Commercial Use Authorization


CUA Program Updates

As part of a larger effort to streamline and modernize the National Park Service (NPS) commercial use authorization (CUA) program, the NPS has developed on online system designed to process CUA applications and collect required CUA reports. NPS hosted a public comment period from July 26, 2023, through September 20, 2023, to solicit comments about the online system. Thank you to all who provided comments.   
NPS will initiate its online system roll-out for the 2024 CUA season and by the 2025 CUA season, all national parks will be using the system. Glacier National Park has opted to participate in the initial system roll-out for the 2024 Spring/Summer CUA season and will begin accepting CUA applications through the online system starting on December 01, 2023.
The online system includes a standard CUA application fee. National parks using the online system for the 2024 CUA season must charge a minimum of $350 per CUA application. Parks electing to use the system for the 2024 CUA season that have historically charged a CUA application fee greater than $350, may continue to charge that application fee for the 2024 CUA season. For the 2024 CUA season, Glacier National Park will charge a $550 CUA application fee.   
For the 2025 CUA season, the standard CUA application fee across all national parks will be $350 for the first application submitted by the applicant and $250 for subsequent applications from the same applicant to the same park. Application fees will be collected through the system upon application submission.   
Note that this system roll-out will NOT affect road-based commercial tour operators. The NPS will develop an online system specific to those operators and will not roll-out that system until the 2025 season.   

Winter CUAs

Winter CUA applications will be accepted between October 20, 2023 - Debember 6, 2023 via the historic application process. The park will process incomplete applications until January 6, 2024. Applications that have not been completed by January 6, 2024 will not be issued a Winter CUA for 2023/2024 season.

Spring/Summer CUAs

2024 Spring & Summer CUA applications will only be accepted between December 1, 2023 – March 31, 2024. This is a 4-month window to submit your application. Applications will not be accepted after March 31, 2024. Incomplete CUA applications will continue to be processed through April 30, 2024. Applications that have not been completed by April 30, 2024 will not be issued a CUA for 2024.

For 2024, the non-refundable CUA Application Fee will be $550 for each activity-based CUA application. $50 goes to NPS to maintain the Online System. $500 stays in Glacier National Park to cover staff time to process and issue the CUA. This will be credited towards any applicable end-of-year management fees. In 2025, there will be a NPS standardized application fee of $350.

Please visit the Glacier CUA Application for more details!

There will be two informational meetings held for the upcoming CUA season. During these meetings we will provide updates relevant for the season and explain a bit about the new online application and reporting system. These meeting are completely optional.

Winter CUA informational meeting will be held Wednesday November 15, 2023 from 4:30p to 5:30p at the Park's Community Building in the West Glacier compound. (162 Mather Dr., West Glacier).

Spring/Summer CUA informational meeting will be held virtually via Microsoft Teams on Wednesday December 6, 2023 from 11am to 12:30pm (Montana Time). The meeting link is: Microsoft Teams CUA meeting.

While not required we encourage you to RSVP and submit questions in advance via Microsoft Form: 2024 Glacier National Park Spring/Summer CUA Meeting questions form.

The National Park Service requires specific authorizations for commercial businesses to operate in national parks, usually in the form of a Commercial Use Authorization. If a business does not have a Commercial Use Authorization, they may not operate in the park.

Commercial service opportunities in Glacier National Park are reviewed annually and subject to change year to year. 


What is a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA)?

Public Law 105-391, Section 418, which was signed in 1998, provides for the issuance of Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs) to a private person, corporation, or other entity to provide suitable commercial services for park area visitors. Commercial activities are generally prohibited in National Parks unless authorized by a CUA or concessions contract.

Biking Glacier's roads offers stunning views of the landscape.
Spring biking on the Going to the Sun Road

NPS Photo

What Activities are Authorized Through a CUA?

Glacier National Park currently issues CUAs for the following activities. All CUAs are issued for up to one operating season. The CUA operating season depends on the activity.

Winter Season

November 20 - May 1

Guided Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe Tours
Day and/or overnight guided cross-country ski and snowshoe tours. This does not authorize backcountry skiing.

Spring & Summer Season

Shoulder Season Shuttle Service
Shuttle service for the purpose of picking up and dropping off visitors within Glacier National Park during the shoulder seasons.
Guided Bicycle Tours
Guided bicycle road tours during daylight hours on roads open to hiker/biker access and motorized traffic.
Photography/Art Workshops
Day and/or night photography workshops and art woskshops that includes in-depth instruction.
Birding Workshops
Day use birding workshops that include birding instruction.
East Side Shuttle Services
A scheduled shuttle service for the purpose of picking up and dropping off visitors within Glacier National Park’s east side at designated locations.


Services Not Permitted

These types of commercial services are prohibited in Glacier National Park. These are some of the services not allowed through the Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) Program or authorized under any other permit in Glacier National Park:

  • Guided Motorcycle Tours
  • Delivery or pick-up of any out-of-park rentals by a third party, including, but not limited to, the following:
    • RVs or other camper units
    • Bicycles
Everything you need to know about submitting a CUA application - forms, instructions & resources!
Application & Reporting Requirements

Everything you need to know about submitting a CUA application–application forms, instructions & resources


Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding the CUA application process or requirements, please contact the Commercial Services Office at

Last updated: December 7, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936



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