Boat-In Camping

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Basic Information

Boat-In backcountry camping is allowed at the Perdido Key Area in Florida and in Mississippi on Petit Bois, West Petit Bois, and Horn islands, as well as the National Park Service owned portion of Cat Island under the following conditions:

  1. Campers arriving by vessels do not need a camping permit; exception for large groups on wilderness islands - see below.
  2. Campsites must be on relatively flat, level beaches without vegetation or dune structure being damaged.
  3. Camping on dunes, fore dunes, or on vegetation is prohibited.
  4. Camping, cooking, or other activities are not allowed in areas closed for the protection of shorebirds, osprey, or eagles, including any area within 300 yards of any nest which is being used by adult or juvenile osprey or eagle.
  5. In all developed picnic areas fires may be built in permanent grills (charcoal only) or fire rings at designated sites.
  6. At Perdido Key, half mile east of the turnaround to the Pensacola Pass; Petit Bois, Horn; West Petit Bois Island (AKA Sand); and the NPS-owned portion of Cat Island portable gas and charcoal grills are allowed. All burned and unburned material from portable grills must be placed in park service provided ash receptacles or removed from the area. Such material may not be placed in trash receptacles or placed on the ground.
  7. Portable grills cannot be used under picnic pavilions, breezeways, on any structure, or in between buildings.
  8. Campfires are prohibited on all Gulf Islands National Seashore beaches including: Florida: sound, bay, and Gulf side at Perdido Key, Fort Pickens, Santa Rosa, Naval Live Oaks and Okaloosa; Mississippi: sound side and Gulf of Mexico side at Cat, Petit Bois, Horn, Ship and West Petit Bois Islands.
  9. Collecting driftwood for use as fuel for campfires is prohibited.
  10. Practice Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics.
  11. Keep a respectful distance from wildlife.
  12. Follow all National Park Service regulations found on the Laws & Policies page, as well as those within the Superintendent's Compendium.
Large organized groups of 10 or more people must have a Wilderness Permit to camp on the wilderness islands, Horn and Petit Bois islands.
 

Camping Suspended on Ship Island

Camping is suspended on Ship Island (formerly known as East and West Ship Islands). Gulf Islands National Seashore completed storm damage assessment and all facilities (dock, pier, boardwalk, restrooms, pavilions, snack bar, and Fort Massachusetts) on Ship Island remain closed due to extensive damage from Hurricane Zeta.

The island reopened March 1, 2021, for private boats to anchor offshore, skiff ashore, or beach small boats, and enjoy the beaches.

On Ship Island (formerly known as West Ship & East Ship Islands), fires are permitted in portable charcoal or gas grills only. Grills and other fires are prohibited on or within the beach area and prohibited on all portions of the boardwalk and pavilions.

All burned and unburned material from portable grills must be placed in park service provided ash receptacles or removed from the area. Such material may not be placed in trash receptacles or placed on the ground.

 
 

Last updated: April 27, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1801 Gulf Breeze Parkway
Gulf Breeze, FL 32563

Phone:

(850) 934-2600

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