Last year, the magical event went virtual. This year you have a chance to win your way to see the Synchronous fireflies and their mating dance in the Smoky Mountains. The Park will hold a lottery for the few spots available to see the fireflies as they synchronize their lights!

The Synchronous fireflies are one of only a few species in the world known to synchronize their flash patterns during mating season. The sight can be seen for just a couple of weeks a year usually in late May or early June in the Elkmont area of the park. 

The park organizes a shuttle service from Sugarlands Visitor Center to the Elkmont viewing area where a sizeable population of synchronous fireflies occurs. You’ll need a parking pass for the Sugarlands Visitor Center and ride a shuttle to the viewing area. The number of parking spaces is limited, as the capacity of the shuttle system. During the 8-day shuttle operating period, the Elkmont area will be closed at night to all but the shuttle system and campers.

For information on this year’s lottery and how to go about getting your passes, click here

Here is the “Firefly Etiquette”:

Flashlights disrupt the fireflies and impair people’s night vision. The light show is best when you:

• Cover your flashlight with red or blue cellophane.
• Use your flashlight only when walking to your viewing spot.
• Point your flashlight at the ground.
• Turn off your flashlight when you find your viewing spot.

You can also help protect the fireflies and their habitat:

• Do not catch the fireflies.
• Stay on the trail at all times.
• Pack out all of your garbage