KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Parking at Laurel Falls, Clingmans Dome and other popular locations within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park can fill up quickly. Local shuttle services can help visitors access many park destinations without worries about limited parking.
Several local businesses will provide shuttle services to locations where visitor demand often exceeds parking capacity according to a release from the park.
“We are committed to developing innovative solutions to improve visitor access and experience while protecting this national treasure,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “Having a shuttle option is a stress-free way for visitors to experience some of the park’s most iconic destinations.”
The shuttles will pick up and drop off at Alum Cave Trail, Laurel Falls Trail, Chimney Tops Trail, Trillium Gap Trail (Grotto Falls), Rainbow Falls Trail, and Clingmans Dome. To book a ride, visitors are asked to contact the shuttle providers directly. There are six companies offering shuttle services.
- AAA Hiker Shuttle – 865-322-0691
- A Walk in the Woods – 865-436-8283
- Bryson City Outdoors – 828-342-6444
- Great Smoky Mountains Eco Tours – 865-900-5979
- RockyTop Tours – 865-429-8687
- Smoky Mountain Rides – 865-562-2833
The routes, schedules and rates vary from provider to provider. Prices range from around $17 to $40 depending on the number of people and the distance traveled.
Park officials add that visitors who do not utilize a shuttle should come prepared with an alternative destination in case parking is not available at the desired location. They add that cooler times of the year, mid-week, and early mornings or late afternoons are the best times to find parking.
In addition, visitors to the park are required a parking tag for vehicles parked for longer than 15 minutes. To learn more about parking tags, click here.
The shuttles are one of many ways in which park officials are working to protect the park for future use, keep visitors safe and eliminate unsafe parking practices.