Filming and Photography

When filming, photography, and sound recording activities occur in national parks, they must be consistent with the protection of park resources and avoid conflict with public use and enjoyment of the park.

2022 Changes to Commercial Filming Permits on Park Lands

Effective immediately, consistent with the direction provided in the October 28, 2022, Memorandum titled “Rescission of Interim Filming Guidance”, the Interim Guidance following the Price v Barr decision is rescinded and Section III: 36 CFR § 1.5 SC 24 and SC 25 of the compendium are no longer in effect. This decision reinstates the permit and fee requirements for commercial filming found in 54 U.S.C. § 100905, 43 C.F.R. Part 5 and 36 C.F.R. § 5.5.

A lady wizard casts a magic spell while filming on the rim of Grand Canyon
A filming project near Hermits Rest on the South Rim of Grand Canyon

NPS Photo

Who Needs a Permit?

A special use permit is required for any individual, business, or organization (including nonprofit groups and educational institutions) filming for a market audience or receiving compensation associated with footage or recordings made in the park. Some examples include:


  • Commercial advertisements, influencer content promoting a product or service, feature films, entertainment broadcasts, documentaries, promotional or educational films (including non-profit and student projects)
  • Filming for stock footage (regardless of equipment or crew size)
  • Time-lapse photography if the final sequence will be used in a motion picture format for commercial purposes
  • Use of large or unusual equipment, even for non-commercial purposes if activities warrant oversight by park staff

Still Photography

  • Still photography using models, props, sets, lighting, or other specialized equipment
  • Use of large or unusual equipment, even for non-commercial purposes if activities warrant oversight by park staff

Still Photography Workshops

  • A still photography permit is required for all organized photography workshops.

Sound Recording

  • It takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed
  • It uses equipment that requires mechanical transport
  • It uses equipment that requires an external power source other than a battery pack
  • The agency would incur additional administrative costs to provide management and oversight of the permitted activity to:
    • Avoid unacceptable impacts and impairment to resources or values
    • Minimize health or safety risks to the visiting public

I’m a social media influencer, do I need a permit?

Federal law requires a permit for all commercial filming, no matter the size of the crew or the type of equipment. This includes individuals or small groups that don’t use much equipment, but generate revenue by posting footage on websites, such as YouTube, TikTok, and other social media channels.


What fees will I have to pay for a permit?

Federal law requires the National Park Service to recover its administrative costs for commercial filming and still photography activities that require a permit. 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 the permitted activities. The application fee must be submitted with your application.

The commercial filming/photography application processing fee for Grand Canyon National Park is $100.

In addition, Federal law also requires the National Park Service to collect a location fee that provides a fair return to the United States for the use of park lands for commercial filming and for still photography requires a permit. The National Park Service uses the following fee schedules for filming and photography (for complex projects that require more oversight and management):

  • 1–2 people, camera & tripod only - $0/day
  • 1–10 people - $150/day
  • 11–30 people - $250/day
  • 31–49 people - $500/day
  • Over 50 people - $750/day

How to Apply

Applying For A Permit:

  • A complete application packet must be submitted a minimum of 10 days prior to the requested date
  • A required, non-refundable application fee of $100 must be submitted with the application packet
  • Priority will not be given to urgent requests

The application packet must include:

  • Detailed production schedule and proposed locations
  • Detailed cast & crew list including name and role
  • Detailed equipment list including model of equipment

If you have questions or would like to request a filming or still photography application, please email us at (preferred) or call 928-638-7779.

Image of a drone with an "x" through the middle

No Drone Zone

Launching, landing or operating unmanned or remote controlled aircraft in Grand Canyon National Park is strictly prohibited.

Department of the Interior Secretary's Order 3379 mandates a cessation of all non-emergency unmanned aircraft. This order supercedes any existing regulations as of January 29, 2020 and will remain in effect until further notice.

Unmanned Aircraft defined: The term "unmanned aircraft" means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g., model airplanes, quadcopters, drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.Read more about unmanned aircraft in the national parks.



Last updated: December 26, 2023

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023



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