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Sequatchie 06-10-2013 10:44 AM

Elkmont Fireflies & Fishing Access
Apologies for this being slightly OT, ( I could not find the firefly forum ;) ) . Has anyone been up to see them glow in the dark critters? I was unable to secure a "pass" as that whole system somewhat aggravates me, and am wondering what will happen if I just show up there wanting to fish and then check out the bugs on the way out? I have read on the GSMNP website and have not really been able to determine what you can and can't do up there right now. It appears as though if I make it up before 5 pm, I will be fine, but again, not certain. Has anyone been up there the last few days? I believe the formal viewing dates are 6/6-6/13. How has the firefly action been? Seems like they sort of peak for a few days and then the show drops off. What about the fishing up the LRT the last few days? Anybody with recent trip reports? Thoughts in general about access during the firefly madness? I just don't want to bust it to get up there by 4:30 or so and discover the road blocked and waste a trip. Thanks folks! Tight lines.

NDuncan 06-10-2013 10:57 AM

wait like a week until after the 'official viewing' time and then backcountry camping higher up.

The idea that they are only in the small area around Elkmont Campground is another of those things the park says to discourage people from seeing them elsewhere and to minimize the impact of the masses. What I have always done to bypass the whole stupid bus line from sugarlands is to just pay $20 for a campsite at Elkmont for the night I wanted to go. (which by the way used to get 2 cars in per campsite) Then we could grill burgers relax, fish whatever until it go dark, then hop in the car and leave without dealing with the lines. It's probably too late to do that now, the campground fills up way in advance. Now I avoid the whole thing altogether.

William 06-10-2013 11:41 AM

I took my wife and brother there last night. The show was great in spite of the rain.

You may be able to drive up there and park by the cabins, but the parking area by the trail was coned off with porta-johns and info tables scattered about.

I would recommend getting there a lot earlier than 5, maybe 2:00 or so.

Also, I wouldn't hike too far up the trail. The area around the cabins is really the prime viewing area, since you can see much deeper into the woods there. We walked up the trail to the area where there is the big rock in the middle and it opens up, then walked back. The farther up we walked, the fewer we saw.

NDuncan 06-10-2013 12:25 PM

They usually will not even let you turn up the road to elkmont unless you have a camping reservation

ChemEAngler 06-10-2013 12:56 PM


Originally Posted by NDuncan (Post 106558)
They usually will not even let you turn up the road to elkmont unless you have a camping reservation

True! And good luck to anybody wanting to get a reservation for Elkmont. I didn't realize it was firefly season and just wanted to take my son camping. Website showed no openings until end of June! :eek:

*UPDATE* - I just checked the site again, and there are openings showing. So, either I did something wrong last time, or the system was down.

Sequatchie 06-10-2013 03:46 PM

I was afraid of them not letting anyone up the road. I am going to try to reserve a campground spot and just use that as access. We shall see. I will let you all know what happens. Thanks for the comments!

Denver1911 06-15-2013 09:02 AM

Been there, done that. It is a pretty neat show if you catch it right. I usually get a campsite, hike up and fish for the day, come back to camp for dinner, then go take in the show around dark. One of my favorite trips.

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