Commercial Use Authorizations

Grand Canyon National Park is continuing to evaluate and adapt to changing COVID-19 guidance, and to adjust operations as needed.

Visit this page for a list of what is open, and for park-wide updates >

UPDATE: New COVID-19 guidance for Commercial Use Authorizations:


Update effective May 8, 2021

Grand Canyon National Park is updating the 2021 commercial vehicle occupancy standards.

The following two commercial vehicle occupancy models have been established and are effective May 8, 2021:

  1. Operators committing to have all customers/passengers either vaccinated or tested immediately before the trip (72 hours) will be permitted to operate in the park at 100% capacity.

  2. Operators that cannot commit to having all customers/passengers either vaccinated or tested immediately before the trip (72 hours) will be limited to 50% of vehicle capacity, or 10 persons (including driver, guide), whichever is greater.

Continued COVID-19 mitigations such as wearing facial coverings/mask when 6-feet of physical/social distancing cannot be maintained and other CDC recommendations should also be in place.

The parameters are the result of a collaboration between the motorcoach industry and certain National Park Service units, including Grand Canyon National Park to increase access and capacity. To ensure visitor safety, the industry recommended they will confirm all passengers are vaccinated/tested or will reduce capacity.

Operators will sign the
certification document confirming which of these models they chose to operate under, or if choosing to operate a hybrid model - some trips under the model #1, others under model #2, a signature on the document certifies they understand and agree to comply with the parameters described for each. This document will not need to be sent to the CUA office or presented at entrance stations but must be carried in the tour vehicle and may be requested at any time.

Operators are independently responsible for understanding and complying with the most current applicable laws, regulations, orders, ordinances and other requirements and for conducting their operations in a manner that is safe and protects the health of employees, customers and the public.

Please see the links below about COVID-19 guidance for multi-day road-based tours and transportation system operations. The guidance is based on current information.

Complete 2021 CUA applications that have already been submitted will be issued with an effective date of May 8, 2021 and sent out via email.

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.

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.

How to Apply for a CUA

Find CUA forms and application instructions on the How to Apply for a CUA page.

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Last updated: May 5, 2021

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023



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