Loop Road
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Duration: 2-3 hours
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Top ways to experience Loop Road and nearby attractions

The area
Address
Big Cypress National Preserve, Ochopee, FL 34141-2083
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See what travellers are saying
  • Kelly B
    Iowa5,203 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An absolute must do!
    Although the Shark Valley tram tour was really neat too, this was my favorite thing we did in the Everglades area. We started the loop from the entrance nearest Shark Valley. The first few miles were paved, through residential areas, and not too exciting. The excitement began when we hit the gravel road. Absolutely beautiful, with cypress balds and so much swamp. We pulled over at most of the culverts, and usually saw gators. We saw thirteen total! A few literally right below us in the water. We also saw several egrets and other types of birds. There aren’t really any marked places to pull off the road; you just stop where you want and pull over to park. We drove it in our rental sedan, which obviously didn’t have four wheel drive or high clearance. It got really muddy, but otherwise was fine. There were some huge water filled potholes. It is bumpy. I’m not sure I would recommend this drive to people who don’t have any experience driving on gravel. We did see a piece of someone’s car lying in the road at one point. It took us about 3 hours with numerous stops. Absolutely worth it.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 9 September 2023
  • Sharon P
    9 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Walked Loop Road
    Unfortunately Loop Road was closed due to flooding so we ended up walking 3 miles. We saw several gators. One sunning in the road so we had to walk around him. Saw several Anhinga, enjoyed watching their unusual perching. Good way to see the Everglades.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 24 November 2023
  • Linda S
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great way to see alligators close up. And it's free.
    This is an interesting 24 mile ride. Note -- if you enter from the west, the first few miles of the road are in terrible condition. The potholes are huge and there are lots of them. We almost gave up and turned around. Happy we didn't as the road quickly smoothed out. We saw 39 + alligators and lots of birds. It's great to get close photos of the gators without putting yourself in harm's way. Lots of them seem to sun themselves right beside the road so you can take pictures from your car. The scenery is lush and beautiful and the water in the pools is very clear. There were bromiliads in bloom all over the cypress trees. It took a little over 2 hrs because we stopped so many times.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 March 2024
  • Dave M
    Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom162 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great way to see Gators and more
    We did the loop road, and it was great. It's nature, so nothing is guaranteed. A paved and mostly unpaved road off the highway brings you up close to nature. The waters next to the road were littered with gators. Much better for photos than in Shark Valley. Drive slow and keep a watch out.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 21 April 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles509 reviews
Excellent
351
Very good
108
Average
32
Poor
10
Terrible
8

Darkwing28
Pelham, Canada384 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
We took this road based on reviews and it was horrible.
There was nothing to see by car and a majority of the road is gravel.
We had just done the tram tour so we had that positive experience.
The worst thing was that once we were driving down the road we were committed to it. It took over an hour just because you can't drive that fast.
The road is so narrow you can't really pull over to get out and look at anything anyway and there may have been a couple of areas where you could get out but honestly I just wanted to get out of there.
Written 16 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DisneyDarwin
Spring, TX1,157 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
There are countless stops and hikes you can do to take in the Everglades. But, if you want the best of everything in one dose, then drive the loop road that runs from near Shark Valley back to Monument Lake. We drove from the Shark Valley end, and the first several miles are paved before it turns into an easy gravel road. There are tons of ponds, wetlands and forest where you will see so much wildlife. All the birds of the Everglades, frogs, lizards, snakes, and so many gators. Gator,s swimming, gators sunning here and there, gator, eyes staring at you from the water, and lots of road gators - right beside the road! You can see tons right from your car, but you will notice even more if you stop and get out of the few of the more scenic nooks along the way. There aren’t a lot of pullouts, but people were stopping on the side of the road whenever there was something to see. Everglades in a nutshell, give it a try.
Written 12 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kelly B
Iowa5,203 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
Although the Shark Valley tram tour was really neat too, this was my favorite thing we did in the Everglades area.

We started the loop from the entrance nearest Shark Valley. The first few miles were paved, through residential areas, and not too exciting.

The excitement began when we hit the gravel road. Absolutely beautiful, with cypress balds and so much swamp. We pulled over at most of the culverts, and usually saw gators. We saw thirteen total! A few literally right below us in the water. We also saw several egrets and other types of birds.

There aren’t really any marked places to pull off the road; you just stop where you want and pull over to park.

We drove it in our rental sedan, which obviously didn’t have four wheel drive or high clearance. It got really muddy, but otherwise was fine. There were some huge water filled potholes. It is bumpy. I’m not sure I would recommend this drive to people who don’t have any experience driving on gravel. We did see a piece of someone’s car lying in the road at one point.

It took us about 3 hours with numerous stops. Absolutely worth it.
Written 9 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Krzys.Seweryn
Schaumburg, IL407 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Family
Great way to explore true Florida without any restrictions. Need to have a off road 4x4 car. We took this trip from Fort Myers to Key West and loop road will add extra 45minutes to your total time. It’s very bumpy but well worth it. You will experience nature in they best version all the Florida species in one spot. Watch for alligators, crocodiles, panthers they like to lay down on the road.
One of the best attraction for our kids
Written 12 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GrumpyandtheOldLady
New York City, NY615 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
Reading the reviews on the Loop Road of Big Cypress National Preserve, we were a bit concerned if our rental car could handle it. When we arrived, we found the road to be in much better condition than we ever expected. It was paved in areas and had plenty of gravel in the others. We had absolutely no issues. The Loop Road was a slice of Old Florida. It is scenic as anything and you will have plenty of opportunities to take photos of animals and nature. For those of you collecting National Park Passport Stamps or Junior Ranger Badges, Big Cypress has both. In fact. the Everglades Junior Ranger book covers both parks so you only need to complete it once and you get two badges as long as you go to both parks' visitor centers.
Written 6 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

387indy
Coral Springs, FL4,401 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
Loop Road for bird watchers & wildlife. This quiet dirt byway is a 24 mile detour off Tamiami Trail. It's mostly cypress swamp, with lots of birds, hawks, wild hogs, egrets, and alligators.
Written 4 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Raj@2019
Shrewsbury, MA35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
The best way to see the habitat LIVE with no crowds. A long slow drive we found many, many alligators and other birds enjoying the sun and waterways. A must if you can spend a few hours.
Written 30 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DoxieGal58
Miami, FL211 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
The loop road goes through various habitats of the Everglades. Take your time to fully take in the details, look for wildlife, and appreciate the natural beauty. My favorite spot is Sweetwater Strand as there are usually several herons and egrets in the area. It's a great area for photos.
Written 18 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mike h
Palm Coast, FL90 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
This was a great relaxing drive; I entered from the Monroe Station west end. The first 16 miles are gravel road and while rough at times it is very drivable. I was on a Harley trike and had no trouble however it was dusty when someone from the other side came by at a rather fast pace. Be sure and stop at the small bridge areas and get out and stand by the road, you will see some alligators and several birds. We saw an owl dive down to try and get a squirrel. You will also see alligators sunning along the side of the road. This is a free way to see alligators in a natural setting. Take time and enjoy the everglades.
Written 12 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marilyn
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Stopping at the pullouts was definitely worthwhile. While watching a heron, my husband said, "someone is watching you". I looked into the water and saw only shadows from the large trees around the pond. Then I noticed two eyes and a nose just above the water line. A quintessential Florida experience. Also saw lots of other birds and a few other alligators as well as gorgeous flora. It is a great loop but you do have to stop and get out of the car,
Written 1 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Loop Road (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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