One of the most exciting natural events in the Smokies returns.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have announced this year’s dates for firefly viewing in Elkmont. Park officials will run shuttles into the area to see the fireflies from May 30 through June 6. All visitors hoping to view the fireflies during these dates must have a parking pass distributed by the annual lottery.

A rare phenomenon that is as beautiful as it is unforgettable to see, the synchronous fireflies’ dazzling light show only lasts approximately two weeks out of the year, with dates varying every calendar season. The annual flickering of these rare fireflies signals the beginning of their mating season during which hundreds of nearby males will simultaneously shine their lights in the hope of attracting a mate. Every year thousands of visitors gather near the popular Elkmont Campground to witness this harmonious magic.

Important Dates To Know:

  • Friday, April 26 – Applications for the lottery will open beginning at 8 a.m. Lottery applicants must apply for either a regular-parking pass or large-vehicle parking pass and then may choose two possible dates to attend the event over the eight-day viewing period. All lottery applicants will be charged a $1 application fee.
  • Monday, April 29 – The lottery for vehicle passes will close at 8 a.m.
  • Friday, May 10 – Results of the lottery will be available. Lottery applicants are randomly selected through a randomized computer drawing. The lucky visitors selected will be required to pay a $24 reservation fee in order to claim their spot.

Discover more details about the Synchronous Firefly Viewing event by accessing Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s official press release.

To enter the lottery visit

For more information about the synchronous fireflies, please visit the park website.

Photography by © Firefly Experience.