Florida Everglades Sunrise
June 16, 2006 4:14 AM   Subscribe

If one were to seek exploration (by car and foot) in the Florida Everglades (starting from Miami) where would be one want to go?

Specifically, I want to go to a sweet spot to catch the sun rise early tomorrow morning.

Any suggestions or tips appreciated.
posted by rare_g to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Last fall my wife and I went to Shark Valley, which is right on US 41, and we quite enjoyed it. Not sure if they open early enough for you to watch the sunrise (it's one of the Everglades National Park Visitor Centers), but nobody else seems to be responding here so I thought I would throw it out there for you.
posted by Lokheed at 6:54 AM on June 16, 2006

I think you want Flamingo, which is gorgeous. (That road terminates at the ocean, in a cove, of sorts.) The park entrance there--you have to drive through some wacky places, past a prison camp and whatnot to get in--takes a while to get to. Also, here's a list of trails. Basic map. (It's a REALLY scary drive when it's dark, all the way to Flamingo. Big. Ass. Gators.) Big ol' pdf maps here.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 7:08 AM on June 16, 2006

Shark Valley is really cool, and one benefit of it is that it's really close to Miami. If memory serves, only about 40 minutes drive. There's a huge trail of asphalt you can walk on, ride a bike on or even rent (crummy) bikes from the park headquarters. I believe there's a guided electric tram tour as well - good for older folks, but the place is very serene and extremely quiet. There are also a few lookout towers you can climb to get a view from up high.

An asphalt trail may not sound great, but it is really well done, and the only realistic way to have a big trail in the Everglades. Wildlife is abundant. We saw probably around 50 alligators without even looking very hard. They like to sun themselves on the road, in some cases laying all over each other in piles!

It's a beautiful, wonderful place, highly recommended. Pay attention to all the warnings about sunscreen, hats, water, insect repellant, and you'll have a great time. It will be dizzyingly hot in mid June during the day.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 8:38 AM on June 16, 2006

I would third the Shark Valley suggestion (really, it's very awesome), but it won't fit the bill for watching a sunrise. The gates don't open until 8 or 8:30.

Would be great too, because the observation tower really gives you the sense of how huuuuuge the everglades are, and would no doubt be an awesome place from which to watch the sun rise over it.
posted by contessa at 8:57 AM on June 16, 2006

Flamingo is a good start for those unfamiliar with camping in the Everglades. Might want to start there and then search around in person for sunrise spots.

Nevermind the hot, it will be dizzyingly mosquito filled. I was just joking that Nobody will go to the Everglades with me before Thanksgiving. First tip, don't roll down the window or get out of the car between the time you start seeing signs for Krome Detention Center (That's where we lock up the Cubans and Haitians that don't get to stay) and the moment you get to the place where you need to pay for your camping space. Call ahead and find out where that is. If you get there late at night, you will need to pay a box. Though it is June, you must cover your arms and legs with DEET and then long clothes. Don't even imagine that it will be ok to not be wearing Jeans (no light pants either, the skeeters will bite through jeans even) and whatever long sleeve shirt you have that won't kill you in June. Obviously, bring lots and lots of water. And extra DEET.

Also (even though you didn't mention animals or wildlife)please don't bring your small pets, leash or no. We brought a dog once and it ran right out of the collar. She was a great gator detector, but had that beast wanted to eat her, she never would have made it back to the campsite.
posted by bilabial at 11:16 AM on June 16, 2006

They way it works is that to build roads there, they have to dig ditches and use that dirt to build the road. So then you have these ditches that make artifically deep water areas. The animals LOVE these ditches so you, as a tourist really can just drive along and see tons of wildlife. And those mosquitos are no joke, so driving along with your windows up is a good plan.
And if you do go walking you will see gators...and you know those signs that say don't touch? Well, aside from the danger, we watched a guy get a $500.00 dollar fine. So don't touch.
posted by what-i-found at 10:24 PM on June 16, 2006

Response by poster: thanks!
posted by rare_g at 7:58 AM on June 17, 2006

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