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Dauphin Island Camping, Alabama

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Enjoy Dauphin Island Camping at the east end campground. It is best places to camp in Alabama.

people flying a kite on the Gulf beach in Alabama

Our Gulf Coast Camping Trip included a five-night stay at Dauphin Island Campground. Dauphin is a barrier island at the mouth of Mobile Bay. This remote location is famous for Fort Gaines. Fort Gains is where the famous phrase ‘Damn the torpedoes full speed ahead’ was coined during the battle of Mobile Bay.

Dauphin Island Camping

Dauphin Island Park & Beach Board sits on the end of the island and includes the campground, fort, public beach, and Audubon Bird Sanctuary. Back in 2016, we discovered the island after taking the ferry over from Fort Morgan, where we had been staying in a condo for spring break. We took the ferry on a whim and found the island. We knew we would return to one day.

Site Red 47

The Dauphin Island Campground has 176 campsites over four sections. All sites have electricity and water, and many have sewer too. The site are level, sitting on sandy soil, but some have tree roots.

A few of the sites are close together, but the office usually lets a camper know if they are going to be placed on a tight spot. They do not guarantee specific spots, but try their best to accommodate your requested section.

Dauphin Island Camping next to the Audobon Bird Sanctuary
Site Red 50

This campground is popular with snowbirds, many who have been coming for 30+ years. These faithful campers often get their same spot year after year.

The campground includes a new shower house, laundry, camp store, fish cleaning station, playground, and enclosed dog area.

the bathroom and playground at Dauphin Island RV Park

This Dauphin Island RV Park is the best option when you can’t get at Gulf Shores State Park. Dauphin Island to Gulf Shores is easy when you take the ferry.

Mobile Bay ferry terminal on Dauphin Island

Things to Do on Dauphin Island

In addition to camping, there are many great activities to do on the island.

  • go to the beach
  • visit the bird sanctuary
  • explore Fort Gaines
  • visit the Estuarium
  • take the ferry to Fort Morgan
  • fish on the bay or from the beach
  • watch ship traffic
  • launch a boat
  • watch the sunrise and set
  • so much more

There is so much to do in and around the campground that it would be hard to get bored. This campground is as close as you can get to camping on the beach in Alabama.

seagulls and pelicans on the pillars from an old pier on Mobile Bay, Alabama

Audubon Bird Sanctuary

We love the Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuary that is right next door to the campground. Our second site, Red 50, overlooked the birding area. We had to change sites because we decided to extend our stay from 3 to 5 nights. We wish we had the flexibility to stay longer.

person holding the Dauphin Island Bird Audubon Sanctuary Guide Map and Checklist on one of the trails

The bird sanctuary had been closed for a few months due to trees down and damage to the boardwalk from Hurricane Sally. The reopening of the sanctuary while we were there, made us very happy that it reopened while we were there.

We walked all the paths that go through forested, swamp, and dune areas. We saw some birds and an alligator in the lake. This area is amazing during the April and October migration.

Best Alabama Sunsets

Dauphin Island is known as the sunset capital of Alabama. We were treated to the best sunset of the trip on our last night there. The sunrises are great too.

sunset over the Gulf of Mexico as seen from the beach at Dauphin Island

We plan on a longer stay the next time we are camping on Dauphin Island. We will bring bicycles. If we are there long term, we will need to tow along a car because food and grocery options are very limited on the island.

sunrise over the dunes on Dauphin Island, Alabama

If you are looking to build a Gulf Coast camping itinerary, check out Big Lagoon State Park in FL, Davis Bayou Campground in MS, and Buccaneer State Park in MS.

Please leave questions about the Dauphin campground or island below and we will answer them.

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