Permits & Reservations

Special Park Use Permits

Thank you for your interest in Golden Spike National Historical Park.

Special Use Permits (SUP)

Certain types of activities require a Special Use Permit. Examples include:
  • Special events such as organized group gatherings, celebrations, and club meetings;
  • First Amendment Activities such as speeches, church services, vigils and other activities designed to communicate a message;
  • Commercial filming and photography.

Applications for most permits should be submitted at least 30 to 60 days before the event. More complicated permits will most likely require more time, planning and incur greater costs.


Special Use Permit applications require a non-refundable $100.00 application fee. This fee should be sent along with the application. Permit applications must be detailed and provide the complete scope of the activity requested. Approved permits will require cost recovery fees, that are estimated based on the scope of the permit. Other charges may apply depending on the activites. For more information regarding Special Use Permits or request an application, please call 435-471-2209 x441 or email the park with the subject line "Attn: Special Use Permits."

Submitting a Permit

Once completed, the permit application must be printed and signed. It cannot be saved and emailed. The application can be faxed or mailed to the park (contact information is provided on the application) or scanned and emailed. Applications are not considered complete until all requirements have been submitted, including the application fees and liability insurance certificates (except for First Amendment applications).

Commercial Filming and Photography

Changes to Commercial Filming Permits on Park Land

On January 22, 2021, the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision in Price v. Barr determining the permit and fee requirements applying to commercial filming under 54 USC 100905, 43 CFR Part 5, and 36 CFR Part 5.5 are unconstitutional. In response to the decision, the National Park Service issued interim guidance on February 22, 2021, to manage filming activities. Under the interim guidance, filming activities may require a permit if they would impact park resources or the visitor experience. The National Park Service intends to update regulations addressing filming activities that are consistent with the outcome of Price v. Barr. Once effective, those regulations will replace and supersede the interim guidance.

Do I need a permit to film?

Currently, the National Park Service is not issuing commercial filming permits. Under the interum guidance, the National Park Service is not distinguishing between the types of filming, such as commercial, non-commercial, or news gathering. Low-impact filming activities will not require a special use permit, but non-low-impact filming activites may require a permit to address their potential impacts on park resources and visitor activities. All applicable laws and regulations governing activities and public use in parks still apply, including park hours and areas open and closed to the public. Videographers, filmers, producers, directors, and other staff associated with commercial filming are reminded that rules and regulations that apply to all park visitors still apply to filming activities even if no permit is needed for their activity. Check with the park staff for more information on closures, sensitive resources, and other safety tips.

Are filmers still required to pay fees to film in parks?

As of January 22, 2021, the National Park Service is no longer collecting application or location fees, or cost recovery for filming

Low-Impact Filming

“Low-impact filming’ is defined as outdoor filming activities in areas open to the public, except areas managed as wilderness, involving five people or less and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras. Those participating in low-impact filming activities do not need a permit and are not required to contact the park in advance. If low-impact filmers have questions about areas where they want to film, they should contact the park directly.

Videographers, filmers, producers, directors, news and other staff associated with filming are reminded that rules and regulations that apply to all park visitors, including park hours and closed areas, still apply to filming activities even if a permit is not required. A permit is generally not required for personal, noncommercial filming and photography within normal visitation hours and areas throughout the site.

Non-Low-Impact Filming

Filming activities that do not meet the description of low-impact filming require at least ten days advance notice to the National Park Service by contacting the park directly in writing. The park’s superintendent will determine whether the filming activities will require a special use permit for filming. Based on the information provided, a permit may be required to:

  • maintain public health and safety;
  • protect environmental or scenic values;
  • protect natural or cultural resources;
  • allow for equitable allocation or use of facilities; or
  • avoid conflict among visitor use activities.

Examples of requests that may require a permit include, but are not limited to: entering a sensitive resource area, filming in areas that require tickets to enter, or filming in visitor centers, campgrounds, or other visitor areas. The decision to require a permit rests with the park superintendent based on potential impacts to park resources or the visitor experience.

Those interested in commercial filming activities on land managed by the National Park Service are encouraged to contact the park directly for more information about filming in the park and to discuss whether or not a filming activity is considered low-impact or may require a permit.

Filming the Locomotives

The locomotive run season is from early May to mid-October. Please note the locomotives are authentic wood burning and coal fired steam locomotives replicating over 200 year old technology. As such the park can not control for unforeseen mechanical failure.

Private Land: Golden Spike National Historic Site is surrounded by private land and does not facilitate or provide access to adjacent or nearby private landowners for commercial scouting crews or private photographers.

Still Photography

When is a permit needed?

Price v. Barr had no impact on how the National Park Service regulates still photography, so there are no changes in how the National Park Service regulates that activity. Still photographers require a permit only when:

  1. the activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or
  2. the activity uses model(s), sets(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the location's natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities; or
  3. a park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.

What fees will I have to pay?

The National Park Service will collect a cost recovery charge and a location fee for still photography permits. Cost recovery includes an application fee and any additional charges to cover the costs incurred by the National Park Service in processing your request and monitoring your permit. This amount will vary depending on the park and the size and complexity of your permit. The application fee must be submitted with your application.

In addition, the National Park Service has been directed by Congress to collect a fee to provide a fair return to the United States for the use of park lands. The National Park Service uses the following fee schedule:

  • 1–10 people - $50/day
  • 11–30 people - $150/day
  • Over 30 people - $250/da

Are there other permit requirements?

You may be required to obtain liability insurance naming the United States as additionally insured in an amount commensurate with the risk posed to park resources by your proposed activity. You may also be asked to post a bond to ensure the payment of all charges and fees and the restoration of the area if necessary.

Drones are not permitted at Golden Spike National Historic Site.

Policy Memorandum 14-05, released by the National Park Service (NPS) director in June 2014, directed each superintendent to use the authority under 36 CFR 1.5 to prohibit the launching, landing, or operation of unmanned aircraft, subject to the certain conditions and exceptions set forth in the memo. This is still in force with a very few exceptions.

Research Permits

  • The Research Permit and Reporting System can be found at

Private Land: Golden Spike National Historic Site is surrounded by private land and does not facilitate or provide access to adjacent or nearby private landowners.

Permits for Education Groups

Please visit our School Field Trips page for more information concerning bringing a school group to the park.


Our Mission:

"The service...shall promote and regulate the use of ... national parks ... [its] purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." (16 U.S.C. 1)

It is the policy of the National Park Service (NPS) to allow for special uses such as organized group gatherings, club meetings, filming and photography when and where possible, while adhering to this mandate.
Therefore, when reviewing Special Use Permit and Commercial Filming applications, the primary concerns of the NPS are potential impacts to park resources and disruption of visitor use.

Last updated: November 15, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P. O. Box 897
Brigham City , UT 84302


435 471-2209 x429

Contact Us

Stay Connected