Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a special place for many people. Individuals, families, and friends may wish to scatter the ashes of a deceased loved one inside the park. There are no fees connected with scattering cremains but it is necessary to obtain permission pursuant to 36 CFR 2.62(b). This "Letter of Permission" serves as that permission. All that is required is for the person on site scattering the ashes to be in possession of the letter and that they adhere to the guidelines within. No additional contact with the park is necessary unless more than twenty five people plan to be in attendance. For those pre-planning a service, please place a copy of the letter with planning documents.
The scattering of cremated human remains should be planned as a small private affair, held away from high visitor use areas. Spreading ashes should be exercised with discretion as it is generally a very private moment and care should be given not to disturb other park users. We suggest early in the morning as a good time of day for your memorial as the afternoons are usually more crowded and afford less privacy and solitude.
If more than twenty five people will be in attendance, an additional special park use permit will be required. Please send an email to the Special Use Permit office at grsm_special_use_permits@nps.
Last updated: December 12, 2022