Synchronous Fireflies in the Smoky Mountains Perform Incredible Light Displays This Summer

07 May

Synchronous fireflies in the Smoky Mountains at Elkmont.Each year in early summer, fireflies at Elkmont light up the sky in the Great Smoky Mountains. The unique thing about these particular fireflies is that they all synchronize their lighting at once, which creates quite a magnificent display for visitors to enjoy! Get More on Vacation has put together a convenient guide with everything you need to know about visiting Elkmont to see this incredible light show.

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Synchronous Fireflies Dates and Location

Visitors can see the 2015 synchronous fireflies in the Smoky Mountains from June 2nd to June 9th at the Elkmont Viewing area in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Synchronous Fireflies Parking PassesCloseup of a synchronous firefly in the Smoky Mountains.

A parking pass is required to view the synchronous fireflies, which grants evening access to the parking lot at the Sugarlands Visitor Center. Starting on June 1, 2015, and continuing through June 8, 2015, there will be 85 parking passes offered for sale each day at 10:00 a.m., which are valid only for the next day’s event. These passes usually sell out quickly and are available online at the official U.S. Recreation website:

Synchronous Fireflies Shuttle Information

From the parking lot, a trolley will shuttle guests to the Elkmont Viewing area. The trolley tickets must be purchased on-site and cost $1.00 per person in exact change. The first trolley leaves the parking lot around 7:00 p.m. and will start to return from Elkmont when they are filled to capacity, which will likely be past 9:30 p.m.

A group of glowing synchronous fireflies in the Smoky Mountains.What to Expect at the Synchronous Fireflies Display

Visitors to see the synchronous fireflies in the Smoky Mountains should expect to return to their vehicle anywhere from 3 to 6 hours after arriving at the Sugarlands Visitor Center. Therefore, we highly recommend that guests enjoy dinner before the event! The National Park Service has recommended that visitors pack a blanket or foldable chair for the viewing area, and requested that all guests stay on the trails at all times. In addition, guests should cover any flashlights with red or blue cellophane to prevent interrupting the firefly display.

Check out our Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains page for more great vacation activities!