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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.

2021 COVID-19 Guidance for Road Based Tour Operators:

Changes since 2020

  • Entrance fees for Transportation, Guided Hiking, Photo and Art Workshops CUAs are $15 per person and reflect the per person entrance fee increase effective June 1, 2018. Tour CUAs remain a flat fee based on vehicle capacity at this time. The National Park Service standard Tour CUA may be released in 2020, which may impact commercial fees. Read more in the FAQ section below.
  • Photography workshops are not allowed to use any artifical lighting, including low-level lighting.
  • New Commercial Use Authorization conditions are in effect for 2020. Review all conditions carefully.
  • For questions or comments, call 435-719-2123 or email us.

Authorized Services

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

Road-based Commercial Tours

Non-road-based Commercial Activities

  • Guided Interpretive Day Hikes
    Conditions [367k, accessible PDF]
  • Still Photography and Art Instruction
    Conditions [313k, accessible PDF]

How much does a CUA cost?

The annual fee is $300 per CUA for each national park area listed in the application. Payment must be processed through

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.


Do CUA holders have to pay an entrance fee?

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

Tour 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 + $10 per person, not to exceed $40
  • Vehicle capacity of 7 to 25: $40
  • Vehicle capacity of 26+: $100

Transportation CUA holders,
Guided Interpretive Day Hike CUA holders,
Still Photography and Art Instruction CUA holders:
Pay the park’s per-person entrance fee for your clients; participants may use valid entrance fee receipts or annual and lifetime passes.

Current entrance fees:

  • $15 per person

How do I apply for a CUA?

Step 1

  • Download and complete the CUA application [261k, 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 fee of $300 for each type of commercial service you are providing in each park you operate in.
  • Applicants will submit payments via only. Do not send checks. To make a payment:
    • Enter "SEUG" in the search window.
    • Payment will be made at: Southeast Utah Group – National Parks Commercial Use Authorization Fees – click on “continue to the form."
    • Do not enter a permit number (not applicable).
    • Enter a total dollar amount of $300 for each commercial service in each park you are applying for.
    • Save your payment confirmation; you will submit this with your application.
    • For more information view payment instructions [731k PDF]

Step 3

Submit the following to the commercial services email address listed in the application document. If you have questions, please call 435-719-2123.

  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.
  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.
  5. Copies of CPR/First cards for guides of non-road-based CUA activities.
    At least one guide in each day-use, non-road based CUA group must have a American Red Cross Standard First Aid Card or its equivalent and a current CPR card in his/her possession while in the park. Copies of those cards must be sent in with your application. Road-based tours do not need to have a guide with first aid or CPR card.

Incomplete packages cannot be processed.


How long does it take to get a CUA?

Please allow 30 working days to process a CUA application. Guided Backpacking CUAs may take up to 60 days to process. We review applications in the order they are received.


What are the reporting requirements?

CUA holders are required to submit an annual report each year. Renewal 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 [322k fillable, accessible PDF]


Frequently Asked Questions

Road-based Tour CUA – The NPS defines road-based commercial tours as one or more persons traveling by vehicle on an improved roadway: on an itinerary that someone has packaged and sold for leisure/recreation purposes and provides no other services except those that are incidental to road-based travel in an area unit of the NPS (on-board interpretation and incidental stops at visitor centers, restaurants, wayside exhibits, etc).

Road-based Transportation CUA - Road-based commercial transportation is controlled by the client and there is no packaged itinerary or tour associated with the CUA. This CUA is designed as a drop off service for visitors into and out of the park e.g. taxi services.
Guided Interpretive Day Hikes – The commercial activity authorized by the CUA is in frontcountry and established designated trails within the individual park. No overnight backcountry camping is allowed under this authorization.

Still Photography and Art Instruction Workshops- The commercial activity authorized by the CUA is in the front country and established trails within the designated park. Art refers to visual art with drawing and painting instructions only.
Current Application Cost – all CUA within the Southeast Utah Group (SEUG) cost $300 and are issued on the calendar year from Jan 1 to Dec 31 for that year. $200 of the $300 is refundable if CUA is cancelled prior to the calendar year starting.

New Application Cost starting for the 2020 season – All CUA within SEUG will cost $300 and are issued on the calendar year from Jan 1 to Dec 31 for that year. The entire $300 is a non-refundable application recovery cost.
Current Entrance Fees
Road-based Tours CUA is based on the size of the vehicle for their entrance fee for all SEUG parks.
Vehicle capacity of 1-6 passengers: $25 +$10 per person, not to exceed $40
Vehicle capacity of 7-25 passengers: $40

Vehicles capacity of 26+ passengers: $100

All other CUA holders for Arches and Canyonlands National Parks
$15 per person, participants may use valid entrance fee receipts, annual or lifetime passes.
All other CUA holders for Natural Bridges and Hovenweep National Monument
$10 per person, participants may use valid entrance fee receipts, annual or lifetime passes.

Jan 1, 2020 Entrance Fees Changes, for all SEUG parks
The implementation of standardized road-based commercial tour CUAs and fees are delayed and will not occur starting October 1, 2019. This decision also delays implementaion of increased commercial entrance fees. Visit the National Park Service's Commercial Use Authorization page for updated information.

For more questions, contact the CUA program manager at 435-719-2123.


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. [23k PDF]

Last updated: August 4, 2021

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 907
Moab , UT 84532


435 719-2299

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