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Dry Tortugas National Park

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The Wonder

About 70 miles west of Key West, the isolated cluster of seven islands is a diver haven with its "ship trap" of shoals.

The Adventures

Diving, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, guided tours, chartered trips, Fort Jefferson, primitive camping on Garden Key (pictured left)


One for the Bucket List

Shipwreck diving and snorkeling. The shallows surrounding the Dry Tortugas have been a "ship trap" since the time of Spanish explorers and booty-looting pirates. Hundreds of vessels have wrecked or been caught within its shores. Even modern iron-hull ships have buckled here, like the Avanti, which has a wreckage field (commonly known as the Windjammer wreck site) scattered over the reef off Loggerhead Key.

The park itself does not arrange tours or trips, but a number of outfitters offer snorkeling and diving around the islands. Reef explorers can fin themselves around the corals and remnants of vessels and long-forgotten cargo, including anchors, cannons and pottery. Find Key West diving tours.

Seasons and Hours

Loggerhead Key, Garden Key and Fort Jefferson on Garden Key are open year-round during daylights hours, with the exceptions for overnight campers. Middle and East Keys are closed April 1 through October 15 for turtle nesting, while Bush Key's hours vary. Hospital Key and Long Key are closed year round, and visitors should remain 100 feet offshore of both islands.

Getting There

Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the most remote parks in the National Park System, accessible only by private boats, charter boats or seaplane. The NPS recommends Yankee Freedom II for ferry service to the islands and Key West Seaplanes for seaplane trips.

Average Temps (ºF) High/Low

January - 75/65
April - 82/72
July - 89/80
October - 85/76

Approximate Distance From...

(Driving to Key West. Add 70 miles for boat ride.)

Everglades National Park - 135 miles
Biscayne Bay National Park - 140 miles
Miami, FL - 160 miles
Orlando, FL - 400 miles
Jacksonville, FL - 500 miles
Atlanta, GA - 820 miles


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Fill Your Bucket List With Bewilderness

America the beautiful. You got that right. From the skytops of the world's tallest trees to the underwater color-play of tropical reefs, the National Park Service (NPS) oversees hundreds of parks and areas to conserve many of our country's most precious natural wonders and living treasures.

Otherworldly landscapes. Thriving wildlife. Hidden, wicked-cool marvels of time and nature. Humbling, sweeping views that are not just breathtaking but truly breath-giving, so inspiring you might find them. Whether you're a mobile-mad workaholic, family trooper or just a mid-life meditator, we hope you have time to enjoy it all.

Affordable Adventure

Fewer than half of the national parks charge entrance fees, which usually range from $5 to $25 (often just per vehicle). Children 16 and under are always admitted for free. Daily fees for camping usually range between $10 and $20 per party.

The NPS offers annual America the Beautiful Passes that cover entrance fees at any national park.

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