Size: 64,701 Acres

Year Established: 1935

Annual Visitors: 84,000

Firearms Information in Dry Tortugas National Park

As of February 22, 2010, a new federal legislation permits those who are permitted to possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local regulations to do so in Dry Tortugas National Park. Before visiting Dry Tortugas National Park, you must understand and comply with all applicable federal, state, and municipal firearms regulations.

If you’re curious about the most updated gun regulations in Florida, you can find information on the Florida website.

Fishing in Dry Tortugas National Park

No fishing is allowed within the Research Natural Area. Outside of the Research Natural Area, anglers can cast a line. You need a saltwater fishing license to fish in Florida unless you are either under 16 or over 65 years old and a resident of Florida.

Both spearfishing and lobstering are off-limits. All spearguns and other equipment used for spearfishing must be disassembled and put away before entering park waters.

Please refer to the FWC website for the most up-to-date rules and regulations. If you are interested in learning more about catch-and-release techniques, the Florida Sea Grant website is a great resource.

Additional Information About Dry Tortugas National Park

About 68 miles west of Key West, Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico, sits Dry Tortugas National Park. The seven islands and surrounding coral reefs are under strict protection. Gardens Key features beaches and the historic fort Jefferson, constructed in the 1800s. Loggerhead Key is home to both a lighthouse and sea turtles. Diving at the Windjammer Wreck, the remains of a ship that sank in 1875 near Loggerhead Reef, is a common occurrence. Bush Key is a popular nesting ground for seabirds including sooty terns.

The park is well-known for its wide variety of marine life, tropical bird nesting sites, vibrant coral reefs, and legends of sunken ships and buried treasure. Central to the park is Fort Jefferson, a massive but unfinished coastal stronghold. There are more than 16 million bricks in Fort Jefferson, making it the largest brick edifice in the Western Hemisphere.

This is the third-largest US fort, after only Fort Monroe in Virginia and Fort Adams in Rhode Island.

The tropical ecosystem and significant historical items found on Dry Tortugas make the island really special. The park is only accessible via seaplane or boat.

Best Time to Visit Dry Tortugas National Park

The best time to visit Dry Tortugas National Park is between the months of December to February, April to May.

Visitor Fees

$15.00 per person for up to 7 days

Visitor Centers

Eco Discovery Center


35 Quay Rd,
Key West, FL 33040

Phone Number

(305) 809-4750

Hours of Operation

Sunday – Monday Closed

Tuesday – Saturday 9:00 AM–4:00 PM

Be sure to check for seasonal closures.

Garden Key Visitor Center


Fort Jefferson,
Key West, FL 33040

Phone Number

(305) 242-7700

Hours of Operation

Daily 8:30 AM–4:30 PM

Be sure to check for seasonal closures.

Interesting in visiting multiple National Parks this year?

Consider the America The Beautiful Annual Park Pass.

This annual park pass to gets you and some friends into all U.S. National Parks for $80.
They also offer Senior, Military, and other discounts.