GSMNP – Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s firefly viewing event in Elkmont takes place through Tuesday, June 9, 2015.
Every year in late May or early June, thousands of visitors gather near the popular Elkmont Campground to observe the naturally occurring phenomenon of Photinus carolinus, a firefly species that flashes synchronously.
Access to the viewing area during the 8-days of predicted peak activity is provided through a shuttle service beginning at Sugarlands Visitor Center. All visitors wishing to view the synchronous fireflies at Elkmont must have a parking pass ($1.50 for regular sized vehicles) and an additional $1 (cash) for the shuttle round-trip. Parking passes are non-refundable, non-transferable, and good only for the date issued. Visitors are not allowed to walk the Elkmont entrance road due to safety concerns.
Passes can be purchased at http://www.recreation.gov. Parking passes may also be obtained by calling 1-877-444-6777, but park officials strongly encourage the use of the online process because it provides more information to visitors about what to expect when they arrive at the park.
For more information about the synchronous fireflies, please visit the park website at http://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/fireflies.htm.