Commercial Use Authorizations

For questions about CUAs, please call the Permits Office at (970) 858-3617 x332.


Federal regulations prohibit engaging in or soliciting any business in park areas, except in accordance with the provisions of a permit, contract, or other written agreement with the United States. As in other National Park Service areas, commercial visitor services or other commercial activities may be provided only by those holding an authorization from the United States.

A Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) may be obtained from the National Park Service to authorize companies or individuals to conduct business in Colorado National Monument on an annual basis. A CUA provides a group a non-exclusive license to offer services to park visitors.

An organization is considered a business if you provide goods, services, activities, or other things to the public using National Park Service lands. If you receive any form of compensation for the things you provide, you are conducting a business or commercial activity. The National Park Service's definition of a business or commercial organization does not distinguish between commercial and non-profit organizations.

CUA holders have their base of operations outside the park. All of the commercial aspects of the activity must occur outside of National Park Service (NPS) lands. This includes marketing, advertising, use of permanent or temporary structures, and negotiation with customers. Compensation or payment for services may not occur on NPS lands.


Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations 1.6(a) - Permits and 5.3 - Business Operations states: "Engaging in or soliciting any business in park areas, except in accordance with the provisions of a permit, contract, or other written agreement with the United States, except as such may be specifically authorized under special regulations applicable to a park area, is prohibited."

CUA Permit Requirements

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 Site. Colorado National Monument only issues CUA's for activities that:

  • are an appropriate use of national park areas.
  • will have minimal impact on park resources and values.
  • are consistent with the park's purpose, management plans, policies, and regulations.

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.
  • result in monetary gain.

Each activity requires a separate CUA. Currently, the following activities are permitted under Colorado National Monument's CUA program:

  • Climbing/Mountaineering – Day Trips (rock climbing)
  • Outdoors Skills Education – survival, boot camp, NOLS, etc.
  • Bicycle Tours
  • Wildlife Viewing (such as bird watching tours)
  • Photography Instruction
  • Hiking – Backcountry (covers all guided hiking inside the monument)
  • Fitness – Yoga

Road-based tours may operate without a CUA. We are not accepting applications for road-based tours until 2026. Do not apply, and instead contact the Permits Office at 970-858-3617 x332 or email us at to clarify.

If you are unsure which CUA your activity falls under or have a new activity you would like to provide in the monument, do not apply. Contact the Permits Office at 970-858-3617 x332 or email us at

You may not conduct commercial activities in the park without a valid CUA or in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the CUA. You must always carry a copy of your Commercial Use Authorization with you while operating in the park. Show your CUA at the entrance station upon arrival.

All vehicles operating on behalf of the CUA Holder in the park are required to be identified by business name or logo on the exterior of the vehicle, or the CUA office will provide an identifying placard to display on the front dashboard. The placard or exterior identification must be visible at all times. Failure to have identification displayed while guiding may result in a citation.

Application Forms and Further Information

All applications will be handled in the order they are received. Standard requests can be processed in 4 weeks. Requests that involve multiple locations, complex logistics, and coordination with other NPS divisions or visitor activities may require additional time to process.

Colorado National Monument requires the following information in order to complete a CUA application:

  1. The $350 CUA application fee. Application fees will be paid via during the application process.
  2. A completed CUA application. All applications for 2024 and onward will be submitted via the online portal. If needed, watch the NPS video "How to Apply for a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) Permit," which shows how a business can apply for a CUA permit through the online system.
  3. Proof of adequate general liability insurance and automobile insurance. Colorado National Monument needs to be listed on the General Liability Insurance as a co-insurer or an additional insurer. It needs to read as follows:

United States Government
Department of the Interior
National Park Service
Colorado National Monument
1750 Rim Rock Drive Fruita, CO 81521

General comprehensive liability: $500,000 occurrence as a minimum or if the policy is written as a combination policy covering bodily injury and property damage. Climbing guide service will require $1,000,000 per occurrence at a minimum.

Automobile coverage minimum requirements (required for all owned, non-owned, and hired vehicles used by the permitted) including cars, vans, or buses:


Coverage Requirements

Up to 6 passengers


7-15 passengers


16-25 Passengers


26+ Passengers


  1. Annual Reporting Forms are due January 31st for the prior year. For calendar year 2023, please complete this form and email it to For future operating years, annual reports will be submitted through the online portal.
  2. At least one guide must have an American Red Cross or American Heart Association First Aid card, or its equivalent, and a current CPR card in their possession while in the park. A written list of guides with copies of their cards, showing expiration dates, must be sent in with your application. Climbing guide service requires instructor certification.
  3. A current brochure of your rates or your website that has the current information, such as rates, and trip dates. Please include an operating plan and/or itinerary of the specific dates, areas of the park, and number of clients you are planning on using for the guided activities.
  4. If you require an "Acknowledgment of Risk" form to be signed by your clients, please include a copy of the form that you have your clients, guests, and campers sign before participating in the guided activity. Forms cannot be a waiver of liability, insurance disclaimer, or indemnification agreement. Provided is a template form that has already been approved.


The National Park Service is authorized to recover, at a minimum, associated management and administrative costs associated with CUAs.

The annual fee is $350.00 per each CUA and is non-refundable. The CUA fee covers costs of processing and administering your CUA. These include overseeing the operational requirements stipulated in the permit.

The entrance fee per person 16 and older is $15.00 (fifteen) each (not to exceed the matching commercial vehicle fee structure) and will be collected upon entrance to the monument. Entrance fees for guide and driver are waived. If entrance station is not open, fees shall be paid at the visitor center or when exiting. The permit is valid for 7 days for the group present upon purchase. Groups who have previously paid the entrance fee must show proof of prior payment. Any new group(s) needs to purchase a new entry permit, even if brought within the same 7 days.

Market price management fees will be charged to CUA holders based upon a percentage of the gross receipts earned from park-dependent operations. The CUA holder reports park-dependent gross receipts when they submit the mandatory CUA Annual Report (OMB 10-660).

The application fee will be deducted from the percentage of gross receipts to determine the market price management fee. The fee is based upon the following:

Market Price Fee (% of gross receipts earned from in-park or park dependent operations)


3% of gross receipts (minus application fee)

$250,000 to $500,000

4% of gross receipts (minus application fee)


5% of gross receipts (minus application fee)

For example, if your gross receipts for the year were $100,000, and activities in Colorado National Monument represented 20% of that, your gross receipts attributable to activities in the monument would be $20,000. 3% of $20,000 is $600. $600 minus your application fee of $350 is $250, so you would be billed $250.

To apply, please visit the website. For questions about CUAs and the application process, please call the Permit Office at 970-858-3617 x332 or email us at

Last updated: December 6, 2023

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Mailing Address:

1750 Rim Rock Drive
Fruita, CO 81521


970 858-2800

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