National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Mesa Verde National Park MESA VERDE On June 29, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt established Mesa Verde National Park to “preserve the works of man,” the first national park of its kind. The park administers the preservation of archeological sites and other works and relics of the Ancestral Pueblo people. In 1978 Mesa Verde received international recognition as both a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve.
In order to preserve and protect resources and to assure the enjoyment of those resources by the public, the following guidelines are established by the superintendent of Mesa Verde National Park as they relate to filming and photographic activities within the park.
Generally, permits are not required for:
A request for a filming or photography permit may be denied if:
Filming/Photography Permits are issued for photography, filming, and associated sound recording to ensure protection of resources, to prevent significant disruption of normal visitor uses, or when they involve props, models, professional crews and casts or set dressings. Permits are required for access to areas normally closed to the visiting public.
To apply for a permit, please complete a Mesa Verde National Park filming application form and submit it to the Special Park Use Coordinator allowing sufficient time for evaluation by the park staff before the start date of the proposed activity.
Please remember to enclose a check or money order for $100.00 to cover non-refundable application costs. If the filming application is approved, additional costs may apply. Applications received without the application fee will not be returned or processed.
Requests will be evaluated on the basis of the information in the application. Therefore you are encouraged to attach maps, diagrams, script pages or storyboards to assist park staff in evaluating your request. (Since the National Park Service cannot censor content, submission of script and storyboards is voluntary.)
Applications are handled in the order they are received. Priority will not be given to urgent requests nor will the park reply by express mail. Simple requests are usually processed within two weeks. Requests that involve multiple locations, complex logistics, coordination with other NPS divisions or visitor activities will require a minimum of four weeks to process. A minimum of four weeks is also required to process permits for projects that need additional environmental compliance.
All costs of evaluating the request will be billed to the applicant, whether a permit is issued or not. In compliance with the requirements of the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, the applicant must submit their social security number or Federal tax ID number when filling out the application for permit. Applications will not be processed if submitted incomplete or are received without payment.
Please read the Filming Guidelines prior to completing your application.
Did You Know?
Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde National Park. It has 150 rooms, plus an additional 75 open areas. Twenty-one of the rooms are kivas, and 25 to 30 rooms have residential features. The number of Ancestral Puebloans living in Cliff Palace at any one time was 100 to 120.