• The Florida panther's steely gaze - NPS/RALPH ARWOOD

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Secondary Trail Closure

    As part of a settlement agreement with plaintiffs related to the designation of secondary off-road vehicle trails, all secondary off-road vehicle trails are closed until further environmental review and analysis can be completed. More »

  • October Off-Road Vehicle Advisory Committee Meeting Cancelled

    The National Park Service at Big Cypress National Preserve has cancelled the off-road Vehicle Advisory Committee meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday, October 7. More »

Backcountry Camping Rules & Regulations

Except for the periods and locations indicated below, no camping gear can be left in the backcountry when the user is not actively camping and staying overnight at the campsite.

An individual may camp or leave camping gear unattended in backcountry areas of the Preserve, except for Zone 4, including the designated sites in the Bear Island campground, Gator Head and Pink Jeep campsites, for the length of the specific hunting season as follows:

  • Archery Season/Muzzle loading Season
  • General Gun Season
  • Spring Turkey Season

Backcountry camping in the Bear Island Unit is permitted only at designated campsites (The Gator Head, 9 sites and The Pink Jeep Trail, 9 sites).

Campers who leave equipment at the Bear Island, Gator Head and Pink Jeep Campgrounds in the Bear Island Unit will be required to pay the daily camping fee for the days their equipment occupies the site.

In Zone 4: airboat users must camp in designated campsites only (1-17); backcountry camping is allowed in other areas of Zone 4 (except the seaside sparrow closure area) when access is gained by foot or non-motorized vessel, and the campsite is located at least 1/2 mile from the Loop Road and 1/4 mile from any designated campsite or airboat trail; no personal property can be left in the backcountry (tents, grills, cookware, tables, bedding, etc.) anywhere in Zone 4 when the user is not actively camping and staying overnight at the campsite.

Tent camping is permitted in established campgrounds and in non-developed areas throughout the preserve, except as restricted in the Bear Island Unit and Zone 4. However, in non-developed areas such backcountry camping is prohibited within ½ mile of any developed area or established county or state roads.

Once the daily limit has been reached for each time period, no person, party, or organization may use another designated area for the remainder of that season.

No person shall be permitted to camp in the Preserve backcountry for more than 30 days total, per year.

Did You Know?

Many large trees that did exist were harvested in the early 1900s.

There are few "big cypress" in Big Cypress National Preserve. The name actually refers to the great expanse of cypress forest, hundreds of thousands of acres, within the Big Cypress Swamp.