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Elkmont fireflies shining in the Great Smoky Mountains

3 Ways to See the Elkmont Fireflies in the Smoky Mountains Even if You Didn’t Get a Parking Pass

The synchronous fireflies at Elkmont put on quite a show each year which draws in thousands of visitors to the national park. Since there have been so many people interested in the event in recent years, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has distributed parking passes (which allow you to be a part of the event) through a lottery system. Unfortunately, this means that there will be people who don’t receive entry to see the synchronous Elkmont fireflies.We understand that the fireflies at Elkmont are much different than anywhere else in the national park, but if you didn’t score a parking pass, don’t worry. There are 19 different species of fireflies in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so here’s a few ways to experience our fireflies during your vacation.

1. Visit a Day or Two Before or After the Event

Since the national park has released its official event dates for seeing the Elkmont fireflies, try visiting Elkmont an evening or two before or after the event dates. We can’t guarantee the fireflies will be out, but there’s a good chance you’ll get at least a small version of the light show. This year’s event is set for June 7 through June 14, 2018.

Fireflies in the mountains2. See the Fireflies at Cades Cove

Any summer evening, you can catch a great show of fireflies at Cades Cove. They aren’t the synchronous fireflies like what you’ll see at Elkmont, but they are beautiful and kids will really enjoy it, too!

Throughout the summer months, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will offer guided hikes of Cades Cove at night which makes for the perfect time to see fireflies! Click here to take a look at the calendar of events for the national park.

3. Go on an Evening Hike in the Smoky Mountains

The great thing about fireflies is that they aren’t limited to a specific area of the park. There are so many things to do in the national park even as the sun sets. If you choose a short hiking trail to explore in the early evening hours, by the time you make it back to your car, you’ll most likely be seeing fireflies light up the sky.

Protect the Fireflies in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

We know fireflies are beautiful and they are so tempting to catch and keep in a glass jar. We do ask that you help us protect them by leaving the fireflies in the national park. Like all other insects and animals in the park, we want to keep them around for as long as we can!

view of Synchronized Smoky Mountain firefliesMore Information About the Annual Synchronous Fireflies at Elkmont

If you weren’t able to get a parking pass this year, don’t miss out on trying again next year. Be sure to keep an eye on our blog post – All The Details You Need for the Synchronous Elkmont Fireflies Event in the Smoky Mountains – and we will keep you updated each year as new information becomes available about the event.