Get Passes to the Synchronous Fireflies Light Show Before They Sell Out

Fireflies in the park The best light show in the Smokies isn’t at a dinner theater or a Christmas display….it’s in the National Park! Every June, a special species of lightning bug known as synchronous fireflies light up the night as part of their mating ritual.  The fireflies are called “synchronous”, because they flash their lights in sync to create breathtaking patterns. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the only places in North America you can see this miracle of nature.

Attracting over a thousand visitors per night, the synchronous fireflies event in Gatlinburg is one of the most popular things to do in the Smokies. Read on to learn everything you need to know so you don’t miss this spectacular experience!

Parking Passes on Sale Soon

From June 4 – June 11, 2014, the fireflies will put on their show at the Elkmont section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The entrance road to Elkmont will be closed off during this period, so guests will need to park at the Sugarlands Visitor Center and take a shuttle to see the fireflies.

Parking passes for the Sugarlands Visitor Center will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. on April 30. As noted above, this event is extremely popular, and passes usually sell out very quickly. We recommend purchasing your parking passes as soon as possible! In just a few days, you will be able to order passes online at the Recreation.gov website.

Trolley Rides to Elkmont

Guests with parking passes will take a trolley ride from the Sugarlands Visitor Center to Elkmont. Round trip rides are only $1 per person and start leaving around 7 p.m. Trollies only make return trips  to Sugarlands when they are filled to capacity, so you can expect to spend at least 2 and ½ hours at Elkmont. Make sure that you bring cash for the trolley!

Sugarlands Visitor Center is located at 1420 Old State Highway 73 Scenic, Gatlinburg TN 37738.

Firefly Magic

Much like male humans, male fireflies go to great lengths to impress the ladies. The stunning Fireflylight display we enjoy every summer is actually a show male fireflies put on to attract mates. When you go to Elkmont, you will see the males produce very bright flashes in the air. The female fireflies stick closer to the ground and respond to the men with their own faint flashes.

Biologists aren’t totally sure why the males flash their lights in sync, but they have a few theories. Some scientist think that the male fireflies are actually competing with each other to be the first to flash. Others believe that the males  are actually working together to draw the female’s attention to the group by lighting up in unison.

We may never know for sure what causes the synchronous flashing, but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying its amazing beauty!

Where to Stay

Aunt Bug’s Cabin Rentals is just minutes away from the synchronous fireflies event in Gatlinburg! With swimming pools, pet friendly options, and the very best customer service, we have everything you need for a truly incredible summer in the Smokies. Visit our Gatlinburg Cabins page to find the vacation rental of your dreams, or give us a call at 1-866-697-4581.