Special Use Permits
Grand Canyon National Park is home to many beautiful landscapes which make it a popular place for weddings and special events. Most special events and activities held in the park require a special use permit, issued only after the National Park Service (NPS) determines that the activity will not cause derogation of the park's resources or values, visitor experiences, or the purpose for which the park was established.
A special use permit is required for activities that provide a benefit to an individual, group, or organization rather than the public at large. These activities require some degree of management from the National Park Service if there is the potential for interference with visitor use, congestion of a highly visited area, or possible impact on park resources. Application Form -- Fees
Organized Group Rim-to-Rim and Extended Day Hike/Run
Who is required to obtain a permit: Any organized, non-commercial, group conducting rim-to-rim and extended day hiking and running, including rim-to-river-to-rim, and rim-to-rim-to-rim that are operating in the inner canyon. The inner canyon is defined as the area below the Tonto Platform (Tipoff and Indian Garden) from the South Rim and below Manzanita Resthouse (Pumphouse Residence) from the North Rim.
Groups including, non-profits, schools, church groups, scouts, clubs, and other similar organizations will be required to obtain an SUP for their activity. Any group, regardless of size, which has advertised to the general public, required individuals to sign up prior to participation, or that has an organizer who has been compensated for their services (including subsidized participation in the activity), are required to operate under an SUP.
Non-profit organizations are prohibited from deriving taxable income under this permit. Any individual who has been compensated, including subsidized participation, must prove 501(c)(3) status. You may call the Permit Coordinator to determine if a special use permit is needed for your activity.
Commercial operations are not authorized under an SUP.
What will be required with the SUP?
Additional conditions and further details of these requirements will be outlined in the SUP.The NPS is currently preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Backcountry Management Plan. Organized, non-commercial, rim-to-rim and extended day hiking and running are among topics that will be addressed in the plan. The park expects to release a draft plan this fall for public review and comment. SUPs will be issued for rim-to-rim and extended day hiking and running to protect park resources and public interest until the plan is completed.
Application Form ___ Fees
Grand Canyon's inspiring viewpoints and natural settings are ideally suited for small, informal weddings. All weddings, regardless of size, require an approved wedding permit issued by the National Park Service. Weddings may be scheduled up to one year in advance.
Please review the Wedding Information Brochure for a list of ceremony sites in Grand Canyon National Park and indicate the specific location on the application.
The National Park Service offers a site on the South Rim of Grand Canyon for reservation by groups wishing to host a wedding, celebrate a birthday, conduct a memorial service, hold a family reunion, or any similar non-commercial event.
Shrine of Ages
Located just west of Park Headquarters, the Shrine of the Ages is an National Park Service facility that is used for a variety of events. The Shrine features an auditorium with seating for 250 and a smaller, multipurpose room which seats up to 60 people.
First Amendment Activities
Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are constitutional rights. However, the courts have recognized that activities associated with the exercise of these rights may be reasonably regulated to protect park resources. The necessity of a permit to conduct First Amendment activities is determined by the group size.
a. wants to hold a demonstration or distribute and/or sell printed matter somewhere outside a designated First Amendment area.
A large group is defined as “more than 25 people” and is required to obtain a First Amendment Permit even if they are utilizing a park designated First Amendment site.
There are no permit fees associated with First Amendment permits. Application form
Scattering of Cremation Ashes
Please download the Scattering of Cremation Ashes Letter in order to scatter ashes from human cremains in Grand Canyon. There are specific rules and conditions outlined in the letter that are required of all ash scattering requests. There is no fee for the scattering of ashes.
The Application Process
Special Use Permit Application (67kb pdf file)
Please send completed applications with the non-refundable permit fee to:
Grand Canyon National Park
After favorable review of your application, a Special Use Permit will be prepared and mailed to you for signature. Upon receipt, you will need to review, sign and return the permit to our office for final approval. After the permit is approved we will send you an authorized copy. The approved permit must be in your possession at the time of your wedding or event.
Most applications require a minimum of 4 weeks to fully process.
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Special Use Permit Fees
Permit Fees non-refundable and are based on an annual cost recovery analysis conducted by the Concessions Management Office. These fees include the cost of permit processing, administration and the basic monitoring of events. Larger events or other special uses that require additional management will incur higher fees.
Payment can be made by cashier’s check, money order or credit card (which is the preferred method). Credit card information must include the name on the card, card number, expiry date, security code, and billing address that is associated with the card.
For more information about Special Use Permits;