it compared.
When we decided to stay longer, we were told we had to move because someone reserved spot #5. That was fine because we wanted to move spots for better solar anyway. The agent said she couldn’t look up which spots were available for the time frame we wanted, but we could drive around and find a few spots we wanted and then she could look it up. That seemed weird, but we did that. We found that spot #66 had great access to solar in the mid-late afternoon so chose it. Thankfully that spot was available. There was some confusion about whether we could reserve it or not. Each person we spoke to said something different, but after many tries, it ended up working out and we were able to stay longer.
We stayed another 5 nights at our new spot #66. Solar was much better there, and we had a nice view of the lake. Both spots we were on were level and it seemed most in the park were level. The road coming in is paved so no issues with accessibility. Since the campground is in the park, you do have to pay the entrance fee, but we have the national park pass. Of course, because of the shutdown there was no one at the gate anyway.
We didn’t inspect the bathrooms or shower houses, but the park was clean and well-maintained. They have a camp host on-site and we did not see any issues that were seen in other parks because of the shutdown. For some reason, the dumpsters were not emptied until our last day there so some people had put their trash next to the dumpsters, but it was otherwise clean. Very quiet and peaceful as well.
The campground has a lot of slash pine trees which give some shade, but still allows some solar. There were not a ton of good spots for solar IMO (at least in the winter), but anything by the lake would be good. There are no hookups at this site, but they do have potable water and a dump station near the entrance to the campground.
Tons of things to do near this campground. There are trails and of course exploring the Everglades. Homestead/Florida City is about a 20 min drive and you can get groceries, gas and whatever you need there. Robert is Here is a nice fruit stand in Florida City you may want to check out. Worth a trip to the Flamingo visitor center to see crocodiles and manatees. I would also recommend the Royal Palm visitor center and the anhinga trail.
Overall, despite the confusion and frustration over the reservations, it was a nice place and we would stay again. It is closed in the summer months which makes sense, it would be way too hot, and mosquito infested for the summer. Mosquitos were tolerable when we were there, but you need bug spray.
We love to camp here! It' getting a bit better , some company got the ok to run them and now they are putting in vending machines and solar power.
Although in the northern end of the park, it's a great location to camp. Stayed in Site #70, which backs up to the lake with easy access to the trails and facilities. Quiet location.
No cell service, but the entrance to the campground gets good service and often has folks parked around the sign.
Each campsite has a little grassy area carved out of the forest. You’re right along the road but you’re surrounded by trees and underbrush for good privacy overall. Pros: excellent park to explore nature, grassy sites, good privacy, ranger talks, close to other activities in the park but not too far from civilization in Miami, clean. Cons: not so shady.
This is an awesome place for a serious hiker/camper. This is true camping, there aren't a ton of amenities so the more prepared you are the better.
The park is absolutely beautiful too. There are tons of gators, lizards, and other animals to find. But definitely be careful as well! This is a great place to go camping with a friend and get a real wilderness experience.
If you clamor to get out in the wild, then get your tail to the Everglades. Long Pine is one of my favorites, with lakes and endless trails. Just bring a friend! There are too many things that go 'bump in the night'. There are gators everywhere, as you can see in the pictures, video. Also, this is a habitat for the Florida Panther. So bring a friend! and make your presence known, you don't want to startle any of these big beasts.
Everglades is abound with adventures, you can see alligators performing strange mating rituals, rare birds, and really get a feel for what true wild nature is all about.
If you're crazy, bring a canoe and try out the lakes and rivers which have huts available for camping on your big journey into the glades. Any way about this one, bring a friend.
sites: private. no reservations accepted. limited/no cell phone reception. outside loop has more forest/trees. amenities: no showers. no firewood being sold- must have own/scavenge. other attractions: near hiking trail. I would go back again.