Special Use Permits

Grand Canyon National Park is home to many beautiful landscapes which make it a popular place for weddings and special events. Most special events and activities held in the park require a special use permit, issued only after the National Park Service (NPS) determines that the activity will not cause derogation of the park's resources or values, visitor experiences, or the purpose for which the park was established. Please email Commercial Services at grca_permits_mail@nps.gov if you would like to review the specific conditions for your requested event prior to submitting your application.

Already know which type of SUP you need? Skip to the Application Form

Non-refundable application fees for 2019 permits are as follows:

Shoshone Point: $450

Shrine of the Ages: $275

Wedding (non-Shoshone Point locations): $150

Special Event: $375

Rim to Rim: $200

Do not submit any payment information with your application. Payment instructions will be emailed after application is received.


Special Events

A special use permit is required for activities that provide a benefit to an individual, group, or organization rather than the public at large. These activities require some degree of management from the National Park Service if there is the potential for interference with visitor use, congestion of a highly visited area, or possible impact on park resources. Special Use Permits are required for organized group activities and special events at Tuweep. Requests for such activities are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Contact our office for more information. Application Form -- Fees


Organized Group Rim-to-Rim and Extended Day Hike/Run

Who is required to obtain a permit: Any organized, non-commercial (12-30 participants) or not-for-profit group (up to 30) conducting rim-to-rim and extended day hiking and running, including rim-to-river-to-rim, and rim-to-rim-to-rim that are operating in the inner canyon. The inner canyon is defined as the area below the Tonto Platform (Tipoff and Indian Garden) from the South Rim and below Manzanita Resthouse (Pumphouse Residence) from the North Rim. Groups are only permitted one permit per group. Groups may not break into smaller groups on different permits to accommodate group size.

Groups whom must obtain a permit:

  • Organized Non-Commercial Groups are defined as any group traveling together, such as scouts, a club, a church, a meet up group, or a family/friend group that has created its own itinerary. Group size - 12-30 people.
  • All Not-for-Profit Groups are defined as a group that may meet the criteria for a non-commercial group if the organization derives no taxable income from providing leisure/recreational services. Groups must prove 501(c)(3) status. Group size - up to 30 people.
  • All groups' part of a Fundraiser. Group size - up to 30 people.

Commercial operations are not authorized under an SUP.

What will be required with the SUP?"

  • An application fee of $200
  • It is recommended the group provides a certificate of insurance for general liability in the amount of $300,000 with the United States Government listed as additionally insured.
  • Group size is limited to 30 individuals, including all organizers and trip leaders.
  • The permittee and its' organization (club, non-profit, group, etc.) is allowed to obtain one permit per day.
  • All groups will maintain a ratio of no less than 1 trip leader with certification in Basic First Aid and CPR for 1-7 participants or 2 trip leaders with certification in Basic First Aid and CPR for groups 8-30 participants. Proof of certification is required with application.
  • All non-profits applying to operate under an SUP must provide proof that the Internal Revenue Service currently recognizes the applicant as an organization to which contributions are tax deductible under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Any individual who has been compensated, including subsidized participation, must prove 501(c)(3) status.
  • Non-profits are prohibited from making taxable income under an SUP.

Additional conditions and further details of these requirements will be outlined in the SUP.

The NPS is currently preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Backcountry Management Plan. Organized, non-commercial, rim-to-rim and extended day hiking and running are among topics that will be addressed in the plan. The park expects to release a draft plan this fall for public review and comment. SUPs will be issued for rim-to-rim and extended day hiking and running to protect park resources and public interest until the plan is completed. Application Form ___ Fees



Grand Canyon National Park's inspiring viewpoints and natural settings are ideally suited for small, simple and quiet weddings. All ceremonies, regardless of size, require an approved Special Use Permit issued by the National Park Service. Weddings may be scheduled up to 1 year in advance. We do not allow many things traditional weddings usually request: chairs, tables, flowers, amplified sound, balloons, signs, etc. at any location.

Please review the Wedding Information Brochure below for a list of ceremony sites in the park and indicate your first and second choice location on the application. Check the online Ceremony Sites Calendar to make sure your preferred date is available. If a site is listed on that day, it is already booked. Each location may only have one event per day.

Instructions for how to pay the nonrefundable application fee will be emailed to you after we confirm receipt of application. By law, we must recover costs associated with managing these permits and sites through these fees.
Application form
Wedding Information Brochure (172 kb PDF File)

For information on lodging, catering or reception availability please contact hotels and facilities directly. You can find information about lodging in the area at: https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/lodging.htm

Shoshone Point

The National Park Service offers a site on the South Rim of Grand Canyon for reservation by groups wishing to host a wedding, celebrate a birthday, conduct a memorial service, hold a family reunion, or any similar non-commercial event. The 2019 season is May 15 - October 15.

An unimproved dirt road leads to this isolated area with spectacular views of Grand Canyon. The site features a covered pavilion, picnic tables, grills, trash cans and a vault toilet. There is no water or electricity at the site.

Shoshone Point is the place for people who can be flexible with their planning and can deal with unpredictable Grand Canyon weather.

Shoshone Point Information Brochure (163 kb PDF file) Application form -- Fees


Shrine of Ages

Located just west of Park Headquarters, the Shrine of the Ages is an National Park Service facility that is used for a variety of events. The Shrine features an auditorium with seating for 250 and a smaller, multipurpose room which seats up to 60 people. Alcohol is not permitted within the building, while food is only allowed in the smaller room.

If you are interested in reserving the Shrine, please contact Commercial Services at 928-638-7707 to check on availability prior to submitting an application. Application form -- Fees


First Amendment Activities

Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are constitutional rights. However, the courts have recognized that activities associated with the exercise of these rights may be reasonably regulated to protect park resources. The necessity of a permit to conduct First Amendment activities is determined by the group size.

A small group is defined as “25 people or less.” A “small group” is not required to obtain a First Amendment Permit if they are located within a park designated First Amendment site and have no more than leaflets, booklets and/or hand held signs. A permit is required for any small group that:

  • wants to hold a demonstration or distribute and/or sell printed matter outside a designated First Amendment area.
  • wants to use equipment (i.e. tables, banners, platforms, etc.) even if it is within a designated area.
  • is merely an extension of another group already availing itself of the 25 person maximum.
  • wants to guarantee they will have priority for the use of a location, including the designated First Amendment areas.

A large group is defined as “more than 25 people” and is required to obtain a First Amendment Permit even if they are utilizing a park designated First Amendment site.

Some examples of special events that fall under First Amendment Rules:

  • distribution and/or sale of printed matter
  • religious services
  • public demonstrations or assemblies, etc.

There are no permit fees associated with First Amendment permits. Application form

Please contact Commercial Services at 928-638-7706 for more information about Designated First Amendment sites or the application process.


Scattering of Cremation Ashes

Please download the Scattering of Cremation Ashes Letter in order to scatter ashes from human cremains in Grand Canyon. There are specific rules and conditions outlined in the letter that are required of all ash scattering requests. There is no fee for the scattering of ashes. Download the letter (40 kb PDF file)


The Application Process

Special Use Permit Application (67kb PDF file)

Please email your application to grca_permits_mail@nps.gov or send completed and signed application to:

Grand Canyon National Park
Commercial Services Division
3 Camper Services
PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Email is the preferred method of submitting applications. After favorable review of your application, a Special Use Permit will be prepared and e-mailed to you for signature. Upon receipt, you will need to review, sign and return the permit to our office for final approval. After the permit is approved we will email you an authorized copy. The approved permit must be in your possession at the time of your wedding or event.

We require a minimum of 4 weeks to fully process a basic permit request. Do not wait until the last minute to apply for your permit. Complex special events may require more than 4 weeks to process.

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Special Use Permit Fees

Permit Fees non-refundable and are based on an annual cost recovery analysis conducted by Commercial Services. These fees include the cost of permit processing, administration and the basic monitoring of events. Larger events or other special uses that require additional management and/or administrative time will incur additional fees at $65.00 per hour.

Do not include payment information on your application submission. Our office will email you detailed online payment instructions after we confirm receipt of your application.


Permit Type


Special Event


Wedding Permit (non-Shoshone Point)


Extended Day Hiking (R2R)


Shoshone Point


Shrine of the Ages



Additional Information

For more information about Special Use Permits; contact Commercial Services via e-mail or phone at 928-638-7707 anytime and leave a detailed message with your specific question(s).


Last updated: March 28, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023



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