A Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) is a permit provided by Death Valley National Park’s Office of Special Park Uses for suitable commercial services for park visitors within the boundaries of the park. A suitable commercial service must meet three conditions: the services (a) will have minimal impact on the park area’s resources and values; (b) are consistent with the purposes for which the park area was established; and (c) are consistent with all applicable park area management plans, policies and regulations.
Death Valley National Park (1) activities and (2) transportation that needs a CUA:
- Activity CUA Types and their assocaited Rules and Regulations (in PDF form):
- Photography & Arts Workshops
- Guided Hiking Tours
- Horse & Pack Animal Trips
- Backcountry Camping
- Frontcountry Camping
- Bicycle Trip & Aid Stations - New in 2016, chose aid stations from list
- Step-On Guide - New in 2014 this permit allows the Holder to conduct tour guiding services for bus companies and private individuals or organizations. This activity will most often take place on a Commercial Bus Tour but the guide will not be the driver of the bus.
- Guided Motor Vehicle Tours - New in 2016, replaces 4x4 and motorcycle tours
- Commercial Bus Tours - A Commercial Bus Tour is defined as a transportation tour that "consists of one or more persons traveling on an itinerary that has been packaged, priced, or sold for leisure/recreational purposes by an organization that realizes financial gain through the provision of this service." The Commercial Bus permit holder owns the vehicle used for this purpose.
Applications for Commercial Use Authorizations are currently being accepted. Download the items listed below and use the Application Checklist to create a complete application package.
The following items should be included in a complete application package:
- Application Form & Instructions
- Proof of Payment or check for $210 application processing fee
- Commercial Operating Plan or Special Use Operating Plan
- Certificate of General Liability Insurance *
- * Certificate of insurance must list the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA as additional insured. General Liability coverage must be for a minimum of $1,000,000 USD and the certificate must be written in English.
- First Aid / CPR, Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness First Aid Certificate **
- ** First aid / CPR, wilderness first responder or wilderness first aid certificates depend on the type of activity you are doing and where it is takes place. See the conditions for each type of activity in the links above.
- Leave No Trace & Mission Statement (LNT)
- Trip Leader Addendum ***
- *** Each trip leader must have an addendum in their name attached to the umbrella permit. When submitting an addendum to us for signature it must be accompanied by the applicable medical certifications and signed LNT for each trip leader.The addendum must be fully executed and the process generally takes one to two weeks.
- Year end-Report ****
- **** Previous year CUA holders are required to submit a Year end-Report which is due when all trips have been completed but no later than January 15, of the following year. Gross receipts must be reported accurately. Reports can be returned with the application package.
- NPS Acknowledgement of Risk form *****
- ***** No acknowledgement of risk form is required by the National Park, HOWEVER, you may NOT use any waiver of liability when providing services to visitors in Death Valley. This form is provided for your use should you choose to have your clients sign it. It has been prepared by our legal team and the language cannot be altered or deleted, you may only fill in the blanks with the appropriate information regarding your activity.
Supplemental Activity Report If you add activities during the calendar year submit this form to the Office of Special Park Use at least 7 days prior to your visit.
It is our preference that you send this package via e-mail to e-mail us. If you are not able to do that you can mail your application to the address below but the processing of your application may require more time. Your application will be processed in the order it was received. Plan on at least 60 days for processing of a complete application package.
Office of Special Park Use
Death Valley National Park
PO Box 579
Death Valley, CA 92328
760-786-3241 or 760-786-3236