Congaree National Park does not charge entrance fees.
A Scientific Research and Collecting Permit is required for most scientific activities pertaining to natural resources or social science studies in National Park System areas that involve fieldwork, specimen collection, and/or have the potential to disturb resources or visitors. When permits are required for scientific activities pertaining solely to cultural resources, including archeology, ethnography, history, cultural museum objects, cultural landscapes, and historic and prehistoric structures, other permit procedures apply. The park's Research Coordinator can provide information regarding permit procedures, or answer questions regarding current research at Congaree National Park. For a list of current research needs, please click here.
How to Apply for a Research Permit at Congaree National Park
The National Park Service manages an internet-based system called the Research Permit and Reporting System (RPRS), which provides the following services if you are interested in obtaining permission to conduct a natural resource or social science study in a unit of the National Park System:
To access the NPS Research Permit and Reporting System and learn more about the NPS scientific permit application process, please visit the RPRS website.
All visitors planning to camp at either the Longleaf or Bluff Campgrounds are required to make reservations via Recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. The park does charge the following nominal fees for camping in the park's campgrounds:
(Senior and Access Pass holders receive a 50% discount on the above fees)
Picnic Shelter Reservations
The picnic shelter next to Parking Lot #1 at the Harry Hampton Visitor Center is available for reservations via Recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Groups looking to hold an event can reserve the picnic shelter for either a half day (4 hours) or a full day (8 hours). Those wishing to reserve the shelter for a full day will need to make a reservation for both available time slots on the reservation page. Available time slots are from 9:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m. The following fees are charged for picnic shelter reservations:
If the picnic shelter has not been reserved, it is available for free use to visitors on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Camping in the backcountry is FREE and requires a permit. Those wishing to camp in the backcountry and who would like to request a permit should do so by emailing the park at the link below. Requests should be sent at least 72-hours in advance to guarantee time to process the permit application.
Ranger-guided Canoe tours are offered on a limited basis and may be reserved through Recreation.gov.
Last updated: November 29, 2023