Special Use Permits are required to hold events including weddings or commercial filming. Research Permits are required to conduct scientific research or surveys. On this page you will find information to determine the type of permit you need, as well as links to required forms.
Special Use Permits must be acquired before holding any event (such as a wedding) or for commercial filming in the national park or preserve. For questions or for more information, email or call the Chief Ranger at 719-378-6321.
Please download the appropriate application below (General Special Use Permit Application or Commercial Filming Permit Application), complete all sections, and mail with any required fees to:
General Special Use Permit Application (for weddings and other special events; .doc file, 31KB)
There are a number of locations that may be used for weddings, including locations along the edge of the dunes, the picnic areas, and the Amphitheater. View images of potential wedding locations:
Amphitheater View #1 (2013 photo)
Amphitheater View #2, Wide Angle View (2013 photo)
Amphitheater at Night (2013 photo)
Edge of Dunes (2009 wedding photo at Castle Creek Picnic Area, 4WD access along Medano Pass Primitive Road).
Please read the Guidelines for Commercial Filming (.pdf file, 60KB). Please note that commercial filming, except for certain educational purposes, is not permitted within designated wilderness areas, including the main dunefield of Great Sand Dunes. The main dunefield may be used as a backdrop. Some commercial filmers use the Escape Dunes area, near the main dunefield, for commercial filming. These small dunes provide a dune foreground, while the main dunefield is highly visible behind them. See these photos of the Escape Dunes:
Commercial Filming Permit Application (.doc file, 57 kb)
Permits for Research
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve encourages scientific research by academic, agency, and independent research scientists.
Priority for a research permit is given to research proposals that focus on those resources that are most pertinent to the Great Sand Dunes system: hydrology, geology, archeology (historic and prehistoric), and biological elements that are endemic to Great Sand Dunes, or elements whose natural histories are strongly influenced by the sand dunes system.
How to Obtain a Research and Collection Permit for Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Please read the complete Guidelines for Obtaining a Research and Collection Permit (pdf file, 120kb, updated November 2013).
Did You Know?
In average to wet years, Medano Creek is a popular beach environment at Great Sand Dunes. When creek flow is high, some children even raft the shallow waters. More...