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:
You may not conduct commercial activities in the park without a valid CUA or in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the CUA.
Authorized Services and CUA Conditions
Canyonlands National Park authorizes the following commercial services with an approved Commercial Use Authorization (CUA):
Road-Based Commercial Tours
Formerly known as Commercial Tours
Hiking - backcountry
Formerly known as Guided Interpretive Day Hiking
Formerly known as Guided Still Photography and Art Instruction
Services NOT permitted
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:
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.
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.
Submit the following to the commercial services email address listed in the application document. If you have questions, please email: SEUG_CommercialServices@nps.gov
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) (nps.gov)
Southeast Utah Parks Guide Orientation Video
Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
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]
For more questions, contact the CUA program manager: SEUG_CommercialServices@nps.gov
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:
Current entrance fees (per vehicle) based on vehicle size:
Hiking - backcountry, Photography Instruction, Camping - backcountry, Art Instruction, and Transport (non-tour) - road CUA holders:
Current entrance fees:
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.
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 6, 2023