The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the top-visited National Park in the United States, attracts over eleven million visitors annually! Why? Reasons contributing to its first-place position include geographical position relative to the overall population, a well-developed tourism industry in surrounding communities, a diverse range of activities, and plentiful hiking. over the last year, the park recorded a record 14 million guests visiting the park, and because the park’s operating budget hasn’t seen similar growth, they had to find ways to maintain the park so that guests can enjoy the best possible experience
Starting March 1, 2023, visitors must purchase a parking tag to access the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Beginning March 1, 2023, valid parking tags will be required for any vehicles parked inside the National Park.
Three tag durations will be available for purchase for all vehicle sizes and types:
Daily – $5
Weekly – $15
Annual – $40
Parking tags will not be replaceable, transferable or upgradable and each stage will be valid for a single vehicle (it will need to match the license plate number of the vehicle in which it is displayed). Visitors can purchase parking tags onsite (locations listed below) or online. *Parking tags will not be required for motorists who pass through the area or who park for less than 15 minutes.
Locations to Purchase Your Parking Tag:
- Gatlinburg Welcome Center
- Sugarlands Visitor Center
- Townsend Visitor Center
- Cades Cove Visitor Center
- Clingmans Dome Visitor Center
- Greenbrier Grocery
- Oconaluftee Visitor Center
- Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont Store
- Swain County Visitor Center
- Visit NC Smokies Visitor Center
Don’t Forget to Display Your Parking Tag
From the National Park website: “Annual parking tags must be displayed in the front, lower passenger side windshield. Daily and weekly parking tags must be placed face-up on the front, lower passenger side dashboard.”
The park will honor free entrance days on designated days each year. For a current listing of those dates, you can check here.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park charges a parking fee per vehicle. When compared to National Parks such as Yellowstone that charge a $20 per person fee, this is a bit more accessible pricing per vehicle instead of per person.
For a full listing of all parking tag requirements for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visit nps.gov.