Synchronous Fireflies 2020 Dates Announced!

One of the most exciting events that takes place in our own backyard is almost back! The Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have announced the lottery dates and information for the viewing of the Elkmont Synchronous Fireflies. Each year in late May and early June, the fireflies put on a naturally occuring 2 week show in the Elkmont viewing area. These specific fireflies called Photinus carolinus, means that they light up synchronously. How cool?! We’ve got all the information regarding lottery entry dates for your chance to view the fireflies! 


Did you know?

This species of fireflies takes anywhere from one to two years to mature and will be adults for just 21 days. The way these fireflies present displays of mating are the the light patterns they show off.Each male and female will have a specific pattern and this is how they find each other. Additionally, their peak flashing period is within the same time period as the viewing dates at Elkmont campground.


Important dates to know:

  • Friday, April 24th– Beginning at 8:00 am the lottery for vehicle passes will be open. All applicants will choose a preferred date and an additional alternate date.
  • Tuesday, April 28th– Beginning at 8:00 pm the lottery for vehicle passes will close.
  • Thursday, May 7th- lottery applicants are notified if they were awarded a parking pass. The demand for parking passes is much higher than the number of passes allotted for the event. Finally, each applicant will be assigned an arrival time on the date they were selected to avoid traffic congestion.


This year, all lottery winners will be charged a $1.00 application fee. Guests will also be charged a $2.00 fee for the round trip shuttle ride to the viewing area and back. In addition, applicants will be charged a $24.00 reservation fee. The fees will also cover the cost of viewing supplies, nightly personnel to oversee the event, and also cost of parking. 

Check back for more information on 2020 viewing dates! 


To enter the lottery, visit:

For more information, visit:

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