Fort Vancouver Picnic Shelter

shelter 1
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Picnic Shelter



This lovely covered structure is ideal for potlucks, picnics, and various events ideal. The venue is just the thing for family gatherings and is located right next to the Visitor Center. It has easy access to the restrooms and a playground just south of the structure. The Picnic Shelter is covered and holds approximately 150 people.

The Picnic Shelter is available during operating hours for all picnickers to enjoy; for exclusive occupancy, a permit is required.

After reading the information below, please visit our Permit Application Process page or call the Visitor Center at (360) 816-6241 for a permit application.


Venue Specific Information


Picnic Shelter at the Visitor Center, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, 1501 East Evergreen Blvd. Vancouver, WA 98661

(Just south of Officers Row, approximately two hundred yards east of the Bandstand).


The Picnic Shelter holds a maximum of 150 people. It has 8 picnic tables that can seat 48 people comfortably.


The venue is wheelchair and stroller accessible. Accessible restrooms are available at the Visitor Center.


The Picnic Shelter has 8 picnic tables that can seat 48 people comfortably. Additional picnic tables are located outside the building. Electricity is available. The structure is not heated and can be cold during inclement weather. It is available on an as-is basis; no additional equipment is provided. A children’s play structure is located directly south of the Picnic Shelter.


There are 40 parking spaces available for use in the Visitor Center parking area. Parking on designated public parking areas of East Evergreen Blvd. and Fifth Street are available as well; however street parking may also be used by the public and cannot be guaranteed. No parking is permitted on any grassy area adjacent to the Picnic Shelter.

Reservation Information

To apply for a permit to reserve the Picnic Shelter for your activity, please complete an application form and return it to the park, along with a $100 application fee (see below). This form can be picked up in person at the visitor information desk at Pearson Air Museum, the Visitor Center, or the reconstructed stockade, or you can download it here. It can be submitted to the park at these places, mailed to the park at the address listed on the form, or emailed to us.

Reservations for the exclusive use of the Picnic Shelter can be made up to six months in advance.

Each reservation allows a four-hour block of time (including all setup, breakdown, and clean up). To streamline scheduling, the park has established three four-hour blocks of time listed below, but other hours may also be available. Multiple four-hour blocks may also be reserved.

  • Morning (9:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m.)
  • Afternoon (1:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m.)
  • After Hours (5:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m.)

Application Fee

A $100 application processing fee is due with the application. This fee is nonrefundable, and may be paid by check (made payable to National Park Service) or cashiers check only. Payment of the Application Fee does not guarantee that the National Park Service will issue a permit.

Please note that complex applications and proposed activities may require more extensive review; in these cases, a permittee may be charged an additional application fee.

Management Costs

Management costs are costs that may be incurred by the park through expanding park hours of operation, monitoring, supporting, cleaning up, or restoring a resource after event use. They are recovered at a rate of $50/hour per employee.

General Guidelines

Your Special Use Permit does not grant exclusive access to the grounds surrounding the Picnic Shelter, including the children’s play structure. For increased privacy, it is recommended that you schedule your event early or after hours.

Due to the archaeological significance of the site, ground disturbance, including the use of stakes is prohibited.

To protect parklands and wildlife, the releasing of balloons, doves or butterflies and throwing of rice, birdseed, flower petals or other natural or artificial material is prohibited.

Due to the natural terrain of the area, set ups such as chairs, carpet runners, arches, trellises, podiums, organs/pianos, loud music instruments or related items are not allowed. Flowers are permitted as long as they arrive and depart with the permittee. Please discuss your decorating plans with park staff and consider using the existing landscape as your backdrop.

Barbecuing is allowed on concrete portions around the exterior of the Picnic Shelter, but prohibited on grass or walkways. Disposal of coals is the responsibility of the permittee. All coals must be removed from the park within the permitted reservation time.

Torches, fires and other sources of open flame are prohibited. Candles are allowed.

Music, both amplified and unamplified (acoustic), may be permitted upon request, and must be managed at a level not to exceed 85 dB measured at the perimeter of the event.

Free standing directional signs related to the event are permitted and are to be removed immediately after the event. Affixing directional signage to government property is prohibited. Any posted signs will be immediately removed. Please coordinate with park staff on the placement of event signs.

Inflatable play structures, including but not limited to bounce houses and slides, are prohibited. The park has a permanent children’s play structure adjacent to the Visitor Center to facilitate such needs.

Transportation vehicles, including but not limited to horse-drawn and electric carts, are prohibited outside of paved roadways.

The sale of all merchandise including but not limited to Tshirts, clothing, and arts and crafts, and vending of food/beverages on park land is prohibited.

Alcohol may be consumed on site, but may not be sold. If you anticipate serving alcohol at your event, please let the National Park Service staff know during the permitting process.

Prior to and immediately following the event, a National Park Service and permittee representative will complete a Facility and Equipment Checklist indicating the condition of the Picnic Shelter.

All decorations and trash must be removed from the park within the permitted time period; should park staff find it necessary to perform additional cleanup or repair damage upon your departure, you will be billed for these costs.

Additional documents may be required, including a Certificate of Insurance, a performance bond, and/or a permit from the City of Vancouver. The National Park Service staff member facilitating your request will discuss these with you as necessary, depending on the size, scope, and type of activity being proposed.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

612 E Reserve St
Vancouver , WA 98661


(360) 816-6230

Contact Us