Firefly Event Lottery

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Synchronous fireflies ( Photinus carolinus ) are one of at least 19 species of fireflies that live in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and one of only a few species in the world known to synchronize their flash patterns. This insects' reproductive display occurs for a couple of weeks every year throughout its range (southern Appalachians), and is typically in late May or early June in the Elkmont area of the park. 

During the peak firefly display period, the park organizes a shuttle service from Sugarlands Visitor Center to the Elkmont viewing area where a large population of synchronous fireflies occurs. Visitors who wish to view the fireflies must acquire a parking pass for the Sugarlands Visitor Center and ride a shuttle to the viewing area. The number of parking spaces is limited, as is the capacity of the shuttle system. During the 8-day shuttle operating period, the Elkmont area will be closed at night to all but the shuttle system and campers. Visit the park's Synchronous Fireflies web page for additional information about the event.    

Important Dates

Synchronous fireflies ( Photinus carolinus ) are one of at least 19 species of fireflies that live in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and one of only a few species in the world known to synchronize their flash patterns. This insects' reproductive display occurs for a couple of weeks every year throughout its range (southern Appalachians), and is typically in late May or early June in the Elkmont area of the park. 

During the peak firefly display period, the park organizes a shuttle service from Sugarlands Visitor Center to the Elkmont viewing area where a large population of synchronous fireflies occurs. Visitors who wish to view the fireflies must acquire a parking pass for the Sugarlands Visitor Center and ride a shuttle to the viewing area. The number of parking spaces is limited, as is the capacity of the shuttle system. During the 8-day shuttle operating period, the Elkmont area will be closed at night to all but the shuttle system and campers. Visit the park's Synchronous Fireflies web page for additional information about the event.    

Important Dates

Need to Know

Changes and Cancellations

There are no refunds, changes or cancellations allowed for this event. All lottery applicants will be charged a $1.00 application fee. Successful applicants will automatically be awarded parking passes and $24.00 will be charged to the same credit or debit card used for the application fee. If the charge to the credit card is declined for any reason, the reservation will be forfeited.

Contact Information

Mailing Address

1420 FIGHTING CREEK GAP RD Gatlinburg TN 37738

Phone Number

865-436-1261

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