When you have had enough
biking, Shark Valley Tram Tours offers two-hour, naturalist
led tours through the northern region
of Everglades National Park. Visitors on board the open-air
tour are introduced to the "River of Grass" and the
wildlife inhabiting it. At the midway point of the trip, explorers
have the opportunity to stroll up the spiral ramp and of the
Shark Valley observation tower, allowing a panoramic view of
the heart of the Everglades.
At Shark Valley there
is a small concession stand with drinks and a limited menu.
You may want to bring your own cooler with
some food and drink to keep waiting in your car for you when
you return. In addition, its highly recommended to bring
sandwiches and snacks in a backpack along with you while you
The climate in the Everglades
is mild and pleasant from December through April, though rare
cold fronts may create near freezing
conditions. Summers are hot and humid, with temperatures around
90 degrees (32°C) and humidity over 90%. Afternoon thunderstorms
are common and mosquitoes are abundant. Wear comfortable sportswear
in winter; loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants, hat,
(Visor or Baseball Cap is best) sun screen, and insect repellent,
are recommended in the summer. Checking the weather conditions
before you go is a smart idea. For a 24-hour weather service
for Miami, Homestead, or Naples, call 305-229-4522. In all
conditions, you will want to bring a backpack with an extra
shirt and plenty of drinking water.
Visitation in the Everglades
is highest from December through April and lowest May through
November. You will see more animals
during the winter months. Shark Valley is open daily, 8:30
a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Visitor Center is open daily from
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The cost for Shark Valley
is $10 payable at the main entrance. The entrance fee is
valid for seven days for single, private,
non-commercial vehicles. If you park outside the park,
there is a per-person fee for individuals 17 years of age
when entering by foot, bicycle, motorcycle, buses carrying
passengers not on a pre-packaged tours. Residents of Florida
should consider taking advantage of the Everglades Annual
Pass at $20. The annual pass is valid for one year from the
of purchase. There’s no doubt that the Everglades is
an excellent experience, so there’s a good chance
that you will want to return to the park, perhaps several
Another great deal for seniors is the Golden Age Passport,
a lifetime, non-transferable pass available to U.S. citizens
or permanent residents, age 62 and older, for a one-time
$10 fee. This pass allows free entry to federal fee areas,
discount on camping, and some other park amenities.
I would highly recommend
the Shark Valley biking experience to those who are adventurous
and would like to see the Florida
Everglades from an intimate perspective. While most people
take an airboat ride, you will definitely have the chance
to see, hear, and experience more by biking in Shark Valley.
saw plenty of alligators, birds, and gorgeous scenery.
If you have time while in South Florida, it would be worthwhile
cycle the Shark Valley road, in addition to taking an
To get to Shark Valley
take the Florida Turnpike to the exit for SW 8th Street (also
known as U.S. 41 and Tamiami Trail).
Travel 25 miles west on U.S. 41 to signs marked Shark Valley.
From the Naples area, take U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail) east to
signs marked Shark Valley. You will need to provide your
own transportation to get there.