Camping in Biscayne National Park

The view from Boca Chita campground.
The view from Boca Chita campground (NPS image by Matt Johnson)

There are two campgrounds in Biscayne National Park. Both are located on islands, Elliott Key and Boca Chita Key. The only access to these islands is by boat. No services are available on the islands.

Boca Chita Key is the park's most popular island, and features an open, waterside, grassy camping area with picnic tables and grills. Toilets are available on the island, but there are no sinks, showers or drinking water. The harbor entrance at low tide is approximately four feet.

Elliott Key is the park's largest island. Picnic tables and grills are available. Restrooms with sinks and cold water showers are available. Drinking water is available on the island, but bring water as a precaution if the system goes down. Elliott Key harbor is approximately 2 ½ feet at low tide. There are 33 boat slips in the marina.

Fees - are the responsibility of the camper and should be paid upon arrival. Any vessel in the harbor after 5 p.m. is considered an overnight stay and fees must be paid in cash at the kiosk near the harbor.

  • $25 per night including tent site and boat docking ($12.50 per night with senior pass and $15 per night for tenting only). Tenting fees are for a maximum of six people and two tents.
  • All camping and docking fees are waived from May 1 to September 30.
Reservations - No reservations may be made in advance for the main campgrounds. The campgrounds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Transportation to Elliott Key is provided daily on a 23 foot powerboat.

  • The boat departs from the park visitor center at 8 a.m. Campers departing Elliott Key return to the visitor center at 9 a.m.
  • The cost is $59 per person round trip with a minimum of 2 people, or $300 for the boat with a maximum of 6 people. Personal kayak transport is $20 per kayak.
  • Campers need to provide their own equipment.
  • Trips may be booked at BiscayneNationalParkCamping.com or by calling 561-281-2689.
Trails - Two trails tunnel through the tropical hardwood hammock of Elliott Key. One runs across the entire seven miles of Elliott Key (fourteen miles roundtrip). There is a one mile long loop trail between the bay and ocean sides of Elliott Key beginning at the marina.

Tents – Permitted in designated areas only. There is no backcountry camping in the park. Camping is limited to fourteen consecutive days or no more than thirty days within a calendar year.

Trash – There is no trash collection. Pack out all trash.

Pets – On Elliott Key pets on a leash are permitted within developed areas only. Pets may not be left unattended. Pets are not allowed in buildings or the swim area. Pets, with the exception of service animals, are not allowed on Boca Chita Key.

Quiet Hours - 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. During quiet hours all noise must be kept to a minimum.

Insects – May be prevalent year round. Expect heavy populations of insects during the warmer months.

Fires - Ground fires are not permitted except at the group campsite on Elliott Key. Dead and downed wood may be collected only within the vicinity of the campgrounds.

Group Campsite – Located on the ocean side of Elliott Key about a third of a mile from the main campground and restrooms. It is available by reservation only (786-335-3609). There is a maximum of thirty people and five tents for this site.

Swimming – There is a designated swim area on the north of Elliott Key harbor. Swimming is not permitted in boat harbors.

Fishing – A Florida salt water fishing license is required. Fishing is allowed from the Elliott Key maintenance dock but not in the harbor or swimming area. On Boca Chita Key fishing is allowed but not in the harbor, creek or the western bulkhead area. The taking of lobster is not permitted in Biscayne Bay.

Wildlife – Do not feed wildlife. Food and garbage should be stored in a boat or animal-proof cooler.

Last updated: April 21, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

9700 SW 328th Street
Sir Lancelot Jones Way

Homestead, FL 33033

Phone:

(305) 230-1144

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