2 Best Day Hikes in Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park Overview

Below you will find the best hikes in Dry Tortugas National Park! Located 70 miles west of Key West, Dry Tortugas only offers hikers 1 real ‘trail’ in addition to the tour of Fort Jefferson. Accessible only by boat or plane, this national park is made up of mostly water and 7 small islands including Garden Key where Fort Jefferson is located.

Nearest Metro AreaMiami, FL
Area Size64,701 acres
EstablishedOctober 26, 1992
Hiking Trails1 mile

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Trailhead Traveler’s Recommended Best Hikes in Dry Tortugas National Park

1. Fort Jefferson Loop

This is a self-guided 1/2 mile loop around one of the largest 19th century forts in the United States. The fort was built as an ‘advance post’ to monitor ships patrolling the Gulf of Mexico and Straits of Florida.

  • 0.5 miles – Loop
  • No elevation gain
  • Easy
Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
Fort Jefferson, Photo by Ken Lund
2. Bush Key Trail

When Bush Key is open, visitors are welcome to walk the out and back on the 1 mile round trip shoreline trail from sunrise to sunset. To preserve a tranquil visitor experience and protect the fragile plant life, visitors are required to stay on the trail. Bush Key closes every year around February to September, when up to 80,000 sooty terns and 4,500 brown noddies make nests and raise their young on the island. This is the only significant breeding colonies of sooty terns and brown noddies in the United States.

  • 2.0 miles – out and back
  • No elevation gain
  • Easy
Bush Key, Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
Bush Key, Photo by Ken Lund

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Featured Image: Dry Tortugas National Park, Photo by Florida Fish And Wildlife

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