Everglades Wilderness Waterway

My husband and I are planning on paddling the wilderness waterway in a few weeks. We are traveling in a fifth wheel trailer. I know there is plenty of free parking at the visitor center near Everglades City. Is there free parking at the Flamingo visitor center? We are trying to decide whether or not to leave from the north end of the south end of the waterway. Any other tidbets of advice would be appreciated.

There is free parking at Flamingo

– Last Updated: Mar-23-09 11:26 PM EST –

There are no services save a small convenience store there. The restaurant is gone.

Its going to get hot in a few weeks! Got bugs?

I have done virtually all my tripping entering from Everglades City and know comparatively little about the south.. but the canal from Flamingo to Whitewater Bay is busy with motorboats and not a very wilderness experience. Whitwater Bay is huge looking bay due to the low horizon.

My personal preference is the north end as I know the scenery is more varied and the chances to duck out and peek at the Gulf more numerous, even if you do not want to paddle on it..and the Gulf side is gorgeous. Personally I need a break from mangroves now and then.

But some of my bias may be that I have only day paddled from Flamingo and don't know that much about that end of the park.

ww in april
like kayamedic most of my experience has been in the upper half of the ww, so i can’t give you much advice on the area right around flamingo. i’ve paddled in the enp in april and during the day the bugs were pretty much non-existent. however, once the sun sets the mosquitoes own the place. i’d recommend that you plan to be off the water with camp set up, supper finished, and all chores done before the sun sets into the gulf, because you’ll be going into your tent shortly therafter and staying until the sun arises again! also, on some beach sites the no-see-ums were voracious around dawn and dusk. good bug protection is a must, as is sunscreen during april. be sure your water supply is in hard shelled containers to keep the raccoons out of it. ditto for food. now, if this sounds discouraging, don’t be put off. i’d paddle the enp in april again in a minute. the scenery, the wildlife, the total experience is worth the work, but you’re going on the tail end of when it is comfortable to live in the park. take precautions and have a great time. -harry

Are you doing a out and back ?
If not, you need to think of big bucks for the shuttle, ($150) from the Ivey House in Everglades City.

I personally think you would have much more fun doing a circular route out of either Everglades City or Flamingo.

We just spent twelve days there and had some awesome trips.

The best trips are out of Everglades City.

The NPS just opened a brand new one for camping on Jewel Key last week.

don’t know what is happening to the weather, but it was our first winter in the Keys and Evedrglades in many many moons with absolutely no No-see-ums and no mosquitoes.





Everglades Wilderness Waterway
Thanks for all your replies. We have paddled from Everglades City in Jan. and April. The year we did it in Arpil, the bugs were awful. Timing is bad for this trip, I know but it’s all we have. I’m hoping with the cooler temps this year that the bugs won’t be too bad. My thoughts were on doing the whole w-waterway. Maybe we should rethink that? I’d just like to see more of the Everglades besides the area around Everglades City. We have a friend who can meet us at the other end to offer us a shuttle.

the whole way
if you have your shuttle worked out then go for it. the bugs won’t be any worse one end or the other. should be an adventure. -harry

The previling winds are easterly to SE, so if all other considerations are equal I would start at Flamingo. Throw this advice out the window if a cold front is in the long range forecast during your trip.