The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Officials announced that they are going to charge a fee of $4 per person for camping in the backcountry sites throughout the Park.
The changes will come into effective starting February 13, 2013. The National Park Service has approved the Park’s offer to provide improved customer service for reservations, permits and backcountry trip planning.
The reservation and permit system is park-specific and allows backcountry users to access the system 24/7 where Internet access is available. With the new system reservations can be made at any time up to 30 days in advance, providing utmost flexibility for those making last minute plans. Visitors can also obtain reservations and permits during daytime hours from the Backcountry Office located at Sugarlands Visitor Center.
The fees from the new reservation system enables the Backcountry Office with additional staff and extended office hours to provide trip planning assistance in person and by phone. It also expands the Backcountry Ranger existence to better protect visitors and the resources of food-storage, and improves visitor education.