Commercial Use Authorizations

CUA Program Updates

We have simplified the number of Authorized Commercial Activities from 14 to six.

The new categories are as follows:

  1. Backcountry Hiking CUA – This is a new CUA category for companies conducting day hikes or overnight backpacking trips below the rim.
  2. Bicycle Tours CUA – No change from last year, but we are planning to have guidance on the use of electric bikes.
  3. Photography and Art Workshops CUA – No change from last year.
  4. River Equipment Rental CUA – The conditions will be updated so they are consistent with the equipment requirements of the commercial river concessioners.
  5. Road Based Tour-Transportation CUA – This CUA has the biggest change as it now covers four commercial activities. This CUA is required if you are providing one or more of the commercial services below:
    • Interpretive Tours

    • Motorcoach Charters

    • Recreational Shuttle Services

    • Motorcycle Tours

  6. Tuweep Tour CUA – this CUA is specific to Tuweep for commercial tours via motor vehicle or motor vehicle with stock (horses, mules).  There will be new conditions added specifically for stock use.

New Conditions
All six of the revised CUAs include: 

  1. Incidental Transportation: CUA holders are authorized for incidental stops at visitor centers, museums, restaurants, wayside exhibits and limited guided hiking along the rim.  Only Backcountry Hiking CUA holders may conduct guided hiking below the rim.
  2. Interpretation condition: All tours must provide natural and/or cultural resource information about the park as well as safety and resource protection messages. Guides provide an educational forum through the use of interpretive methods and concepts for the preservation and protection of park resources in conjunction with the management objectives of GCNP.

2022 Cost Recovery and Management Fees
All CUA Application Fees for cost recovery of processing and issuing a CUA will now be $300 for each CUA type.  Management Fees have not changed.

We will begin issuing 2-year CUAs effective January 01, 2023 and expiring 12/31/2024.  No matter when you apply for your CUA, the expiration date will be 12/31/2024.

We will also implement an application acceptance window
CUA applications will only be accepted between Oct 1 – March 31.  This is a 6-month window to submit your application.  Applications will not be accepted after March 31. 
There will be an application window for each year of the 2-year CUA, so if you miss the first window, you can apply for the second year.  But it will still expire 12/31/2024.

Ex: Apply between Oct 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023 for a CUA that expires 12/31/2024
Or, apply between Oct 1, 2023 – March 31, 2024 for a CUA, but that will also expire 12/31/2024.

The 2-year CUA Application Fee will be announced after our office conducts a Cost Recovery Analysis.

We will keep you all updated via email and on the website with this information along with a CUA Handbook containing FAQs, timelines, and other helpful information to make the CUA application process go smoothly for you and more efficiently for us.


How to Apply for a CUA

2022 CUA Applications are now being accepted.

Apply Now!

2021 Annual Reports

Submit your completed Annual Report to:
Use the subject line format "[CUA Name - CUA Number] - 2021 Annual Report"

Complete your 2021 Annual Report Now
Banner collage of CUA related photos

What is a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA)?

A CUA allows an individual, group, company or other for-profit entity to provide commercial visitor services within a National Park area. Services provided to NPS employees are not covered by CUAs (e.g., Schwan's grocery delivery). Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs) are required for all commercial visitor services provided by a company or organization not based in the park.

What does the law and regulations say about CUAs?

PL 105-391, Section 418 and 36 CFR 5.3 require NPS issue and charge a reasonable fee for CUAs. The law requires that NPS ensure CUAs:

  • Are accomplished in a manner consistent to the highest practicable degree with the preservation and conservation of park resources and values;
  • Are consistent with the purpose for which the Park was established;
  • Comply with all applicable management plans, park policies and regulations;
  • Are subjects to conditions promoting the safety of visitors;
  • Limit the liability of the United States Government;
  • Are subjet to a reasonable fee that at a minimum recovers administrative and management costs of the CUA.

Who needs a CUA?

A CUA is required if an entity provides a good, activity, service, or other function to visitors in a NPS managed area, uses park resources and results in compensation, monetary gain, benefit or profit.

What constitutes a commercial tour or service?

A commercial tour or service consists of one or more persons traveling on an itinerary that has been packaged, priced, or sold for leisure/recreational purposes by an organization that profits from providing that service.

You must be in possession of a valid CUA to conduct business in Grand Canyon National Park.

Frustrated person sitting in front of their computer screen.
PDF Display or Printing Issues?
Using a web browser to view and print our PDF forms and publications? You may experience issues where the PDF does not display or print correctly. Some web browsers do not automatically open PDFs using the Acrobat Reader application.

Things to try (1) Select the Acrobat Reader plug-in for your browser's default application for viewing/ printing PDFs. or (2) You can right click and save the PDF document to your desktop and then open it with the Adobe Reader application, and print from there. Get the newest version of free Adobe Reader.

Last updated: July 1, 2022

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon , AZ 86023



Contact Us

Stay Connected