For most people, winter is essentially the only time to visit the Everglades. It’s invariably hot, muggy, and buggy, but all of these factors are significantly reduced from November to May. In addition to having cooler temperatures, better breezes, and fewer mosquitoes, this is also the dry season, which means lower water levels and more concentrated wildlife populations. So visitors coming into the park to see overwintering birds, alligators, and other animals will see more action in a smaller area during the winter than at any other time of year.
Outside of the winter high season, the Everglades experiences what many would simply call a mosquito season. Venturing into the national park between April and October means suffering in clouds of biting insects: mosquitos, flies, and persistent no-see-ums (they aren’t even swattable). Visitors to the park during this season should pack mosquito nets and a robust supply of DEET-based bug spray. This time of year also sees stagnant summer humidity and increased rain, which means higher water levels and more sparsely distributed animal populations. The peak summer months of July to September present the most challenging conditions, and visitors are so rare then that some park stations have curtailed hours or close altogether.
The shoulder seasons essentially happen at the beginning and the end of the high season, roughly November and early December and again in May. These transitional times will have reasonable conditions, and the crowds will be lighter on the guided tours and among the more popular hiking trails, campgrounds, and visitor centers.