NOTE: Each year, the Secretary of Interior announces "Fee Free Days" in all national parks. During these days, entrance fees are waived in national park areas. On fee free dates, special use permits, commercial use permits and filming permits will not be authorized.
The Fee Free Dates for 2020 are: January 20, April 18, August 25, September 26, and November 11. Please contact the park Special Use coordinator at 970-858-3617, ext. 300 with any questions.
Special events are activities, such as weddings, memorial services, pageants, spectator attractions, entertainment, ceremonies, automobile/motorcycle club rallies, organized tours or rides, group camps or rendezvous, which fall under the category of privileges. Special events differ from public assemblies and public meetings in that the latter activities are rights protected by the First Amendment.
The authority for the management of special events in a national park site can be found in Title 16, U.S. Code and Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, 2.50.
2006 National Park Service Management Policies and Director's Order 53 Special Park Uses provide policy guidance for management of special event activities.
The following guidelines are established by the 2006 National Park Service Management Policies as they relate to special event activities within this unit of the National Park Service.
A special park use is a short-term activity that takes place in a park area and that:
· Provides a benefit to an individual, group or organization rather than the public at large, as such, these uses are subject to cost-recovery;
· Requires written authorization and some degree of management control from the NPS in order to protect park resources and the public interest;
· Is not prohibited by law or regulation;
· Is not initiated, sponsored, or conducted by the NPS;
· Is not managed under a concession contract.
Special use permits for special events will not be issued if, in the opinion of the Superintendent, the special event will:
· Cause injury or damage to park resources.
· Be contrary to the purposes for which the park was established, or unreasonably impair the atmosphere of peace and tranquility maintained in wilderness, natural or cultural locations within the monument.
· Unreasonably interfere with the interpretive, visitor services, or other program activities, or with administrative activities.
· Substantially impair the operation of public facilities or services of NPS concessionaire or contractors.
· Present a clear and present danger to public health and safety.
· Result in significant conflict with other existing uses.
All applications will be handled in the order they are received. Standard requests can be processed in 10 business days. Requests that involve multiple locations, complex logistics, and coordination with other NPS divisions or visitor activities may require a minimum of four weeks to process. A minimum of four weeks is also required to process permits for projects that need additional environmental compliance.
Since permit approvals are contingent upon the 1916 law creating the National Park Service as well as a specific park unit's enabling legislation, not all permit applications are able to be approved. In that case, one may wish to consider other public lands with different purposes and missions.
Application fees vary depending on the type of permit issued. Additional processing fees will be charged if permit is approved.
For questions or additional information, please contact the Special Park Use Coordinator at (970) 858-3617, ext. 300.
Special Use / Event Permits
Last updated: November 15, 2019