• fog flows through Cumberland Gap

    Cumberland Gap

    National Historical Park KY,TN,VA

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Cumberland Gap Tip Line

    Help protect your national park! Report any crimes or suspicious activity including damage or theft of park resources. More »

  • No Cave Tours or Hensley Tours on September 27

    There will be no Gap Cave or Hensley Settlement tours offered on September 27, 2014 due to special Heritage Walk program. For more information please call the park visitor center at (606) 248-2817, extension 1075.

  • Sugar Run Trail Closed to Horses

    The Sugar Run Trail is temporarily closed to horse use due to the number of fallen trees as a result of recent storms. The trail is still open for hikers, but hikers should use caution.

  • Back the Bears!

    Support the park's "Back the Bears" campaign and help keep our bears wild and safe! More »


backcountry hikers

Hikers enjoy the backcountry

NPS Photo

Backcountry Camping
Five backcountry campsites are located in the park and require a backcountry use permit, which must be picked up in person at the visitor center. Backcountry permits are free of charge.

Backcountry campsites can be reserved up to three months in advance by calling the park visitor center at (606)248-2817.

Camping - Group Sites
$35.00 - Day

Group camping is available with reservations.

Group campsites can be reserved up to three months in advance by calling (606)248-2817.


Special Use Permits
Special Use Permits are required by the National Park Service to assure that parks remain unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. Any activities that would cause damage to park resources cannot be allowed.

Providing opportunities for appropriate public enjoyment is an important part of the National Park Service mission. Approval of special uses of the park—unrelated to public enjoyment—may be allowed if not otherwise prohibited by law or regulation. However, the National Park Service can only allow uses that are:
(1) appropriate to the purpose for which the park was established, and
(2) can be sustained without causing unacceptable impacts.

A special park use is defined as an activity that takes place in a park area, and that:

  • provides a benefit to an individual, group or organization rather than the public at large;
  • requires written authorization and some degree of management control from the National Park Service in order to protect park resources and the public interest;
  • is not prohibited by law or regulation;
  • is not initiated, sponsored, or conducted by the National Park Service; and
  • is not managed under a concession contract, a recreation activity for which the NPS charges a fee, or a lease.

Special Use Permit Application (180 KB)
Follow the directions found in the form then mail the completed form to:

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Park Headquarters
91 Bartlett Park Road
Middlesboro, KY 40965

Forms will only be accepted via U.S. Mail. Forms that have been faxed or e-mailed will not be accepted for consideration.

A non-refundable application fee is required:

$50.00 for filming and $25.00 for all other activities.

Additional administrative, location and/or cost recovery fees may also be charged.

Film Permits are provided on an individual basis. On May 15, 2006 the National Park Service established procedures and guidelines for the issuing of commercial film and still photography permits in units of the National Park Service. For commercial filming as defined by those guidelines, there is a permit fee.

For more information please call (606) 248-2817.

Did You Know?

Gap Cave

Gap Cave has also been called: King Solomon's Cave, Soldier's Cave, and Cudjo's Cave! The cave was originally referred to as "Gap Cave" because of its proximity to the Gap. When early pioneers saw the cave they knew they were about to cross the mountains into the wilderness of Kentucky.