KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Parking passes or tags for Great Smoky Mountains National Park‘s “Park It Forward” program launching in March 2023 are going on sale in February, according to the National Park Service.
The new program will include new parking passes or tag fees plus an increase in camping fees for visitors to the country’s most-visited national park. The fees begin Wednesday, March 1, while the parking tags go on sale Tuesday, Feb. 21 online and onsite.
The use of park roads will remain toll-free for those just passing through the Smokies, so parking passes or tags will not be required for motorists passing through; parking tags will also not be required for motorists who happen to park their vehicles in the park for less than 15 minutes.
Some ‘Parking Tag Basics’ about the parking passes or tags were shared by NPS on the Great Smoky Mountains page:
- Three tag durations will be available for purchase for all vehicle sizes and types:
- Daily – $5
- Weekly – $15
- Annual – $40
- Parking tags will not be replaceable, refundable, transferable, or upgradable.
- Each tag will be valid for a single vehicle and must include a license plate number matching the vehicle in which it is displayed.
- Parking tags will be available for purchase both online and onsite.
- Display of physical parking tags in each vehicle will be required. Digital representations will not be accepted.
- Parking tags will not be location-specific. A parking tag will be required to park in any designated parking spot anywhere within the boundaries of the Smokies.
- Parking tags will not be required for motorists who pass through the area or who park for less than 15 minutes.
It’s worth noting that the Smokies park will be participating in the five NPS fee-free days, when all NPS sites that charge entrance fees will offer free admission to everyone. Those dates are listed by NPS this year as Jan. 16, April 22, Aug. 4, Sept. 23 and Nov. 11.
“Park It Forward” tag revenue will support operational costs for managing and improving services for visitors to the Smokies.
Smokies officials said in August 2022 with rising costs and more visitation, “additional revenue is critical to support upkeep of the park. The new fee changes will provide an opportunity for park users to directly contribute towards protecting the park.”