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. The venue is just the thing for family gatherings and is located next to the Visitor Center with has easy access to the restrooms, and a playground just south of the structure. The Picnic Shelter is covered and holds approximately 70 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 Special Park Use Coordinator at (360) 816-6241 for a permit application.



The Picnic Shelter is located at 1501 East Evergreen Blvd. Vancouver, WA 98661. (Just south of Officers Row, approximately 200 yards east of the Bandstand).


The Picnic Shelter holds a maximum of 70 people. It has 8 picnic tables that can seat 48 people comfortably.


Wheelchair and stroller accessible. Accessible restrooms are available in the Visitor Center.


Eight picnic tables inside the structure 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 additional equipment is not 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 along East Evergreen Blvd and Fifth Street are available as well. However, street parking may also be used by the public and cannot be guaranteed. Parking is not permitted on any grassy area adjacent to the Picnic Shelter.

Reservation Information

A permit application is required to reserve the Picnic Shelter for exclusive use. Reservations for the Picnic Shelter can be made up to six months in advance.
  • Email us for availability
  • Request a Special Use Permit application form via email to the park's Reservation Coordinator via email, by calling 360-816-6241, or stop by Pearson Air Museum at 1115 E 5th Street, Vancouver, WA 98661.
  • Submit your completed application in person, by email, or by mail.
    • By Email: Applications are accepted via Email. The fee can be paid via phone with a credit/debit card by calling (360) 816-6244.
    • In Person: Submit to park staff at the Pearson Air Museum or the Fort Vancouver Contact Station with a $100 application fee in the form of cash, cashiers check, or money order only.
    • By Mail: Send application and fee in the form of a cashiers check or money order to:
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
Attn: Special Park Use
612 E Reserve Street
Vancouver WA 98661

Application Fee

The $100 non-refundable application fee is for administrative process of the application. Acceptable forms of payment are cash, cashiers check or money order made payable to the National Park Service, or via phone with a debit/credit card. 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.

Recovery Fees

  • Reservations during Park regular operational hours include 4 hours of use; $25 for each additional hour.
  • Reservations during Park non-operational hours includes 2 hours of use; $50 for each additional hour.

Management Costs

Management costs are 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 per hour.

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. Decorating plans must be discussed with a Special Park Use Coordinator. Consider using the existing landscape as your backdrop.
  • Barbecuing with propane is allowed on concrete portions around the exterior of the Picnic Shelter, but prohibited on grass or walkways.
  • Torches, fire pits, and other sources of open flame are prohibited.
  • 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 area.
  • Free standing directional signs related to the event are permitted and are to be removed immediately after the event. Affixing or staking 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 T-shirts, clothing, arts and crafts, and vending of food/beverages on park land is prohibited.
  • Alcohol may be consumed on site, but may not be sold. Serving alcohol at your event, must be coordinated with the Special Park Use Coordinator 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 will be billed.
  • Additional documents may be required, including a Certificate of Liability 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.

Last updated: December 29, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

612 E Reserve St
Vancouver , WA 98661


(360) 816-6230

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