Due to the coronavirus pandemic, public health measures are in place including capacity limits, temporary closures, and modified operations.
UPDATE: New COVID-19 guidance for Commercial Use Authorizations:
CUA Program Updates
New guidance is in place for COVID mitigations amid the nation-wide surge in cases.
Outdoor mask zones have been identified for all people regardless of vaccination status. These are the same zones that previously required mask-wearing for unvaccinated people due to the crowded nature of the area and the inability to effectively socially distance.
New NPS guidance requires masking in these areas regardless of community transmission levels because transmission levels are high across the country and we have people coming here from many locations.
Continued COVID-19 mitigations other CDC recommendations should also be followed.
If conditions change, Grand Canyon National Park reserves the right to change these parameters or other operational conditions immediately. Please understand the Park will make every effort to communicate the need for the change in a timely manner; however, depending on conditions, immediate action may be necessary.
Please e-mail us at the Permits Office with any questions.
The CUA application period for calendar year 2022 opens November 1, 2021. These CUAs will expire on December 31, 2022.
New forms and information will be on the website on November 1, 2021. If you plan on operating the first week of January 2022, please submit your CUA application by November 15, 2021. We require up to 30 days to process and issue a CUA and we may need all of those 30 days.
New CUA Categories
We have simplified the number of Authorized Commercial Activities from 14 to six (6). The new categories are as follows:
Guided Backcountry Hiking CUA – Includes Overnight Backpacking and Day Hiking. This is a new CUA category for companies conducting day hikes or overnight backpacking trips below the rim.
Guided Bicycle Tours CUA – No change from last year, but we are planning to have guidance on the use of electric bikes.
Photography and Art Workshops CUA – No change from last year.
River Equipment Rental CUA – The conditions will be updated so they are consistent with the equipment requirements of the commercial river concessioners.
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:
Guided Tuweep Tours 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.
All six of the revised CUAs include:
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.
New changes for 2023
CUAs will be issued for two (2) years.
We will begin issuing 2-year CUAs effective January 01, 2023 and expiring December 31, 2024. No matter when you apply for your CUA, the expiration date will be 12/31/2024.
CUA application window - March 31 deadline
Complete CUA applications may be submitted between October 1st and March 31st. This is a 6-month window to submit your application. A complete CUA application packet MUST be received by the Permit Office prior to 11:59 pm March 31st for consideration. Applications are processed in the order they are received. Incomplete application packages will not be processed after May 1st.
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.
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.
2021 Annual Report
The 2021 Annual Report is now available.
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?
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.
Last updated: October 18, 2021