It is so exciting when there is some event that takes place where you live that is unlike an event anywhere else, unique to your area. Well, we have an event like that here in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park! You definitely want to plan to be in our area during this! Each year, people come from all over the world to witness the Synchronous Fireflies at Elkmont here in the Smoky Mountains. Each year in late May or early June, the fireflies put on a naturally occurring show that lasts about two weeks in the Elkmont area of the National Park. The name of these particular fireflies is Photinus carolinus and their name means that they light up synchronously. The National Park organizes a shuttle service from the Sugarlands Visitor Center to the Elkmont area for people to view this phenomenon. There is such a high demand of visitors wanting to attend this event that a few years ago, a lottery system was put in place. Everyone registers to win a pass to attend. You can learn more about the Synchronous Fireflies and what you need to do to attend below.
Synchronous Fireflies are one of at least 19 species of fireflies that live in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They are also one of only a few species in the world known to synchronize their flash patterns. Taking anywhere from one to two years to mature, this particular species of fireflies will only live as adults for 21 days. They show off their light patterns during mating season. Each male and female have a specific pattern and their light pattern is how they find one another. This reproductive display occurs for a couple of weeks every year.
Friday, April 24th: Beginning at 8AM, the lottery to win a vehicle pass will open up to the public. All applicants will have to choose a preferred date and an alternate date. You must have a vehicle pass to view the fireflies at Elkmont.
Tuesday, April 28th: Beginning at 8AM, the lottery for a vehicle pass will close.
Thursday, May 7th: Lottery applicants will be notified if they won a vehicle pass. The demand for vehicles passes far outweights the number of passes that will be allotted for this special event in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you do win a vehicle pass, you will be assigned an arrival time on the date you selected to avoid traffic congestion.
All lottery winners will be charged a $1 application fee. Guests will also be charged $2 for the round trip shuttle ride from Sugarlands Visitor Center parking lot to the viewing drop-off. In addition to the above, applicants will be charged a $24 reservation fee. This fee will cover costs such as viewing supplies, personnel to oversee the even and the cost of parking.
If you love nature and you love visiting the Smoky Mountains, this is an event you want to try and be in the Pigeon Forge area for. We would love to help you plan your vacation for 2020! We offer downtown vacation condo rentals at 6 different resorts in Pigeon Forge.
For more information on the Synchronous Fireflies 2020 Dates Announced, you can visit recreation.gov.