With over 420 national parks in the United States, Fort Pickens Campground in Pensacola Florida is one of the top ten busiest campgrounds. At Fort Pickens State Park, you can see and visit the historic structures of the Civil War era such as Fort Pickens, Battery Cooper, and Battery Worth that are distributed throughout the park. In addition, the park has, for me, the most beautiful natural beach in the United States, Langdon Beach. Inside the park, you are allowed to camp in tent sites and RV sites in the Fort Pickens Campground, with potable water and electricity included in the fee, and with 200 sites available all year round. The article was updated in September 2022 for the snowbird season of 2023.
In this article, we tell you all about Fort Pickens and some tips for you now that we are back from spending a few days in Fort Pickens and the Pensacola Beach area. We also show you photos and videos of our recent RV travel to Fort Pickens.
Did you know that, in addition to domestic tourism, Florida, USA receives thousands to millions of tourists from the UK, Canada, Mexico, and Latin American countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, and Peru, among many other countries? Don’t miss the details of this article, see our original photos from our recent trip and enjoy our video.
Fort Pickens Campground Pensacola FL
With over 420 national parks in the United States, Fort Pickens Campground in Pensacola Florida is one of the top ten busiest campgrounds. Unlike other busy national parks in the United States, Fort Pickens is one of the only parks open every day of the year. When most campgrounds are closed, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve, Fort Pickens Campground is available year-round.
In addition to the fort’s historical significance, Fort Pickens Campground is prized and highly frequented for its pristine white beaches. The sand appears to be painted white because it is so white. So, the site features white sandy beaches, and preserved flora and fauna in and around the dunes.
Langdon Beach is a natural beauty that is unmatched and unique in Florida. The sea at Langdon Beach is the most crystalline I have ever seen in my life. One particularity of the white sand is that it does not heat up like dark brown sand, so you can walk barefoot on the beach without burning your feet.
The Fort Pickens campground consists of several trails, including the Florida National Scenic Trail, in addition to the fort which can be hiked in its entirety.
Fort Pickens Campground Map
Let’s see the Fort Pickens Campground Map.
Before reservations, we strongly recommend seeing specific sites of each loop (from A to E), by following this link to our article with the current Fort Pickens Campground Map.
Amenities and Experiences at Fort Pickens Campground in Pensacola FL
As it is a National Park, when visiting Fort Pickens in Pensacola Beach Florida, you will need to purchase an admission pass to the park, regardless of whether you are staying there or not. The admission pass costs $25 per vehicle for up to 8 people. But unlike other parks, the Fort Pickens admission pass has a 7-day duration, which is very convenient to enter and exit the park freely when you are staying for a long period. In addition, the admission pass allows you free access to other parks and beaches in the area, such as Santa Rosa beach Florida, which is outside of Fort Pickens Park.
Fort Pickens is located in the Pensacola Beach area. The area is beautiful and has entertainment and restaurants surrounding area. While the distance to other places from there is short, there can be quite a bit of traffic on the narrow roads that are quite busy in season.
On Fort Pickens Road, in the middle of the Fort Pickens area, you will find a historic white building that houses the campground office, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Fort Pickens campground in Pensacola Florida has 200 sites, of which only 20 sites are tent-only. The rest of the campsites can be used by RVs or tents. All campsites have electrical hookups.
Unlike other RV parks and campgrounds, at the Fort Pickens campground, you will not find a boat ramp, or in-park restrooms, and cell phone reception may not be available at some sites and you will just have to move around a bit and you will find a signal. In the camping area, cell phone reception is good.
Both tent and RV sites have permanent grills where fires can only be made using charcoal and charcoal. For this reason, the park does not sell firewood. Electric grills can be used and connected to the utility grid provided.
Dead, fallen wood located on the ground may be used to fuel campfires in designated locations. Fire rings are only permitted at designated sites. Portable grills may be used after campers have registered at designated campsites. No portable grills or fires may be used on the beach unless in an area where fires are allowed on the beach.
Things to Consider When Booking Fort Pickens Campground in Pensacola Florida
Most RV sites have restrictions on length, height, and dimensions around the camper to open slide-outs. Therefore, it is recommended that you check the details listed on recreation.gov when making your reservation.
An important fact to note is that Fort Pickens campgrounds do not allow RV sites that are longer than 42 feet in length. Trailers are allowed, as long as they are within the appropriate size for the site at the time of reservation.
The appropriate classification for this type of campground is “developed campground”.
The Fort Pickens campground has potable water, full restrooms with hot showers, coin-operated washers and dryers, coin-operated laundry soap dispensers, a recycling station, and a dump station.
There are no ice machines for sale or firewood for sale. Please note that coolers and food should be kept out of reach of wildlife, and inside vehicles, as the campground does not have food storage lockers.
While there is no internet connection available at the campground, free Wi-Fi is available at Fort Pickens Discovery Center.
One thing to note is the good access created for wheelchairs. Each campsite is paved and connected by paved paths making wheelchair access easy. Toilets and showers are also accessible.
Best Beach in the US: Langdon Beach at Fort Pickens Pensacola Beach FL
Langdon beach at Fort Pickens in Pensacola FL is one of the best natural beaches in the United States. It is also my wife’s favorite beach.
Why is it a natural beach? Langdon beach is a natural beach because it has almost no construction around it, and has natural dunes to preserve and protect the fauna of the place. You will not find any tiki bar, glass bottom boats, or any kind of concession on Langdon beach belonging to the Fort Pickens State Park and National Gulf Shore. In the photos and videos of this article, you can appreciate the simplicity and beauty of Langdon Beach.
Here you can see the video we compiled of our visit to the RV park in Fort Pickens, Pensacola Beach, Florida. You can also subscribe to our new YouTube channel.
Prepare in Advance: Bring Sufficient Provisions
For those of you camping at the Fort Pickens campground in Pensacola Florida, I would like to give you a very important tip that will avoid the inconveniences that happened to us.
We were coming from White River, Arkansas to fish for trout, going on the road and stopping at different RV parks along the way. In every town, no matter how small, there was a Walmart, in addition to the Ranger’s store in the state parks.
The thing is, when you run out of supplies or run short, the closest store from Fort Pickens campground is 15 miles away, about 30 minutes outside the park, and the next one with the most variety is about 40 minutes outside the park. So, my advice is to go well stocked, and don’t forget the sunscreen.
At each campsite, it is only possible to park up to 2 vehicles. It can be a car and a trailer, a car and an RV, or 2 cars. In case you have 3 or more vehicles, you must park in the overflow.
The dumping of gray water including biodegradable soap in the park is prohibited. In addition, washing RVs, cars, and boats of any kind, including kayaks, is prohibited.
While Fort Pickens State Park is pet-friendly, leash use is mandatory. Also, please be aware that access to the beach is not permitted. They must be attended to at all times, even when on a leash. The days we were at the campground were very hot, with only a slight breeze. Make sure your pet is somewhere cool and shady when you are touring the fort and enjoying the beach.
The use of portable air conditioners outdoors is not permitted for tent sites and RVs.
Are Long-Term Stays Allowed at Fort Pickens Campground in Pensacola Florida?
Campers may remain no more than 42 days per year, with a maximum of fourteen (14) consecutive days allowed at the campsite. Campers must entirely remove themselves and their property from the National Seashore at the end of fourteen (14) days before returning for another overnight stay.
Campers are only permitted to stay for 14 days during the campground’s peak season, which runs from January 1 to March 31.
Reservations must be made online by following the link (reservations), at www.recreation.gov or by calling the reservation hotline at 1-877-444-6777.
Make your reservation in advance. This campground is in high demand. It costs $40.00 per night for both tent sites and RV sites.
FAQs about Fort Pickens Park & Campground
Does Fort Pickens Campground Have Wi-Fi?
There is no WIFI internet connection available at the Fort Pickens campground. However, free Wi-Fi is available at Fort Pickens Discovery Center and good cell phone reception is in mostly all the park areas.
Can You Swim at Fort Pickens Campground in Pensacola Beach Florida?
You can swim at the Fort Pickens beaches. There are lifeguards at Langdon Beach from Memorial Day to Labor Day. However, be aware that this is a rip currents area. So, it is advisable to pay attention to the signs posted in the area like the one we have photographed to learn how to cut the rip currents.
Rip currents in Pensacola and Pensacola Beach Florida area are powerful currents of water that will send people away from shore. If you are caught in a rip current, don’t fight the current. Be smart, don’t panic, and swim out the current, parallel to the shore, and then to the shore. Float or tread water if you can’t escape from the rip current, and if you need help, wave for assistance. For your safety and others’ safety, don’t swim alone, know how to swim and how to escape from rip currents, and if you hesitate, please don’t go.
How Much Does It Cost to Camp at Fort Pickens? Cost to Get into Fort Pickens Pensacola FL
On the road to Fort Pickens, you will find one toll bridge ($1.00) to cross before turning right onto Fort Pickens Road.
Admission to Fort Pickens State Park in Pensacola Florida is $25 per vehicle for up to 8 people and the pass is valid for 7 days. It also allows free access to Santa Rosa beach.
Please note that you are not allowed to spend the night in your vehicle in the various parking lots of the park. You can only do so in the campsites, RV sites, and tent sites designated and reserved for that purpose.
In addition to the admission fee, the Fort Pickens Campground Pensacola FL charges a nightly fee of $40,00 for each of the campsites with water and electricity hookups, regardless is a tent or an RV. Nightly prices are reduced by half for Senior and Access pass members (get 50% off, must show ID).
How Far Is Fort Pickens From Pensacola Beach
Fort Pickens is a 25-minute drive, 10 miles from Pensacola Beach FL. Pensacola Beach offers a wide range of recreation, children’s entertainment, restaurants, and fast food.
How Far Is Fort Pickens From Walmart
The nearest Walmart is 13 miles away, a 33-minute drive. A few more minutes in different directions along the way are other larger supermarkets to stock up on supplies, as Fort Pickens campground in Pensacola Florida lacks an in-park grocery store.
Can You Camp at Fort Pickens?
Yes, you can camp at Fort Pickens Campground in Pensacola Florida in designated areas by reservation, either in a tent or a camper. Overnight parking is not permitted at any time of the year.
Does Fort Pickens Have Cabins?
Unfortunately, the Fort Pickens Campground in Pensacola Florida has no cabins, yurts, or shelters. The small houses that are seen during the tour of the fort are only available for the staff that works in the park. Remember that this park is staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Is Fort Pickens In Pensacola Florida Open?
Fort Pickens campground in Pensacola Florida is open all year round. Check the gate hours on the official website.
If you travel by RV through Florida, you will discover opportunities to park your RV or use campsites around the state of Florida. I am returning to Colorado after a few months of extensive RV travel through Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. I always find the state of Florida fascinating. Not only for me but for all the tourists from all over the world that come to Florida every year. So, I set out to write some RV travel articles with the help of my wife who certainly has an eye for detail. Some of the articles that I prepared and that you can find in the RV travel section of CamperOutdoor.com are based on this recent trip to Florida where I summarized useful information that was our own questions such as cheap RV parks in South Florida, RV Parks in Southern Florida, and Cheapest Theme Parks in Florida for 2022-2023.
We hope you go to Fort Pickens Campground in Pensacola Florida and have an excellent experience there as we did. Langdon beach was one of the beaches we enjoyed the most on our Florida trip. We hope this article and related articles will be useful for you to enjoy the 2022-2023 season in Florida to the fullest. Have a nice trip!