How Much Does Great Smoky Mountain Park Cost?

Skip the entrance fee for this national park - it's free to enter! Campsites, lodging, and some tours still have a fee.
Author:
Publish date:
West entrance sign for Great Smoky Mountains National Park on of Lakeview Drive near Fontana Dam. Photo by Washuotaku [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

West entrance sign for Great Smoky Mountains National Park on of Lakeview Drive near Fontana Dam. Photo by Washuotaku [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

It's Free to Enter

Skip the entrance fee for this national park - it's free to enter! Campsites, lodging, informational booklets, maps, and some tours still have a fee, so don't totally leave your wallet at home.

Why is this national park free? Back in the 1930's the park was being assembled from privately-owned land and still-active communities. These communities and the states of Tennessee and North Carolina paid for Newfound Gap Road which joins two main entrances of the park. When the area was handed over to the Federal government, there was a stipulation that "no toll or license fee shall ever be imposed…" to travel the road.

Get More Parks For Less

Considering going to a few national parks this year? You might want a park pass.

$80 America the Beautiful National Park Pass

The America the Beautiful National Parks pass is honored at all federally managed land units (national parks, national forests, national monuments, etc.) It’s good for a year from the month of purchase. You can pick one up at any national park entrance station.

$10 Senior Lifetime Pass

The best deal… national park lifetime passes for those 62 and older are only $10. If you have a young family, you might want to take the grandparents along on vacation. The whole car can get into the park with the senior pass and the memories created will be priceless.

Get in For Free at all National Parks

Active military receive free annual parks passes for themselves and their dependents when they show a military ID. Travelers under 16 years of age, as well as those visiting parks for educational or scientific purposes, also receive an entrance waiver. And if you have a permanent disability and show documentation, you get in for free and get a discount on camping.

Don’t fit those categories? Hit your favorite park on a free admission day. There are usually 6 free days every year. Check our event calendar for dates.

Related