• American Camp parade ground looking west

    San Juan Island

    National Historical Park Washington

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  • English Camp Visitor Contact Station on Winter Schedule

    The English Camp visitor contact station in the Royal Marine Barracks is closed for the season, starting September 2. Grounds are open daily from dawn to 11 p.m.

  • American Camp Visitor Center on Winter Schedule

    The American Camp visitor center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from September 2 to June 6, 2015. Grounds remain open daily from dawn to 11 p.m. Telephone 360-378-2240, ext. 2227 or 2226 for information. More »


South Beach trail
Mike Vouri Photo

Special Use Permits

The Special Use Permit (SUP) authorizes activities that benefit an individual, group or organization, rather than the public at large; and that require written authorization and management control in order to protect park resources and the public interest.

A SUP is required for any organized activity or event involving more than 20 people. Group size is limited to 75 people. This limit is based on limited parking and facilities, potential conflict with other visitor activities, and impacts to natural and cultural resources.

Types of permitted activities include:

  • Weddings
  • Picnics
  • Scattering of ashes
  • First Amendment activities
  • Horseback riding
  • Commercial Filming/Photography


Learn more about special use permits

Specific information for horse riders

American Camp Horse Riding Map

English Camp Horse Riding Map


Learn more about commercial/film and photo special use permit (PDF)

Applications for Special Use Permits must be received by the park no less than two weeks prior to your proposed activity date. The only exception to this is for First Amendment activities; please allow two days for these permits if possible

There is no application fee for permits for non-commercial activities.

Administrative Officer, San Juan Island National Historical Park
PO Box 429
Friday Harbor, WA 98250
(360) 378-2240, ext. 2221, FAX: (360) 378-2615

Commercial Use Authorizations

Businesses desiring to conduct visitor service related operations within the park must obtain a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA). The CUA is a tool to manage commercial activities to insure that they do not impair park resources and to provide for quality visitor services.

The process of granting a CUA also ensures that the activity is necessary and appropriate in a National Park setting and specific to this park. Thus, certain commercial activities such as off-road motorcycle tours and food concessions would not be authorized. At San Juan Island National Historical Park only CUAs for road, hiking and limited kayak and bicycling tours are offered at this time.

Businesses operating inside the park without a CUA are subject to fines, mandatory court appearances, confiscation of equipment, and denial of future opportunities to operate in this or any other National Park.

Note: As indicated above, a Special Use Permit is required for commercial filming/photography rather than a Commercial Use Authorization.

Application packets may be requested from the park Administrative Officer. Completed applications must be received by the park no less than 30 days prior to the date you wish to begin operating in the park.

An application fee of $100 must be included with the submitted application. If the application is approved, additional charges will apply.

Administrative Officer, San Juan Island National Historical Park
P.O. Box 429, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
Phone: 360-378-2240 ext. 2221, Fax: 360-378-2615

Scientific/Research Permits

A permit must be obtained before conducting any research within the park. An online application process is administered nationally, but you should also contact the park regarding your proposed research.


Please allow 30 days for review and processing.

Chief of Integrated Resources, San Juan Island National Historical Park
P.O. Box 429, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
Phone: 360-378-2240 ext. 2224, Fax: 360-378-2615

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

James Alden, commander of the USCS Steamer Active, carried dispatches during the Pig War crisis. During the Battle of Mobile Bay he led the Union fleet into the harbor until stalled by Confederate mines. That's when Admiral David G. Farragut shouted "Damn the torpedoes..."