Scatter Cremated Ashes


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.

Requests for scattering ashes require permission pursuant to 36 CFR 2.62(b). No fees are connected with scattering cremated remains, but requestors must be in possession of this Letter of Permission while on site. 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 its guidelines. No additional contact with the park is necessary unless more than 25 people plan to be in attendance; larger gatherings require a Special Use Permit.

Please email the Special Use Permit office to obtain further information. 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 and 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 for your memorial as the afternoons are usually more crowded and afford less privacy and solitude.

The NPS allows burial of individuals who can trace their direct lineage to a family member within three generations (e.g. grandmother, great-grandfather), as long as space permits. Learn more about burials in the park.

Last updated: June 28, 2024

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Gatlinburg, TN 37738



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