Wild Logo v4

Everglades National Park in Summer and Fall: What to Expect?

Summer and Fall in Everglades National Park are hot and humid. This is not the best time to visit, but those who dare will be rewarded with empty roads and campgrounds.
itiswild.com Everglades National Park in Summer and Fall
Entrance sign to Everglades National Park in Florida, USA. The Everglades is a natural region of tropical wetlands
Entrance to Everglades National Park – Source: dreamstime

While many areas of the country experience four seasons, Everglades National Park has just two distinct seasons. 

The wet season covers the period from mid or late May until November. The dry season transforms the landscape during the winter and early spring. 

Visitors who come to the Everglades during the wet and humid extended summer season should prepare for lots of rain and swarms of insects. They will also enjoy less-crowded roads and trails.

While each adventurer will have their favorite time of the year to visit the Everglades, those who enjoy watching the waters rise and the swamplands come to full life will find activities to enjoy during the wet season. 

Those who come here during this period should bring plenty of insect repellant, sunscreen, and comfortable clothes while monitoring the weather forecast.

Related: Everglades in Winter and Spring

Aggressive alligator in Everglades park in Florida
Source: dreamstime

Pros of Visiting Everglades National Park in Summer:

  • Traffic along park roadways is usually empty
  • Fewer people visit the park, especially during periods of prolonged heat and high humidity
  • Many observation areas will have few visitors (but plenty of insects)
  • More opportunities to interact with rangers
  • Excellent wildlife viewing opportunities exist, but watch for snakes, alligators, and insects

Cons of Visiting Everglades National Park in Summer:

  • Warm temperatures and high humidity may make the visit intolerable
  • Persistent rain on a daily basis
  • Mosquitoes, no-see-ums, and other pests are everywhere, so be prepared
  • Fewer ranger-led programs, tours, and other outdoor activities
  • Long journeys into the swamplands are uncomfortable and often potentially dangerous
  • Tours are reduced due to fewer visitors
Airboat tour at the Everglades National Park in Florida, USA
Airboat Tour – Source: dreamstime

Things to Do in Everglades National Park in Summer:

  • Bird and nature watching
  • Fishing
  • Boating and sailboating
  • Taking available tours, such as airboats
  • Enjoying ranger-led programs when available
  • Looking for rainbows after regular thunderstorms

Within the wet season, a period between mid-May and November, weather conditions and visitor usage patterns do vary month-by-month. Some of these trends and additional information are included below. 

Related: Everglades in Winter and Spring

Everglades in May

Tourists cycling past american alligator laying on bicycle path at Shark Valley in the Evergaldes National Park
Getting Some Sun – Source: dreamstime
  • Average Maximum Temperature: 88°F
  • Average Minimum Temperature: 66°F
  • Average Monthly Precipitation: 5.86 inches

May is usually a transitional month in the Everglades. While many parts of the country mark the beginning of summer with the opening of pools and swimming areas during Memorial Day weekend, visitor activity within the park slows substantially by the last week of May. 

Between 60,000-75,000 guests usually visit the three land entrances during the month, much less than January’s numbers, which usually exceed 110,000.

Both day-use and overnight stay numbers decrease as the humidity and average temperature rise. Early warm fronts or tropical weather systems accelerate these trends. 

The number of campers at the Flamingo and Long Pine Key concession-operated sites drops by 50-75% when compared with April’s occupancy rate. Backcountry camping also drops by more than half most years. 

As the number of visitors declines, many of the animals who reside within the park are also on the move. The sheet flow returns to many low-lying areas of the Everglades as early rains and natural water flowing underground into the Biscayne Aquifer increase in volume. As water levels increase in marshlands, animals either follow or retreat from the flow. 

Everglades in June

Canoes ready for rental at the Collier-Seminole state park along Highway 41 in the popular Everglades.
Source: dreamstime
  • Average Maximum Temperature: 90°F
  • Average Minimum Temperature: 71°F
  • Average Monthly Precipitation: 9.07 inches

The number of visitors to Everglades National Park in June continues to decline. Between 45,000-65,000 people enter the park during this month, with visitors generally paying greater attention to the weather forecasts. 

By this time, the presence of mosquitos has become noticeable, even on days when rain does not occur. Standing ponds of brackish water host growing mosquito colonies.

As daily temperatures approach 90°F, the number of overnight visitors also drops as soon as the sun sets. 

The number of hike-in and boat-in National Park Service camping permits issued for campers drops from many thousand in January to an average total of between 60 and 120 for all campsites combined. 

A similar drop in usage occurs at camping areas managed by the concessioner at Long Pine Key and Flamingo. 

Anyone planning a camping journey should contact the park and check its “Wilderness Camping” page for updates. 

Many sites were closed after Hurricane Ian in 2022, and a small tropical storm may leave access to a site impassible.

Day-use visitors still make ‘hit-and-run’ visits to observation areas and shorter trails, but only after putting on sufficient mosquito repellant. 

A growing number of tourists spend most of their time viewing plants and wildlife from the comfort of their air-conditioned vehicles. 

Sunsets remain amazing, especially at Flamingo, and rainbows after the growing number of storms offer popular perspectives for photographers.

Everglades in July

Flamingo Marina on crisp sunny autumn morning
Flamingo Marina – Source: dreamstime
  • Average Maximum Temperature: 91°F
  • Average Minimum Temperature: 73°F
  • Average Monthly Precipitation: 7.07 inches

With summer’s heat and humidity in full swing, the number of visitors hanging around the various park units of the Everglades continues to decline. 

While those driving along the main roadway to Flamingo will still find the occasional vehicle pulled over on the side of the road near an alligator or a flock of roseate spoonbills, most visitors will enjoy the views from their climate-controlled vehicles. 

Fewer vehicles means more elbow room for the 35,000-55,000 who come to the Everglades as the days are long and all hours are humid. 

A popular year-round overnight alternative was demolished after the summer of 2005. Prior to then, 24 cabins and an air-conditioned, vintage 1959, 103-room lodge offered dated but comfortable accommodations to those who were lucky enough to secure reservations.

 Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma destroyed Flamingo Lodge – along with many other sites at Flamingo and near the water – just a few months after they had been honored for obtaining a prestigious Environmental Management System certification. 

Although discussions have occurred about replacing this Everglades lodging, those wishing to stay in air-conditioned rooms will need to secure accommodations outside of the park.

Outdoor adventure options do exist. Those wanting to ride in an air-conditioned van or follow in their personal vehicle can make reservations for the 2.5-hour guided Introduction to the Everglades Experience with multiple stops, available through the Everglades National Park Institute

Visitors can hurry out of these vehicles during extended stops in the Pine Island Area at Pa-hay-okee Overlook and Royal Palm

This partnership between the non-profit Florida National Parks Association and the Everglades National Park offers other programs, though some are seasonal and availability will vary. 

Related: Everglades in Winter and Spring

Everglades in August

Everglade National Park and wildlife Habitat Alligator in a murky water of the habitat in a hot summer day of August
Alligator Baby in August – Source: dreamstime
  • Average Maximum Temperature: 92°F
  • Average Minimum Temperature: 73°F
  • Average Monthly Precipitation: 8.30 inches

With heat indexes regularly above 100°F and blankets of rain during regular thunderstorms, puddles of sweat cover those attempting outdoor adventures on the puddled roadways within the park. 

Those who take the Loop Road Scenic Drive through Big Cypress Nature Preserve north of the park will experience remote, sometimes unpaved sections of roadway that can become muddy or impassable after prolonged rain. 

The diversion is worth it for those who wish to visit the Tree Snail Hammock Trail managed by Big Cypress or the Loop Road Education Center, located in Big Cypress but operated by Everglades National Park.

Summertime visitors may include recreation center tours or other groups that come for the day. Visitation in August averages between 50,000-70,000, with the fluctuation – like most of the wet season months – depending on the presence of subtropical systems. 

Although the park is officially open every day of the year, the warming of the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Bay to temperatures that reach near and above 90°F leads to increased vigilance about tropical storms and hurricanes.

Those traveling between August and late October should be extra vigilant in watching the weather, have backup plans in place, and prepare to evacuate on short notice.

Hikers and airboat tour riders will see tiny new residents as female gators begin to hatch their babies in mid August.

Everglades in September

Beautiful sunny day at a campground in the Everglades National Park - Florida
Empty Campground in Everglades National Park – Source: dreamstime
  • Average Maximum Temperature: 91°F
  • Average Minimum Temperature: 73°F
  • Average Monthly Precipitation: 8.71 inches

With Florida’s hurricane season on most visitors’ minds, the number of guests who come to the Everglades reaches its lowest level. Between 25,000-50,000 people come to Everglades National Park in September. 

A single tropical disturbance can lead to flooded roads and closures that last for weeks and into months, depending on its intensity. 

With the park’s highest elevation reaching only eight feet above sea level and an average elevation of six feet, extended periods of rain will create accumulations that make many trails and some roadways difficult to access. Wildlife may also be on the move, including alligators, during these wet periods.

A handful of visitors enjoy extended periods outdoors, hopefully with sufficient supplies of mosquito repellent nearby. 

Campers braving it at Flamingo and Long Pine Key average between 15-30 in September. With only one or two campsites in use per night, wildlife congregates in these campgrounds, as well as the ones requiring backcountry permits, which may see just over 100 visitors combined in a month. 

Compare these numbers to the 2,500-3,500 visits one might expect in January, usually the busiest month. 

Everglades in October

Everglades National Park Florida in October Active senior kayaks on Nine Mile Pond on stormy autumn afternoon
Storm on the Background – Source: dreamstime
  • Average Maximum Temperature: 87°F
  • Average Minimum Temperature: 70°F
  • Average Monthly Precipitation: 7.74 inches

With average temperatures finally dipping below 90°F, visitors begin returning to the park in greater numbers by mid-October. 

Tropical weather remains a threat, and tourists should watch forecasts before making reservations. 

Park visits increase to an average of between 50,000-70,000, with a noticeable uptick in traffic during the latter part of October. 

Others also begin to return: the seasonal migration of birds – the first true snowbirds – make their appearance on their journey from northern latitudes. 

Outdoor activities increase in number. Ranger-led programs expand to meet the needs of a growing number of guests with colorful, out-of-state license plates. 

The number of reserved campsites usually surpasses 250, with numbers growing if an early “cool” front lowers the humidity before Halloween. 

Temperatures remain warm, so gators continue to sunbathe in the morning or near sunset. 

Everglades in November

EVERGLADES in NOVEMBER - tourists on airboat.jpg
Source: dreamstime
  • Average Maximum Temperature: 83°F
  • Average Minimum Temperature: 63°F
  • Average Monthly Precipitation: 2.28 inches

The transition from the wet to dry season usually happens by the end of November. Rainfall during this month is usually much lower than in October, and crowds returning to the park usually surpass 80,000 people. 

Campers return as the hurricane season ends and mosquitoes begin to disappear. An average of more than 1,500 backcountry camping permits are issued, with tent and RV spots becoming more of a premium after Veterans Day.

Although temperatures remain warm, more visitors enjoy scenic drives or picnics at the roadside parks in Big Cypress. 

Reservations for tram tours and bike rentals at the Shark Valley entrance fill quickly, as guests enjoy watching alligators and other wildlife make their moves as the famed “River of Grass” retreats. 

By the end of the month, the dry season has arrived. 

Beaches in Florida:

Lakes in Florida:

Parks in Florida:

You Might Also Like: