Great Smoky Mountains Backcountry Permits


Parking is limited and obtaining a parking tag does not guarantee a parking spot at a specific location.  Parking is available on a first-come, first-serve basis throughout the park.  Backcountry users should plan to arrive early in the morning to secure a parking spot for their intended backcountry itinerary, especially at the busier trailheads in the park - including but not limited to: Laurel Falls, Alum Cave, Deep Creek, Big Creek, Clingmans Dome, Cades Cove, Rainbow Falls, and trailheads along Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. 

Proper food storage in the backcountry is critical.  Backpackers must hang all food/scented items on the cable system regardless of what type of container they are in.  Bear canisters are not required nor recommended in the backcountry.  If you choose to carry a bear canister, it must be placed in your pack and hung in the cable system to comply with the park requirement. 

To make a change to a permit you have already purchased, please call the Backcountry Office at 865-436-1297. You are not able to change the dates or itinerary of an existing permit online but Backcountry Office Staff can assist you.  

Welcome to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Backcountry Permit System!

General Backcountry Permits

AT Thru-Hiker Permits

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Backcountry Permits v3.5.106 - Last Update: January 31, 2023

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738


(865) 436-1200

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