Dry Tortugas Fast Facts

  • Dry Tortugas National Park covers a total area of 64,700 acres
  • The number of people visiting Dry Tortugas in 2017 was 54,281 *
  • Dry Tortugas was made a national park on October 26, 1992
  • The lowest elevation found in Dry Tortugas is 0 feet at the Gulf of Mexico
  • The highest elevation found in Dry Tortugas is 10 feet on Loggerhead Key
  • The entrance fee for Dry Tortugas is $10 per person per week
  • Dry Tortugas National Park lies in the Eastern time zone
  • We last visited Dry Tortugas National Park in February 2013
* Complete annual visitation stats can be found at Dry Tortugas Visitation Statistics

Random Facts About Dry Tortugas

  • Like many national parks, Dry Tortugas was first a national monument. President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited the area personally, and designated the area as Fort Jefferson National Monument on January 4, 1935.
  • The name Dry Tortugas comes from two separate factors. There is no fresh water source on the keys within the park, causing early explorers to label the area “dry”. Tortuga is the Spanish word for turtle, of which there are five kinds within the park.
  • Dry Tortugas is located 70 miles west of Key West, out in the Gulf of Mexico. Boats and seaplanes are the only way to reach the park.
  • Fort Jefferson occupies nearly all of Garden Key, the land that virtually all visitors come to. Construction of Fort Jefferson began in 1847 but was never completed.
  • Fort Jefferson was used as a military prison during the Civil War.

Where is Dry Tortugas National Park?

Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the more unique national parks in the United States, and one of the smallest by land area. It is located far out in the Gulf of Mexico, about 70 miles west of the city of Key West. From Key West, a boat or plane must be boarded to get to the park. Further directions and maps can be found at Getting to Dry Tortugas.

Fort Jefferson, Garden Key
(24.627664056053096, -82.87215274642222)

More About Dry Tortugas

We have pages on all sorts of things about Dry Tortugas National Park. Choose from the menu above the map, or from right here. We have sections on Weather, Getting to the Park, Lodging, Camping, HD Video Clips, and a page to buy Books. You could also check out the park’s Photo Gallery.