Commercial Filming and Photography

Commercial Filming & Photography Information

Commercial filming is defined as digital or film recording of a visual image or sound recording by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience, such as for a documentary, television or feature film, advertisement, or similar project. Professionals profiting from images and film collected from Cedar Breaks National Monument must apply for a Commercial Film/Photography permit at least three weeks in advance of filming or videotaping in the park.

How to Apply for a Commercial Filming/Photography - Special Use Permit (SUP)

Step 1: Download and fill out the appropriate form for your film/photography activity.

Step 2: Pay the fee applicable to your application Electronically through Zion National Parks account. (Processing fees begin at $150.00. Details are found within the application paperwork.)
Step 3: e-mail us the completed application form.
Step 4: If your request is approved, a permit containing applicable terms and conditions will be sent you. The permit must be signed by the responsible person and returned to the park for final approval by the Park Superintendent before the permitted activity begins.
Professionals profiting from images and film collected from Cedar Breaks National Monument must apply for a Commercial Film/Photography permit at least three weeks in advance of filming or videotaping in the park.

NOTE: Instructional photography & art workshops require a different application/permit found on the Commercial Use Authorization Page.

Application Fee

A $150 non-refundable application fee is required. This covers the first two hours of time spent on the permit. This may include telephone/ email conversations, site visits, permit conditions, etc.

Administrative Fees

Permits/projects that require more than two hours of administrative time for review, site visits, meetings or processing will be charged at the rate of $50.00 per hour.
Depending upon the complexity and scope of the project, a performance bond may be required to ensure that the area used is returned to the same state as prior to filming activities. The performance bond may also be used to deduct additional costs associated with the permit that may include, though not be limited to: additional administrative costs not associated with application fee, monitoring costs, maintenance of area post-filming/ production; and mitigation of natural and/or cultural resource damage. See FEES for possible costs.

Do You Need a Permit for Photography?

The decision to require a permit for still photography activities in a park is based on the activity itself as opposed to the eventual use of the image. Generally, permits are not required for still photography activities unless:
  • The activity takes place at location( s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or
  • The activity uses model(s), set(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the location's natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities; or
  • The park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.

If none of these conditions exist, a permit is not required. We request that you contact us anyway so that we are aware of your activities and can provide you with information.

Reasons for Denial of a Permit:

Congress expressed the importance of resource protection and provided that the
permit request should be denied if:
  • There is the likelihood that resource damage would occur that cannot be mitigated or restored under the terms and conditions of a permit;
  • There is the likelihood of unreasonable disruption of or conflict with the public's use/ enjoyment of the site;
  • There is the likelihood that the activity poses health or safety risks to the public;
  • There is the likelihood that the activity would result in the impairment of park resources or values;
  • The requested activity will violate any other applicable Federal, State, or local law or regulation.


We need to receive the application AND the application fee a MINIMUM of ten business days in advance. Any project that is complex in nature, exceeds 12 cast and/ or crew members, or requests to film in areas off paved or hardened surfaces or off -trail requires a minimum of four weeks. Applications are accepted with less notice; however we cannot guarantee that permits will be reviewed or approved by date requested. Once the application and application fee are received, the proposed project will undergo a compliance review to ensure that natural and cultural resources and/ or visitor experiences will not be unduly impacted. Upon approval from the Superintendent, the permit will be approved. The final permit along with conditions of permit will be sent to the applicant for their signature and a copy returned back to the Special Park Use Office. The applicant can be denied a permit for a variety of reasons.

Location Fees

These fees are based on the number of cast/crew per day. These are NPS standards and are non-negotiable. Location fee for the minimum anticipated days is due two business days prior to filming date. Any additional days will be billed at the end of the filming.
Location Fees for Motion Pictures or Video
  • 1-10 people $50.00/day
  • 11-30 people $150.00/day
  • Over 30 people $250.00/ day
Location Fees for Commercial Still Photography
  • 1-10 people $150.00/day
  • 11-30 people $250.00/day
  • 31-49 people $500.00/ day
  • Over 50 people $750.00/day

Compliance Fees

Compliance review is required for all special use permits. A $250 fee is charged for permits/projects that required additional analysis such as a cast/crew greater than 12 persons; travel off -trail or cross-country; aerial filming/photography; or construction of sets/ stages and use of fire/ explosives.

Nature Films

To address the needs ofvideographers and cinematographers who produce nature films highlighting the wonders of national parks, the following provision is in effect: commercial videographers, cinematographers, or sound recording crews of up to two people with only minimal equipment (i.e., a camera and a tripod) working in areas open to the public are required to obtain a commercial filming permit and are subject to appropriate permit terms and conditions and cost recovery charges but are not subject to location fees.
Filming Locations
  • State Route 148 and State Route 143 road corridors
  • Alpine Pond Trail
  • Spectra Point/Ramparts Overlook Trail
NOTE: Filming requests for areas not listed above are accepted, however a compliance review is required and there is no guarantee that a permit would be approved.

Additional information for filming outside of Cedar Breaks may be found at the Utah Film Commission Website.


Any filming and photography located within the Ashdown Gorge recommended wilderness areas. This encompasses the area below the rim of the amphitheater.

Cancellation or Delays

  • Notification of initial delays or schedule changes for start of activities must be provided to the NPS at least two days in advance.
  • Failure to provide adequate notification will result in a non-refundable minimum charge of $100 for each person scheduled for the activity.
  • Charges may be waived on a case-by case basis in the event of uncontrollable acts of nature such as road closures due to fires, landslides, emergencies and park closures.
  • If rain/weather is an issue, you may want to consider including alternate "Rain Dates" in case weather is a factor for your project.
  • Please keep in mind that you are still required to contact the park-preferably one business day in advance before 2:00pm. Please keep in mind that the weather within the park changes and cannot be predicted.

Last updated: December 27, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Cedar Breaks National Monument: Administrative Office
2390 West Highway 56
Suite #11

Cedar City, UT 84720


(435) 586-9451 x4420

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