Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announce the 2017 dates for firefly viewing in Elkmont: Shuttle service to the viewing area will be provided on Tuesday, May 30 through Tuesday, June 6.
All visitors wishing to view the synchronous fireflies at Elkmont must have a parking pass distributed through the lottery system at recreation.gov.
Every year in late May or early June, thousands of visitors gather near the popular Elkmont Campground to observe the naturally occurring phenomenon of Photinus carolinus, a firefly species that flashes synchronously. Since 2006, access to the Elkmont area has been limited to shuttle service beginning at Sugarlands Visitor Center during the eight days of predicted peak activity, in order to reduce traffic congestion and provide a safe viewing experience for visitors that minimizes disturbance to the fireflies during their critical two-week mating period.
The lottery will be open for applications from Friday, April 28 at noon until Monday, May 1 at 8 p.m. Results of the lottery will be available on Wednesday, May 10.
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