GATLINBURG, Tenn.—To celebrate the first day of National Park Week, Great Smoky Mountains National Park will take part in fee-free day on Saturday, April 22. Park visitors will not need to buy or display a parking tag that day.
National Park Week is an annual celebration that encourages people to discover the places, programs, experiences, and stories of the National Park Service. The Smokies will also participate in the three other National Park Service fee-free days in 2023: the anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act on August 4, National Public Lands Day on September 23, and Veterans Day on November 11.
The Smokies parking tag program went into effect on March 1, requiring all vehicles parked longer than 15 minutes anywhere in the park to display a valid tag. All revenue generated from the program stays in the park to improve the visitor experience, from trail maintenance and increased custodial services to more education programs and emergency responders.
Visitors who wish to buy a weekly or annual tag on fee-free days may continue to do so online, in the park, and at various locations in park communities. Park rangers will continue their parking enforcement efforts on fee-free days, such as issuing warnings and citations for vehicles parked in marked no parking areas.