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Even Smoky Mountains National Park is joining the travel fee craze

Feb 13, 2013 10:55 am

Skift Take

The fact that the park is just now taking its reservations system online highlights the need for innovation at similar landmarks, but real modernization also means new fees to cover new costs.

— Samantha Shankman

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Alex Banakas  / Flickr

A tourist captures the morning sunrise at Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Alex Banakas / Flickr


Changes to the backcountry reservation and permitting process for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park take effect on Wednesday.

According to park officials, backcountry users will no longer be required to call the backcountry office to obtain reservations. They can be made online any time up to 30 days in advance. Permits also can be obtained online. The website is www.smokiespermits.nps.gov.

The park also will begin requiring a $4 per person, per night fee for backcountry camping.

Money collected from the fee will be used to expand the backcountry office hours and hire additional staff to provide trip planning assistance both over the phone and in person.

In addition, the park will expand its backcountry ranger presence to better protect the Smokies’ natural resources.

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