Great Smoky Mountains National Park

March 9, 2012 by staff 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park now has approval from the National Park Service to charge backcountry camping fees.

Park officials plan to take reservations and charge each person $4 per night to use any of more than 80 backcountry campsites and 15 trail shelters. The rustic sites are reachable only by hiking or on horseback. The fees will begin in 2013.

In taking public comment on the proposal, Smokies Superintendent Dale Ditmanson said officials discovered many people wrongly believed the park was prohibited from charging user fees. The park service can’t charge an admission fee to the Smokies, but that relates to a transportation issue, according to The Knoxville News Sentinel (

“The park is prohibited from charging a toll or license fee from motorists crossing park roads, by language in a 1951 deed under which the ownership of some park roads was transferred from the State of Tennessee to the National Park Service,” he said.

There have long been campground fees, charges for weddings and other user charges by the Smokies.

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