Special Park Use Permits

Thank you for your interest in having your event in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Information on this page is for land administered by the National Park Service including Muir Woods National Monument, Fort Point National Historic Site, Alcatraz Island, Crissy Field, the Marin Headlands, Ocean Beach, as well as other sites. For permit information with the following jurisdictions please contact: Presidio Trust, Mt. Tamalpais, Angel Island, San Mateo County Parks, San Francisco Recreation and Parks (for Marina Green and Golden Gate Park, etc.), Fort Mason Center and other surrounding parks.

As a unit of the National Park Service, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area must balance preserving the resources with allowing for a variety of visitor uses. While several types of activities such as weddings, picnics, marathons and filming are allowed in the park, many uses are prohibited.

When your application is under review, the Office of Special Park Uses will look at multiple criteria, including whether or not there is a meaningful association between the park and the event, and how the event contributes to visitor understanding of the significance of the park.

Commercial Dog Walking
Special Events
  • Event Permit Application
  • All large events require a certificate of liability insurance. (information below)
  • Athletic events with fewer than 30 people may not require a permit. Please confirm with Permit Specialist.
  • Alcatraz Event
    • No private events/tours are allowed during daytime hours or during evenings with scheduled public tours. (Aim to schedule for Tuesday or Wednesday night)
    • No weddings are permitted on Alcatraz.
    • Private events on Alcatraz must be conducted in historically appropriate areas.
  • Ash Scattering
  • Outdoor Ceremonies
  • Picnics
    • Picnics with fewer than 50 people may not require a permit.
    • Any picnic with catering, or significant equipment will require a permit, regardless of size.
    • Almost all picnic tables in the park are first come, first served and cannot be reserved.
    • Permit Specialist for small picnics: Katie Beltrano (information below)

  • Permit Specialist for small events: George Durgerian (information below)
  • Permit Specialist for large events: Sintia Morfin (information below)

Beach Fires
  • Beach Fire Permit Application
  • Burning debris, including Christmas trees, anywhere in the GGNRA is not permitted.
  • Only untreated wood may be burned.
  • Beach fires are allowed only within fire rings at Ocean Beach and Muir Beach.
  • Beach fire rings are first come, first served and cannot be reserved.
  • Fires are not permitted when a Spare the Air day/night has been issued.
  • Beach fires with fewer than 25 people do not require a permit.
  • Beach fires with or without a permit are prohibited at Ocean Beach from November 1st to March 1st.
  • Permit Specialist: George Durgerian (information below)
Filming and Photography
  • Individuals taking still photos in public areas without props, sets, or models do not require a permit.
  • Permit Specialist: Melinda Moses (information below)
  • Small Filming and Photography Permit Application. This will apply to most requests.
  • Large Filming and Photography Permit Application
  • Please use the "Large Film Permit Application" ONLY if:
    • You are applying to film multiple days
    • Have 50 + cast and crew, will need to build sets, use pyro-technics/special effects, requesting extended closures, etc.
    • All other filming must utilize the "Film and Photography Permit Application" above.
Temporary Food Event (TFE)
 

General Rules

  • All Events which allow for the public to attend (with or without registration) must comply with all accessibility regulations and must review the park's accessibility checklist.
  • All advertising, branding, and signs on site must be approved by NPS prior to your event.
  • Signs cannot be more than 30% advertising.
  • Large events require at least one Park Ranger present during the event as well as during loading.
  • Events in sensitive areas require special approval.
  • Staking or accessing a hydrant takes extra time and money.
  • You may not enter most areas closed to the general public.
  • Any event over 200 people will be required to submit a parking and transit plan, and in the case of a Crissy Field event, you must also obtain a permit from the Presidio Trust.
  • If you want to have a large event (1,000 or more people) at Crissy Field, it will need to go through Project Review.
  • We only allow 3 large events at Fort Mason each year.
  • A date and location can be held up to one year in advance with an application and application fee.
  • Not all events will be granted exclusive use of an area.
  • Your event and your advertising materials must provide Universal Access.
  • We require composting and recycling at all events. Please review the Green Event Guidelines.
  • Sound cannot exceed 85db.
  • Unmanned aircraft, regardless of whether the operation is for recreational, hobby, business, or commercial purposes, is not allowed, and will not be permitted.
  • Holidays and other event black-out dates exist. Please contact the permit office concerning availability.
  • For additional regulations, please read the park's Superintendent's Compendium.

Payment Information

All permit applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable permit application fee of $45. This fee is non-refundable even if your application is denied, so please contact the office prior to sending in paperwork. For the smallest permits, the application fee goes towards your permit costs. For larger events, it is an additional charge.

Submitting an application with the fee does not guarantee your activity or the date requested will be approved. Applications are accepted up to one year in advance. We will let you know within 4 business days that we have received your application, but approval or denial of your activity can range from days to weeks.

The permit office accepts payment by credit card only, and cannot accept personal or business checks. If you do not have a credit card, a money order is possible in a few rare cases. Please contact the permit office before sending in any funds.

Permit costs can range from free to over $40,000. While we will be able to give you an estimate of costs over the phone or in email, we cannot tell you the final cost of your activity until after we receive a permit application. We are happy to have a few conversations with you by phone or email, but an application and non-refundable application fee are due prior to the office spending more time than that on your proposal.

Some activities are required to go through full environmental or historic compliance review.

Staffing costs are currently $90/hour.

For more specific pricing estimates on events please review the Permit Cost Schedule. Additional charges, such as Temporary Food Event permits, Fire and Safety permits, etc may apply to your activity. Please contact the office for more information.

Insurance Information

All large events are required to have a minimum of $1,000,000 in liability insurance naming the United States of America as additionally insured. A sample can be found here. Please contact an Event Specialist for more details if needed.



Contact Information

Please understand that we write over 1,000 permits per year, and are usually quite busy. Filling out the application form and sending it in is the fastest way to begin planning your event, but does not guarantee your event will be approved. Permit applications, certificates of insurance, and correspondence to anyone in the Office of Special Park Uses may be faxed to (415) 561-4305. The Office of Special Park Uses is located on the San Francisco Bay in Fort Mason at the intersection of Bay and Franklin. Paperwork to and from the Office of Special Park Uses is generally done through email, but fax, mail, or in person appointments at Fort Mason Building 201 are possible, if needed.

George Durgerian
e-mail George Durgerian
Alcatraz Events, Small Athletic and Special Events & Beach Fires

(415) 561-4302

Sintia Kawasaki-Yee
e-mail Sintia Kawasaki-Yee
Large Events south of Golden Gate Bridge

(415) 561-4723

Melinda Moses
e-mail Melinda Moses
Filming & Large Events north of Golden Gate Bridge

(415) 561-4301

Katie Beltrano
e-mail Katie Beltrano
Outdoor Ceremonies, Small Picnics, Commercial Dog Walking

(415) 561-4373


Individuals who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, blind, or have speech disabilities may utilize the following Federal Relay Service Numbers:

(800) 877-8339 Federal Relay Service
(800) 877-6280 VCO
(800) 877-8982 Speech to Speech
(800) 845-6136 Spanish
(866) 893-8340 TeleBraille

Thank you for your interest in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, a unit of your National Park Service.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Building 201, Fort Mason

San Francisco, CA 94123-0022

Phone:

(415) 561-4700
Pacific West Region Information Center (415) 561-4700 Special Event & Commercial Film Permits (415) 561-4300

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