So you’re planning a camping trip in Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park!
Florida State Parks says that there are over 1,000 springs in Florida!
And the Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park campground is one of Florida state park campgrounds near springs!
There are no campsites directly along the springs, but depending on your campsite, it can be reasonable to walk to Gilchrist Blue Springs!
The camping area is located right near the Gilchrist Blue Springs swimming area, so it can be a short walk from your campsite to the springs.
And if you don’t mind a slightly longer walk, then it can be reasonable to walk from any campsite.
Otherwise, no matter your campsite within Gilchrist Blue Springs Campground, you are just a short drive away from being able to go swimming at the springs!
Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park campground availability
When I first searched for Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park campground for availability (er… the first few times… many more times…), there was no campsite availability for my 1 night that I didn’t want to be flexible with.
This was a few weeks in advance that I searched.
But then, I did one of my searches again, and apparently someone had canceled, and I was able to book a campsite for my desired date.
If you can’t get a booking at the Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park campground, then there is the O’Leno State Park campground that is 30 minutes away that you can also try.
In my experience in searching for campsites, O’Leno State Park always had some availability.
More camping in Florida
- Florida Caverns State Park camping
- Ocala National Forest camping near springs
- Driving from Pensacola to Orlando (Gilchrist Blue Springs can be along the way!)
A little bit more below about camping in Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park!
Here's some info on Florida trip prep!
I have a lot of 30-90 second Florida outdoor travel videos. A few of them might be on this page. If you can't see the video directly below, it might be because you have an ad blocker. Save the Florida outdoors video playlist to watch on youtube later!
Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida which resulted in historic destruction. If you are looking to help but not sure how, consider donating to the Florida State Parks Foundation: DONATE HERE. One of the notable Florida state parks is Cayo Costa State Park in Southwest Florida. Cayo Costa is mentioned as the first spot that the hurricane made landfall. Also see: State parks in Southwest Florida
Are Florida state parks open after the hurricane? Check the Florida Park Service website for current closures. (There are many state parks that are closed.)
Are Florida national parks open after the hurricane? Check the National Park Service website for current closures (October 2 update: Most of the Miami side of Everglades National Park is open, except for camping)
Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park camping: Things to know about camping at Gilchrist Blue Springs Campground
I did SUV camping / car camping at Gilchrist Blue Springs Campground in March 2022 during cloudy and rainy conditions. I was traveling alone and I slept in my car. I stayed in the camping area for both tent camping and RV camping.
Your experience may vary!
1. It can be a less than 5 minute walk to Gilchrist Blue Springs if you are staying at campsites #1 to 18.
The Gilchrist Blue Springs day use area is basically right next to the camping area for campsites #1 to 18.
These are campsites that can be for RV camping or tent camping. (There is another camping area for tent camping only.)
So it’s very reasonable to walk from your campsite to the springs.
👆 Gilchrist Blue Springs Campground map. The bathhouse basically indicates the edge of the Gilchrist Blue Springs days use area. The springs are a 1-2 minutes walk beyond the bathhouse further “up” on the map. Campsites #1 to 18 are the closest campsites Gilchrist Blue Springs.
👆 Trail from the bathhouse to the springs.
2. The kayak launch spot can be a less than 5 minute walk from your campsite.
Similarly, because the kayak launch spot is the same as the swimming area, if you stay at those same campsites you’ll be a short walk away from starting your paddling in Gilchrist Blue Springs and beyond.
Bring your own kayak, or you can rent kayaks and canoes in Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park.
3. The Gilchrist Blue Springs campground is for tent camping and RV camping… and other types of car camping!
4. There are 2 main camping areas within Gilchrist Blue Springs Campground.
There is the area for campsites that can be reserved for both RV camping or tent camping.
And then there is the other area for campsites for tent camping only.
Gilchrist Blue Springs Campground pictures: camping area with vehicle electricity and water at your campsite for RV camping and tent camping
You can get campsites with electricity for vehicles
You can get campsites with drinking water
Gilchrist Blue Springs Campground pictures: camping area without electricity or water at your campsite for tent camping only
5. There are regular bathrooms near the campground.
The campground bathroom is a shared bathroom with the Gilchrist Blue Springs day use area.
So you will be sharing a bathroom with the Gilchrist Blue Springs day trippers as well as overnight campers.
6. There are hot water showers at the Gilchrist Blue Springs campground.
The shower stalls are located in the bathroom.
7. There is a trash dumpster for campers.
8. There is limited to no cell service or data service.
I have t-mobile and I got very limited data coverage.
But there were times I got no service at all.
Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park is remote!
Read the reviews of the Gilchrist Blue Springs campground. (Filter for the word “campground”)
What to pack for your Gilchrist Blue Springs camping trip for the springs
According to Florida State Parks, the water temperature of Gilchrist Blue Springs is a constant 72 degrees year-round.
This means that in theory, you can go swimming in Gilchrist Blue Springs any time of year.
Although 72 degrees is on the cooler side, in terms of water temperature it can still be considered “warm” enough for swimming… for some people!
As long as you can handle coming out of the water wet to a cooler air temperature, then you can go swimming at Gilchrist Blue Springs any time of year – summer, spring, fall, and even winter!
It really depends on your tolerance for colder water (and being exposed to the cooler air temperature when wet!) and just how much you want to go swimming in Gilchrist Blue Springs!
If you do want to go swimming…
Swimming in Gilchrist Blue Springs can be a pretty minimalist activity!
Wear your swimsuit and you can be off swimming in Gilchrist Blue Springs!
But it can also be a good idea to bring swimming goggles or snorkeling gear so you can see underwater at Gilchrist Blue Springs!
From above (aka out of the water), I saw turtles swimming in Gilchrist Blue Springs!
👆 Spot the turtles!
So if you were swimming, you’d be able to see them from underwater! Don’t get too close though! Let them be. Just observe!
👆 You might want to bring a waterproof phone case to Gilchrist Blue Springs so you can take pictures underwater!
See more about planning your camping trip to Gilchrist Blue Springs:
How to make camping reservations at Gilchrist Blue Springs Campground
The official website for making a Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park camping reservation is through the official Florida state park camping reservation website.
You can type in Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park for the search, and then go from there.
If you’re looking for a campsite in the near future during busy season, then 1 night as a length of stay will generally be easier to find.
You can also see the individual campsites that are available.
If you click on an individual campsite, it will also give you the basics of the campsite.
If you have flexible dates, you can also look at the calendar availability.
This can also help you determine if you should book soon or not, based on the availability of the campsites.
Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park campground map
Cost of camping at Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park campground
In 2022, the cost of camping at Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park campground is a base fee of $18 a night. There is also a reservation fee of around $7 that will apply. This will be $7 whether you stay for 1 night or 2 weeks. And then there are taxes.
For 1 night of camping in Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park, I paid $27.
Included in your Gilchrist Blue Springs camping fee is the day use fee for Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park.
This means you won’t need to pay extra for regular entry into Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park.
Checking in to your campsite
Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park is on google maps.
You will see a sign for Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park along the main road.
👆 Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park is 5 miles away.
👆 Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park entry on the left.
Then, once you make the turn, you will drive on a dirt road for a few minutes before arriving at the state park entry station.
As you’re driving, you’ll see the campground off to your right.
👆 You will see the Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park campground as you are driving to the state park entry station.
Then soon enough, you will see the state park entry station.
You can tell the park ranger or volunteer that you meet there that you are there for camping and they will tell you what to do next!
Then after you’ve checked in, off you go to find your campsite!
More about Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park camping
See more about camping in Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park from Florida State Parks:
Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park features 23 campsites: 16 sites for RV/tent camping (30 amp available) and 7 tent-only camping.
Last checked: Florida State Parks, July 2022
And that’s a bit about camping at the Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park campground!
More camping in Florida:
- Florida Caverns State Park camping
- Ocala National Forest camping at Salt Springs
- Lake Louisa State Park camping and glamping
- Disney World camping in December
- Gulf Islands National Seashore
- Driving from Pensacola to Orlando
HAPPY CAMPING IN GILCHRIST BLUE SPRINGS STATE PARK!
Things to pack for your Florida vacation!
The ultimate beach towel for travel?!Turkish towels are considered to be more absorbent and lightweight than your average beach towel. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phoneYou can take underwater pictures with a simple waterproof phone case like this. Touch screen may not work well underwater - try the volume button to snap the pic instead!
Get your suitcase more organized!Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're swimming.
More for your Florida packing list
- How a cheapo waterproof phone case works
- Why wear water shoes for the beach
- Why a personal swim buoy is an essential for ocean swimming... and springs!
- What to pack for Florida beaches
- What to pack for Florida springs
- What to pack for shelling in Florida
- What to pack for snorkeling in Florida