• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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  • Spring Road Status

    During spring, park roads may close due to ice, especially at high elevation where wet roads can freeze as temperatures drop at night. For road status information call (865) 436-1200 ext. 631 or follow updates at http://twitter.com/SmokiesRoadsNPS. More »

Doing Business With The Park


Several concessioners provide commercial services for visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Services provided by concessioners are those that have been determined to be necessary and appropriate for public use and enjoyment of the park. Services provided by concessioners in the park include horseback riding, carriage rides, hayrides, bicycle rental, campground convenience items, and backcountry food and lodging.

Click for a list of concessioners operating in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This file includes a map of concession locations in the park.

Concessioners operate under concession contracts that are awarded periodically through a competitive selection process. The opportunity to compete for award of a concession contract is published in a prospectus that is available to the public. Click to go to the National Park Service prospectus website.

Commercial Use Authorization

Public Law 105-391, Section 418, which was signed in 1998, provides for the issuance of Commercial Use Authorizations (CUA) to a private person, corporation, or other entity to provide certain commercial services for park area visitors. Commercial activities are generally prohibited in national parks unless authorized by a CUA or concession contract. Prior to 2006, an Incidental Business Permit was used to authorize the type of activities that are now authorized under a CUA.

What types of activities are authorized in Great Smoky Mountains National Park under a CUA?

• Hiking and backpacking guide services
• Fishing guide services
• Photography guide services and workshops
• Certain commercial wedding activities
• Hiker shuttle services
• Guided tours
• Emergency road service and towing

Click on a link below to for additional information and application forms:

Guides, workshops, hikers shuttle services, guide tours
Commercial wedding activities
Emergency road service and towing

Click on a link below for a list of businesses authorized under a CUA:

Commercial Use Authorizations listed by type of service
Commercial Use Authorizations listed alphabetically
Commercial Use Authorizations for wedding services

Did You Know?

Great Horned Owls can be heard most often in January and February

More than 240 species of birds have been found in the park. Sixty species are year-round residents. Nearly 120 species breed in the park, including 52 species from the neo-tropics. Many other species use the park as an important stopover and foraging area during their semiannual migration. More...