Dry Tortugas NP - an overview
The park reached October 26, 1992, National Park status.
Almost 70 miles (112.9 km) west of Key West lies a cluster of seven islands, composed of coral reefs and sand, called the Dry Tortugas. Along with the surrounding shoals and waters, they make up Dry Tortugas National Park. The area is known for its famous bird and marine life, and its legends of pirates and sunken gold.
Ft. Jefferson is situated on Garden Key, which is the smallst of the seven islands, and is the
largest of the 19th century American coastal forts is a central feature.
The Dry Tortugas derived their name from the abundance of turtles that could be found in the area. Even today, lucky visitors may be able to spot loggerhead, green, hawksbill, and leatherback sea turtles plying the waters.
Upon arrival, see the orientation program at the visitor center in Fort Jefferson.
Ranger-led tours are available on an intermittent basis.
Be sure to check at the Visitor Center on Garden Key for the most current schedule upon your arrival.
A self-guided tour of Fort Jefferson is also available.
Simply follow the interpretive signage, or inquire at the visitor center for more information.
How to get there
It's by boat about 2 hrs away from Key West, where several tour operators can be found at the harbor.
A boat is necessary to visit areas of the park other than Garden Key / Fort Jefferson.
More information can be found under Data & Facts, see link below.
Fort Jefferson on Garden Key in Dry Tortugas National Park
Lighthouse of Fort Jefferson on Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas National Park