Great Smoky Mtns NP – Backcountry & Parking Fee Changes




Beginning March 1, 2023, the fee for backcountry permits in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will increase to $8 per person, per night for the general backcountry permit or $40 for the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) thru-hiker permit. To qualify for an A.T. Thru-Hiker Permit, you must begin and end your hike at least 50 miles outside the park and only travel on the A.T. in the park. A permit must be obtained for overnight stays before entering the park and hikers staying overnight in the backcountry are required to have a printed copy of the permit.

Backcountry permits are available online, in person at the park’s Backcountry Office (at the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, TN), or over the phone. For more information and to obtain a permit, visit or call 865.436.1297. Check here for the latest trail updates and closures in the park.

Beginning on March 1, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will also launch the Park it Forward program which requires visitors to buy and display a valid parking tag for any vehicle parking for more than 15 minutes anywhere within the boundaries of the park. This includes parking lots for Clingmans Dome, Newfound Gap, and Davenport Gap.

Visit the park’s website for more information on the Park it Forward program and parking tags.

Photo by Jordan Bowman