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The Only Natural Light Show in the Smoky Mountains Returning For Another Year

synchronized fireflies at ElkmontDid you know that the Elkmont area in the Smoky Mountains is one of the only two places in the world where guests can experience the natural wonder of synchronized fireflies? It’s true.

(See Related: Top 5 Travel Tips Every Smoky Mountain Vacationer Needs to Know)

Synchronized Fireflies at Elkmont

Every year in early summer, thousands of synchronized fireflies gather at Elkmont as part of their mating ritual to create one of the most stunning natural light shows in the Smoky Mountains. The only other place in the world where visitors can see this phenomenon is in Asia.

Dates & Time

Earlier this month, officials with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park announced the dates for this year’s event will be June 4-June 11. Viewing times will begin around 7 p.m. each night, and the experience can take anywhere from 4-6 hours.

What to Bring

Sunset in the Smoky MountainsThe most important thing to remember when visiting the Smoky Mountain fireflies is to make sure that you remember to pick up a parking pass. Visitors to the Elkmont fireflies can pre-purchase a parking pass to park at the center and then take a trolley to the viewing spot. The trolley ride to the area is an extra $1.

We also recommend that visitors to the Elkmont synchronized fireflies remember to pack a blanket or collapsible chair to sit on, as well as some light snacks and something to drink in case you get hungry. There are no vending areas or chairs in the viewing area.

It would also be smart to make sure that you wear comfortable shoes as there will be a little bit of walking to the viewing area.


The Elkmont area in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located near the Sugarlands Visitor Center. In addition to the fireflies every  year, Elkmont is also well-known for the many stories associated with it from the early settlers to the area. Visitors are able to still see two of the remaining historic structures that call the area home that include the Avent cabin and the Levi Trentham cabin.

Where to Stay

Looking for a relaxing place to stay after viewing the synchronized fireflies at Elkmont this year? Be sure to check out one of our many relaxing Gatlinburg cabin rentals that are just a short drive from the Sugarlands Visitor Center.

To reserve your stay today, give us a call at (800) 436-6618. Our friendly and knowledgeable reservation team will be more than happy to answer any and all questions you and your family may have.