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Loop Road (Everglades)

Travel Report

Loop Road in the Everglades, Florida

Everglades National Park certainly is a highlight for every Florida vacation. Since we had already explored this park, we decided to get even closer to nature this time and took a detour via the infamous "Loop Road".

Coming from Miami, the Loop Road branches off from Tamiami Trail (US 41) at the Forty Mile Bend/Tamiami Ranger Station and joins Tamiami Trail again at Monroe Station.

We almost missed the Loop Road exit—it is a rather sudden and unremarkable exit at the left-hand side of the road. At first we made good headway on the small paved road and were almost a little disappointed. After passing several small residential areas, the landscape slowly transformed into a jungle and the paved road more and more became a dirt road riddled with potholes. Our tour was finally starting to get adventurous.

And, in fact, we had rarely seen so many alligators resting on or at the side of the road. Getting out of the car was practically impossible—but it was tremendous! Especially the part where our view was briefly blocked by water that splashed on the windshield when we were driving through water-filled potholes. Until then, we had never experienced anything like it.

Another highlight was the raccoon that unerringly trudged across the road right in front of us, briefly stopped to watch us and then seemed almost bored when he disappeared into the brush.

We were surprised that we did not encounter any cars or a single person on our drive. Once in a while, we spotted a few simple houses (only houses, no people) as well as rusty trailers, camp ground signs, nature trails, and alligator and panther warning signs. While there were signs of civilization along Loop Road, we wouldn't want to be stuck out here with a flat tire.

Driving the Loop Road is definitely worthwhile! Although, I have to admit that I felt relieved when we finally reached Monroe Station and were back on "firm ground", alive and well.

Loop Road Everglades, Florida - Impressions

Loop Road Everglades, Florida
Loop Road Everglades, Florida
Loop Road Everglades, Florida
Loop Road Everglades, Florida
Loop Road Everglades, Florida
Loop Road Everglades, Florida
Loop Road Everglades, Florida
Loop Road Everglades, Florida
Loop Road Everglades, Florida
Loop Road Everglades, Florida
Loop Road Everglades, Florida
Loop Road Everglades, Florida
Loop Road Everglades, Florida
Loop Road Everglades, Florida

Tips:

  • As described above, the Loop Road is not a standard road, but rather a simple dirt road, so you should think twice about exposing your (rental) car to the road conditions—especially since your car insurance may not pay for any damage, as it falls under the category of "driving on unpaved roads".
  • Before you take the Loop Road, you should inquire if the road is navigable—it often gets flooded during hurricane season.
  • If you are planning on stopping and getting out of the car along the way, don't forget to generously apply mosquito repellent. According to new and long-time Florida residents, "Off" mosquito repellent—available at Wal-Mart—works best.