Camping Confidential: Indian Pass Campground

Candace Henderson recalls her stay at Indian Pass Campground. With a short drive to surrounding beach towns, and acting as a haven for native costal wildlife – Indian Pass might be the next destination for you and your family.

By Candace Henderson
Camp Ambassador
(Photo: Candace Henderson)

Indian Pass Campground is a semi-primitive campground located near one of Florida’s best-kept secrets. If you’re looking for the Ritz-Carlton of campgrounds, then it might not be the spot for you. However, if you love the thought of waking up to a myriad of pinks and oranges peeking over the bay and watching dolphins play while enjoying your morning coffee under the shade of a palm tree, then Indian Pass is calling your name.

(Photo: Candace Henderson)

We decided last minute that we would take a weekend trip to Port St. Joe, Fla., to do some fishing. We had never stayed at a campground in that area before but decided on Indian Pass because of its waterfront sites and proximity to St. Joseph Bay. When we called on a Wednesday to book a campground for the next three nights, we were told that there was only one site left available. So, at risk of not getting a campsite at all, we reserved what was called Tent Island.

(Photo: Candace Henderson)

When we arrived with our camper on Thursday evening, we checked in with the staff at the front office and were given a couple of sheets of paper with the campground rules and a map, as well as a parking pass to hang from the rearview mirror. Easy enough!

(Photo: Candace Henderson)

To say we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at our site is an understatement! Indian Pass is located on the tip of a peninsula jutting out into Saint Vincent Sound. Our campsite was a small loop at the end of the peninsula, so we had water on three sides! Speckled with palm trees, it also had a wooden picnic table, a firepit and water and electric hookups for our camper. 

(Photo: Candace Henderson)
(Photo: Candace Henderson)

The beach was laden with oyster shells and hundreds of hermit crabs. At night, small fiddler crabs littered the ground and scattered to hide from the beams of our flashlight. We put a couple of lines in the water and caught sail cats (Gafftopsail catfish) almost as fast as we could bait our hooks. We also set out a crab trap and threw lines out for crabs. One of the highlights of the trip was the bounty of blue and stone crabs that we were able to harvest right from our campsite. One of the stone crab claws we collected was the size of my hand!

(Photo: Candace Henderson)

The campground has 29 dog-friendly campsites available for campers, with electricity and water hookups. None of the sites has a sewer hookup, but there is a dump station located near the entrance of the campground, and the staff will come pump your tank for $15 Monday through Saturday. They do not offer that service on Sundays. There are also two rustic cabins available to rent. 

(Photo: Candace Henderson)

We passed several other campgrounds on our short drive to Cape San Blas the next day. From what we could see, the campsites at Indian Pass are more spacious and less congested than those at the other campgrounds in the area, but the amenities are much older.  

Campground Amenities

(Photo: Candace Henderson)
  • Bathhouse — the owners of the campground have used a single-wide trailer and turned it into a bathhouse. While the outside may be a little off-putting, the interior is kept clean and air-conditioned. The men’s and women’s utilities are on opposite sides of the trailer, and each has several showers. 
  • Laundry room
  • Fish-cleaning station
  • Ice

Nearby Amenities

(Photo: Candace Henderson)
  • The General Store — This store has a little bit of everything and then some, from a small selection of fruits and vegetables to locally made soap and honey. It also had a nice selection of wine and a variety of toys and gear to take to the beach.
  • The Trading Post — Located conveniently across the road from The General Store, The Trading Post has fresh meat, produce, fishing supplies, pizza and other groceries you may need to pick up during your trip. 

Nearby Attractions

(Photo: Candace Henderson)
  • Saint Vincent Island — St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge is only a quarter-mile from Indian Pass. If you have kayaks, and a little bit of stamina, you can kayak out to the island. The campground also offers a shuttle to the island for $20 for adults and $15 for kids.
  • Cape San Blas — This is what I was referring to when I mentioned “Florida’s best-kept secret.” Cape San Blas boasts some of Florida’s most beautiful beaches, and the fishing is amazing. The crystal clear bay waters offer an excellent area for families to swim and snorkel. Plan on spending an entire day here!
  • Port St. Joe — Port St. Joe is a small tourist town with a great selection of restaurants, ice cream shacks and visitor attractions. 
  • Cat 5 Raw Bar & Grill — If you’re in the mood for fresh, local seafood, I would definitely recommend that you stop at Cat 5. This is a favorite for both locals and visitors. They also have a great selection of fresh seafood that you can purchase to take back to camp and cook. 

Other Callouts

(Photo: Candace Henderson)
  • Bring mosquito repellent — you’ll need it! Mosquitos and biting flies are abundant in this part of Florida.
  • This campground does not have a playground or paved roads for bikes, and the bay is not sufficient for swimming because of an abundance of oysters and sharks in the area. Kids will love catching hermit crabs on the beach, but I highly recommend making the 8.7-mile drive over to Cape San Blas and spending a day there.

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Indian Pass and will plan on staying there again. I would highly recommend it to any family or couple visiting the area! 

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