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

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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  • Trail Advisory

    Several trails in the park are temporarily closed. Please check the "Backcountry Facilities" section of the Temporary Road and Facilities Closures page for further details. More »

Permits

A vase of flowers decorates the window sill in the Little Cataloochee Church.

Applications for permits to hold special events such as weddings can be downloaded from this page.

Don McGowan Photo

Wedding and Special Event Permits
Weddings and other special events such as church services require a Special Use Permit from the park and must follow specific guidelines. Completed applications for Special Use Permits for weddings and other special events, along with a non-refundable $50 application fee, must be received by the park no less than 14 days prior to the start of the event. Please download the cover letter, guidelines and application files below.

Wedding Application Documents:
Guidelines
Application

Church Service Application Documents:
Guidelines
Application

A Special Use Permit is also required for certain activities such as political events, public assemblies, demonstrations, the distribution of literature, and other activities commonly referred to as "First Amendment" activities.

For more information about Special Use Permits or to determine if your activity requires one, please call (828) 497-1930 or email the park with the subject line "Attn: Special Use Permits."

The Appalachian Clubhouse and Spence Cabin, rustic, historic buildings located in the heart of the park, are available for day-use rental for receptions and special events.


Commercial Filming and Still Photography Permits
All commercial film production requires a permit. Commercial still photography requires a permit in certain instances. Visitors taking photos or filming for their personal use do not need a permit. Please read Filming Guidlines, Requirements, and Fees before submitting a Filming Permit Application.


Permit to Scatter Cremated Ashes
Please e-mail or contact (865) 436-1207 to obtain a permit to scatter cremains in the park. Most permits are issued after someone has been cremated but we can also issue a permit while someone is still alive for later use by an executor.


Backcountry Camping Permits
Advanced reservations are required for all backcountry camping in the park. For additional information please see backcountry camping.

 
Permit for Scientific Research and Collecting
Please visit the National Park Service's Research Permit and Reporting website for information regarding scientific research permits. If you have specific questions pertaining to research projects in the Smokies, please e-mail or call (828) 926-6251, or visit the pages of the Applachian Highlands Science Learning Center.

 

Cave Exploration Permit
Entry into caves or mine shafts in the national park is prohibited. No Cave Exploration Permits are being issued at this time. Caves are closed to entry due to the recommendations by the US Fish and Wildlife Service concerning white nose syndrome in bats. Additional information about this closure

Did You Know?

Eastern Pipistrelle bat

A nursing female bat can eat her weight in mosquito-sized insects each night. More...