Smoky Mountain Parking Passes Required. On March 1, 2023 Great Smoky Mountains National Park launches the ‘Park it Forward’ program requiring visitors to buy and display a valid parking tag for any vehicle parking for more than 15 minutes within the park boundary. To make the transition as smooth as possible, the park will offer early sales of annual parking tags starting January 17, 2023.
“Park it Forward is crucial to the future of the park and its resources,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “Parking tag sales will provide critically needed support to protect and enhance the visitor experience, not just for tomorrow, but for generations to come.”
The $40 annual parking tags will be available for purchase online through Great Smoky Mountains Association or at any of the park’s visitor centers. Annual tags purchased prior to March 1, 2023 will be valid through the end of March 2024. The $5 daily and $15 weekly parking tags will become available for purchase February 21 at 10 a.m. EST at recreation.gov.
All revenue generated from the Park it Forward program will remain in the park to support operational costs for managing and improving visitor services such as trail maintenance, custodial services, and trash removal. The program will also support more resource education programs, emergency responders, and law enforcement staff across the park.
Parking tags may not be transferred between vehicles and must include the license plate number matching the vehicle in which it is displayed. Obtaining a parking tag will not guarantee a parking spot at a specific location. Parking will continue to be available on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the park. Visitors are reminded to plan ahead when visiting busy locations like Laurel Falls Trail or Clingmans Dome by considering visiting during off-peak hours, mid-week, and during the cooler months to increase chances of securing a parking spot. With more than 800 miles of trails and nearly 400 miles of scenic roadways, there are ample opportunities for recreation across the park each day.