Synchronized Firefly Phenomenon at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Come experience the exquisite beauty of fireflies this summer at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Each year, Americans are able to revel in this gorgeous display of synchronized fireflies at Elkmont Campground as they kick off the summer. These are the only species of fireflies that are able to synchronize their flashing light patterns, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the home to these incredibly rare insects. Visitors are invited to participate in this special viewing event from Thursday, June 6 through Thursday, June 13. Once the sun sets, visitors can take a shuttle from Sugarlands Visitor Center to the campground to watch the night light up with these beautiful and rare creatures.

Pricing for this event is perfect for those on a budget. Visitors are asked to make reservations online through www.Recreation.gov and will receive an email confirmation with information about the event and a parking pass. A small fee of $1.50 will be charged for each parking pass and $1 will be asked for a spot on the shuttle bus to the campground. The shuttle system is provided to protect visitor safety and convenience in going to and from the event, as the park is highly populated during this special time.

This naturally recurring phenomenon is just part of the great diversity of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The mountains, glaciers, elevation variances, and temperate climate allow for an unmatched number of species in the park. Animals and plants common to both southern and northern states are represented here, and the mountains are some of the oldest in the world. The rare fireflies found at this park always mate in the last weeks of May and early weeks of June, producing a unique viewing phenomenon that only adds to the diversity of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This park is a superb example of the vast scope and beauty of America’s public lands, and the Elkmont Firefly Viewing event is one of the best times to experience the nation’s finest treasures first-hand.

For more details about this event, please visit The National Park Service’s website. Explore more of America’s national and state parks with our public lands database at OhRanger.com or use the free Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder app to find the park nearest you! Synchronized fireflies are just the beginning of a summer full of wonder and beauty at America’s parks.

Photo Credit: Warren Bielenberg, NPS Volunteer