One of nature’s most breathtaking miracles happens every year in the Smokies. A special species of lightning bug known as synchronous fireflies put on an incredible light show as part of their mating ritual. Eager to impress the ladies, male fireflies flash their lights in unison to create absolutely stunning patterns. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the few places in the U.S. where people can watch this unforgettable display. Read on to learn how you can attend the synchronous fireflies event in Gatlinburg!
(See Related: 20-Year Health Advisory Lifted for Sevier County River)
Get Your Passes
In order to see this amazing light show, you are going to need a parking pass for the Sugarlands Visitors Center. Passes will go on sale on Wednesday April 30th at 10:00 a.m on the Recreation.gov website. Thousands of people come to see the fireflies each night, so demand for the passes is extremely high. We recommend buying your pass as soon as possible!
Trolley Ride to the Light Show
The fireflies will be lighting up the night from June 4 – June 11. Spectators with a valid pass will park at the Sugarlands Visitors Center and take a trolley ride to the Elkmont area where the fireflies put on their show. Trolleys start leaving from Sugarlands around 7 p.m. and typically don’t return until 9:30 or later. Round trip rides are just $1 per person.
Fireflies in Love
The firefly mating ritual is not only a beautiful event to watch, it is completely necessary for the lightning bugs to survive. The bright flashes you’ll see at Elkmont are male fireflies showing off for the females. If you look closely, you will be able to see the female fireflies respond to the males with their own faint flashes. There is no better way to see the circle of life in action than the synchronous fireflies event in Gatlinburg!
Where to Stay
Timber Tops is right around the corner from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! With bubbly hot tubs, awesome game rooms, and gorgeous mountain views, we have everything you need for an unforgettable vacation. Check out our Gatlinburg Cabins page to find the perfect vacation rental for your family, or give us a call at 877-549-6775.