Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs)

A Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) is a business permit with the National Park Service that authorizes an individual, group, company, or entity to conduct commercial activities and provide specific visitor services in a National Park area.

CUA holders fill a vital role in helping the National Park Service carry out its mission. They offer specific goods and services to park visitors which the NPS does not provide. By welcoming the private sector as a partner in park operations, the National Park Service broadens the economic base of the region in general and the communities surrounding the parks in particular.

Learn more about approved service types, how to apply for a CUA, reporting requirements, and more.
Air Taxi flying over Fairweather Mountains
Applying for a Glacier Bay CUA

If you are applying for a CUA permit, go here for Application, Required Fees, Activity Report forms, and other helpful information.

Hikers on a Bartlett Cove trail
Approved CUA Services

Go here for a list of all Glacier Bay NP & Preserve services and stipulations approved for CUA permits.

Climbers reach summit of Mt Fairweather
CUA Application Portal

Apply for a CUA through the CUA Application Portal here.


Glacier Bay CUA Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions about Glacier Bay's CUA program. 

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 appropriate commercial services to visitors of units of the National Park Service. Commercial Services are generally prohibited in units of the National Park Service (NPS) unless they have been authorized by either a CUA or a concession contract.

There are two general types of commercial services that may be authorized by a CUA:

In-park services. “In-park services” refers to an operation with annual gross receipts of not more than $25,000 from commercial services originating and provided solely within a park area.

Out-of-park services. “Out-of-park “services” refers to the incidental use of park area resources by operations that provide commercial services originating and terminating outside of the park area (or within an inholding). A CUA of this type may not authorize solicitation of customers, sales, or payment for commercial services to take place within the park area; all of these activities must occur outside of the park area (or within an inholding). Unlike a CUA for in-park services, there is no cap on the annual gross receipts that may be generated by the authorized services under an out of-park CUA.

The activity authorized must be appropriate to the preservation of the park and be consistent with all park management plans.

Commercial operators must be based out of the park. Services must start and terminate outside of the park, except for concession lodging facilities or certain “In-park services” with annual gross receipts of not more than $25,000. All aspects of the business (such as advertising, exchange of money, etc.) must take place outside the park boundary. Authorization holders may not construct any facilities within the park, including temporary tent/canopy structures. The services provided may not conflict with the services provided by concessioners under contract or the National Park Service’s operations.

Authorization holders must comply with all applicable state, local and National Park Service laws in the conduct of their business. The Superintendent’s Compendium, which details park-level regulations and is subject to change annually, can be found at: Superintendent's Compendium.

All CUA holders must comply with the operating plan and CUA conditions for their authorization category. Holders are responsible for reading and understanding the contents of their CUA operating plan and conditions.

Any proposed new services for Glacier Bay NP & P must meet, at the minimum, the above criteria. Park Superintendent grants final approval for new services. Do you wish to propose a new service? Please contact Glacier Bay Commercial Services for additional assistance.

Note: The National Park Service monitors activities authorized through CUAs. Any violation of CUA conditions or operating plan requirements is grounds for revoking the current authorization and/or not issuing future authorizations under the authority of the park Superintendent.

The following services are authorized in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve:
Note: Guided service providers must have current Basic First Aid & CPR certification

Service Type Description
Camping - frontcountry Group Camping is available for the Bartlett Cove Campground Group Camp Site only. Group Camping is defined as overnight use of improved campground facilities by commercial groups.
Climbing/Mountaineering – overnight – Fairweather Range This area includes the area west of the Brady Glacier, west of Lamplugh Glacier and west of the ridge between Tarr and Rendu Inlets and involves activities that involve rock, ice, or snow climbing and/or glacier travel requiring the use of ropes, ice axes, harnesses, climbing hardware, crampons, specialized clothing, etc.
Ferry – passenger only Juneau - Bartlett Cove -Juneau Juneau-Bartlett Cove-Juneau only.Passenger ferry service originates from Juneau into Bartlett Cove and returns to Juneau.
Fishing – spin or fly Marine and freshwater sport fishing guide services are authorized only in Glacier Bay National Preserve and in the section of Glacier Bay National Park along the outer coast north and west of Lituya Bay while fishing from shore above the mean high tide.
Hiking/Walking - backcountry Hiking, carrying backpacks and necessary supplies with the intent of establishing temporary overnight camps. Does not involve the use of improved campground facilities.
Hiking/Walking – frontcountry Guided walking and sightseeing day tours on trails in Bartlett Cove, Glacier Bay designated frountcountry. 
Photography Instruction Trips organized with the primary intention of taking photographs in, or of, the park unit.
Rafting Multi-day guided river rafting trips with take outs in Dry Bay, Glacier Bay National Preserve.
Skiing/Snowshoeing Tours Day trips or multi-day trips by ski, snowboard, snowshoe.  Use of the area west of the Brady Glacier, west of Lamplugh Glacier, and west of the ridge between Tarr and Rendu Inlets is not permitted under this permit.
Transport (non-tour) - air FAA certified business that engages in air transportation with landings within park boundaries. A permit is not required for flightseeing trips that do not land within park boundaries.
Transport (non-tour) - ATV ATV ground transportation services in Dry Bay related to Alsek River Rafting trips only Point-to-point ground transportation only; passengers are dropped off or picked up in specified areas. No guiding occurs.

The application period is November 1 through April 30. CUAs are currently issued for one- or two-year periods. The operating year is from January 1 to December 31. Applications need to be submitted through the online CUA portal.

Once you have all of the required documentation, you can electronically submit it through the CUA portal.The application process, forms, directions, requirements and other related information can all be found on the Glacier Bay CUA website.

Applications need to be submitted through the online CUA portal. You will need to submit a separate application, and pay the application and monitoring fees, for each service type you would like to provide. 


Once you submit your application, and all required documents, through the CUA portal, your application will be reviewed.

When your application is complete, you will receive the CUA pre-authorization in the CUA portal. Sign and return the CUA pre-authorization in the CUA portal for final approval by the park Superintendent. Superintendent approval may take up to several weeks. 

When approved, your fully executed CUA Permit will be returned to you. Then you may begin operations in GBNP&P within your authorized dates. Without this final, fully executed permit you are not allowed to operate within GBNP&P.  

You can anticipate that you will receive the issuance of your CUA 30 days from submission of a complete application. Delays will occur if application materials are not submitted accurately or completely at the initial submittal. 

What are the insurance requirements?Comprehensive general liability coverage is required for all CUA’s. Please refer to the Minimum Coverage Amounts for Liability Insurance for minimum coverage amounts by type of activity. The policy shall be underwritten by a United States company naming the United States of America as an additional insured, with the following address. 

United States of America 
National Park Service
PO Box 140
Gustavus, AK 99826


CUA holders will be charged a reasonable fee to ensure program cost recovery and for the identifiable economic privileges received from conducting business inside Glacier Bay National Park. Fee Payments for Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve CUAs can be made online via - CUA Fees.

Glacier Bay Commercial Use Authorization Fee Schedule
Application Fee (due with application)
One-Year CUA $200
Two Year CUA $300

Management Fee (due with application)
One-Year CUA $100
Two Year CUA $200

Monitoring Fee for Alsek River Rafting Operators (due Nov 15)
Greater of $1000 or a per-person fee (in U.S. Funds) adjusted annually based on the U.S. Consumer Price Index.

Public Law 105-391 and National Park Service policy require the Superintendent to charge a reasonable fee for CUAs. The park retains 100% of the fees to help pay for the cost of the GLBA CUA program, including administration, evaluations, monitoring, and training.

Fee payments for GlacierBay NP&P CUAs can be made online through - CUA Fees

CUA holders are required to submit Activity Reports to provide the NPS with data on visitor use such as the number of clients, dates, and locations of the commercial activities.  Activity Reports are due January 31. The permit holder is required to use the online Visitor Use Reporting system (VURn) at reporting requirements may apply based on service type. Review the service type conditions fo details.

Last updated: December 4, 2023

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Mailing Address:

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
PO Box 140

Gustavus, AK 99826


907 697-2230

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