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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Parking in the National Park

NEW IN 2023

Parking Fees Soon To Be Required in the National Park

Beginning March 1, 2023, a parking tag will be required in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Tags will go on sale February 21. Three tag durations will be available for purchase for all vehicle sizes and types: Daily, $5; Weekly, $15; or Annual, $40. Parking tags may be purchased online, or on-site.

Parking tags will NOT be required for motorists passing through the area or who park for less than 15 minutes, or while parked at their designated campsite in a Park campground. Visitors with a handicap license plate or placard do not need a parking tag.

Parking tags are required for back-country campers, picnic pavilion reservation holders and concession customers.

Park visitation has skyrocketed by 57% over the last decade. Because the Smokies’ operational budget hasn’t seen similar growth, the increase in visitors is starting to take its toll with wear and tear on aging facilities and undue strain on limited staff. This new “Park It Forward” program, with 100% of fees staying in the Smokies, will directly support operational costs for managing and improving services for visitors including trail maintenance, custodial services, trash removal, and supporting more staffing to increase the presence of personnel across the park. And remember, there is no entrance fee to enjoy the Park.

How to purchase GSMNP parking Tags

Before your visit

Annual Parking Windshield Decal – $40. Available now: order online or on-site from Great Smoky Mountains Association. A windshield decal will be shipped to your mailing address; allow 2 weeks for delivery. Annual tags must be displayed in the front, lower passenger windshield.

Daily ($5) or Weekly ($15) Parking Tags. These will be available for purchase beginning at 10 am on February 21 online from Recreation.gov. Tags will be received via email and will need to be printed by the visitor and  displayed on the front, lower passenger side dashboard. Park staff will not print the tag for you.

The same parking tag options and prices apply to all motor vehicles, including motorcycles, UTVs, RVs, etc. regardless of size.

Each tag is matched to a single vehicle and must include the license plate number. They are non-transferrable.

Please note parking tags will not guarantee a specific parking spot in a specific location or for a specific time frame.

During Your Visit

Daily, weekly and annual parking tags will be available for purchase at the following locations (check hours of operation). 

  • GSMA Store at Swain County Visitor Center (Store open Thurs, Fri & Sat only until March 1)
  • Gatlinburg Welcome Center
  • Sugarlands Visitor Center
  • Townsend Visitor Center
  • Cades Cove Visitor Center
  • Clingmans Dome Visitor Center
  • Oconaluftee Visitor Center

Automated Fee MachinesBeginning March 1, daily and weekly parking tags will be available for purchase by credit card from automated fee machines available year round, 24 hours a day (credit card only) at the following locations.

  • Deep Creek parking area
  • Oconaluftee Visitor Center
  • Sugarlands Visitor Center
  • Newfound Gap overlook
  • Cades Cove entrance parking area
  • Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area

Bryson City - Swain County
Chamber of Commerce

210 Main Street
P.O. Box 509
Bryson City, NC 28713

Karen Proctor
Executive Director

828-488-3681

Order a free Visitor Guide featuring Bryson City and the North Carolina Smokies

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