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Commercial Use Authorizations

What is a Commercial Use Authorization?

A Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) is a business permit with the National Park Service. It authorizes you to conduct commercial activities and to provide specific visitor services within a national park. We will only issue CUAs for activities that:

You must have a CUA if you or your organization provide services that:

  • take place at least in part in the national park area,
  • use park resources, and
  • result in monetary gain.

You may not conduct commercial activities in the park without a valid CUA or in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the CUA.

COVID-19 CUA Guidance


Authorized Services and CUA Conditions

Arches National Park authorizes the following commercial activities with an approved Commercial Use Authorization (CUA):

A large white bus in a parking area.
Road-based Commercial Tours

Formerly known as Commercial Tours

a group of people walk along the trail in Arches
Hiking - backcountry

Formerly known as Guided Interpretive Day Hiking

silhouette of a photographer at sunset
Photography Instruction

Formerly known as Guided Still Photography and Art Instruction

Three people sit outside while painting
Art Instruction

Formerly known as Guided Still Photography and Art Instruction

A white car with a visible logo sits at a trailhead in the park
Transport (non-tour) - road

Formerly known as Taxi and Trail Shuttle

a red line through a drone graphic

Services NOT permitted

  • Drones

  • Motorcycle tours

  • Delivery or pickup of any out of park rentals, including but not limited to:
    • RV’s, ebikes, bikes, vehicles, camping gear, etc...



How much does a CUA cost?

The application fee is $300 per CUA for each national park area listed in the application. Payment instructions are included on the application.

The National Park Service is authorized to recover, associated management and administrative costs associated with CUAs. The CUA fee covers the costs of processing and administering your application as well as overseeing the operational, safety, and environmental requirements stipulated in the permit.

The new online system includes a standard CUA application fee. National parks using the online system for the 2024 CUA season must charge a minimum of $350 per CUA application. For the 2024 CUA season, Arches National Park will charge a $350 CUA application fee.  

This online system roll-out will impact the following CUAs: 

  • Hiking - backcountry (Formerly known as Guided Interpretive Day Hiking)
  • Photography Instruction (Formerly known as Guided Still Photography and Art Instruction)
  • Art Instruction (Formerly known as Guided Still Photography and Art Instruction)
  • Transport (non-tour) - road (Formerly known as Taxi and Trail Shuttle)

Management Fees: Effective January 1, 2024, SEUG will implement a new fee structure for Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs), consistent with the service wide effort to adopt a market price system to recover the costs associated with managing this growing program. Management fees are based on a percentage of the gross receipts earned for authorized commercial activities conducted in the park during the operating year.
Management fees will be required for the following CUAs: Hiking - backcountry, Photography Instruction, Art Instruction, and Transport (non-tour) - road.
Management Fees are calculated using the amount reported under Gross Receipts (question 8) on the NPS 10-660 Form. “Gross receipts” represents the total amount of all revenues received from services a CUA holder is permitted to offer within the park.
The percentage of gross receipts for services will be calculated by:

  • Businesses with gross annual receipts of $250,000 or less will pay 3% of their gross receipts.
  • Businesses will pay 4% of gross receipts for amounts between $250,001 to $500,000, this is in addition to the 3% for gross receipts under $250,000 listed above.
  • Businesses will pay 5% of gross receipts for the amount of gross receipts over $500,000.01; this is in addition to the amounts listed above.

The $350 application fee is a mandatory, one-time, non-refundable fee submitted when applying for a CUA. This application fee must be made in the online system when applying. The application fee is credited toward the determined management fee due for each activity during submittal process. 



How do I apply for a CUA?

We will not begin accepting applications for 2024 until December 1, 2023. Applications submitted early will be returned. Please check back for updated application instructions.

Step 1

  • Download and complete the CUA application [715 KB, accessible PDF]
  • You can use one application to request CUA(s) for: Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, and Hovenweep National Monument

Step 2

  • Pay a non-refundable application fee of $300 for each park you operate in. Instructions are included in the application. 

Step 3

Submit the following to the commercial services email address listed in the application document. If you have questions, please email:

  1. Your completed CUA application.
  2. Payment confirmation. Include the confirmation of payment.
  3. A current General Liability Certificate of Insurance documenting adequate General Liability coverage for the type of activity you will be conducting. The minimum coverage for commercial use is $1,000,000. The insurance certificate must name the United States of America as an additional insured as well as specify that the service authorized by the permit is covered by the insurance policy. Proof of insurance must include insurance provider rating or be provided in a separate document. 
  4. Current Automobile liability insurance that complies with the minimum coverage required by Utah state law. The insurance certificate must name the United States Government as additional insured. See CUA conditions listed above for minimums. Proof of insurance must include insurance provider rating or be provided in a separate document. 
  5. Annual report(s) for previous year. CUA applications cannot be processed until your annual report is received. Download Form 10-660 - CUA Annual Report [245k, accessible PDF]

Incomplete packages cannot be processed.

Beginning December 1, 2023 you may use the following link to apply for a CUA using the new online system: Applying for a CUA - Commercial Use Authorizations (U.S. National Park Service) (

All required documents and payments need to be submitted through this online system. 


Southeast Utah Parks Guide Orientation Video

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6 minutes, 15 seconds

Millions of visitors come to the Southeast Utah Parks each year and seek out knowledgeable guides to aid them in their experience. As a commercial guide, it is your responsibility to keep the members of your group safe while also providing a worthwhile experience. Please ensure all tour guides watch this video before taking guests into the park.


Sample Acknowledgement of Risk Form

CUA holders may not require clients to sign a waiver of liability statement or form, insurance disclaimer and/or indemnification agreement. They may request or require clients to sign an acknowledgement of risk statement or form prior to participation. You can download a sample. [178k Accessible PDF]


CUA Suspension, Revocation, or Denial

CUA holders and their employees are required to meet the conditions of the CUA while operating within Southeast Utah Group parks. Failure to meet these conditions may result in CUA suspension, restriction, revocation or application denial. Review the Southeast Utah Group Commercial Use Authorization Revocation Policy.



Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Fees depend on the type of service you offer.

Road-Based Commercial Tours CUA holders:
Pay the commercial tour entrance fee each time you enter the park. Annual and lifetime passes do not apply.

Current entrance fees (per vehicle) based on vehicle size:

  • Vehicle capacity of 1 to 6 passengers: $25 + $15 per person, not to exceed $40
  • Vehicle capacity of 7 to 25: $40
  • Vehicle capacity of 26+: $100

Hiking - backcountry, Photography Instruction, Art Instruction, and Transport (non-tour) - road CUA holders:
Pay the park’s per-person entrance fee for your clients; participants may use valid annual or lifetime passes.

Current entrance fees:

  • $15 per person

Please allow 30 working days to process a CUA application We review applications in the order they are received. 

CUA holders are required to submit an annual report each year. CUA applications cannot be processed until your annual report is received. It is strongly encouraged to file the report as early as possible. The report is due at the end of your operating season, with a deadline of January 31. 

The report provides the park with visitation statistics, reportable injury data, and a record of annual gross receipts. Please complete an annual report for each park your business operated in. 

Download Form 10-660 - CUA Annual Report [245k, accessible PDF] 

Last updated: December 12, 2023

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