Additional Backcountry Permit Conditions for CUAs

Commercial Organizations must follow all normal backcountry permit requirements, obtain a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) prior to applying for a backcountry permit (, and provide the Grand Canyon Backcountry Information Center with a Verifiable Client List form ( by email ( prior to submitting a lottery application or when applying after the lottery month for a permit.

Verifiable Client: A verifiable client is a client who is listed and submitted with the Verifiable Client List form and is contactable by the National Park Service via phone, email, or mail and who confirms a nexus with the company, dates, and use area requested. Occasionally the National Park Service may verify group size, group association, zip code, or other information. Additional Requirements:

  1. Minimum Clients: Companies need a minimum of 1 verifiable client to reserve a small camp site and at least 6 verifiable clients to reserve a large camp site.
  2. Clear Intent: General information inquiries do not equal verifiable clients. If an individual contacts a guide company but does not expressly direct the company to request a backcountry permit for specific campground(s) or use area(s) on specific date(s), then using the individual's information on the client list makes the application invalid and a violation of the CUA.
  3. CUA Signature: Verifiable Client Lists will not be accepted without a signature from the company representative.
  4. Backup Documentation: A written record should be kept that documents communication with the client. This can be in the form of email or, if necessary, notes from a telephone conversation. All communication should have a date, the name of the client, and the name of the company representative who spoke with the client. Information must be legible, specific, and detailed enough to stand on its own without explanation.
  5. No Subdividing:
    • One Entry Per Client Per Lottery: Clients cannot be listed on more than one Verifiable Client List within the same lottery.
    • One Entry Per Affiliated Group: Clients must be included and kept together with all affiliated group members on one Verifiable Client List submitted for that lottery. Subdividing affiliated group members, itineraries, or a range of dates so that a single request becomes multiple requests to increase odds of obtaining a permit is not authorized. Listing affiliated group members on separate lottery applications in the same lottery voids all related CUA applications and permits.
  6. Permits Obtained Through Lottery: Each requested permit size must match the number of verifiable clients plus guides submitted prior to the lottery for that permit with the following exceptions:
    • Corridor Reservations: CUAs who are applying through a lottery-awarded timeslot with a Verifiable Client List with at least 2 clients may exceed their Verifiable Client List and make their corresponding Corridor reservation (any reservation that includes most nights in the Corridor) for up to 6 people (if space is available on and can freely move clients from other Verifiable Client Lists to this corridor permit.
    • Non-corridor Reservations: After the lottery month CUAs can add clients to small group, noncorridor reservations if space is available on
  7. Non-transferable: Permits (reservations) are non-transferable. Itineraries reserved as noncommercial cannot be amended later to be commercial in nature. Nor can commercial permits be amended later to be noncommercial.
  8. Changes to Verifiable Clients: CUAs need to submit to the Grand Canyon Backcountry Information Center an updated Verifiable Client List when the verified clients for trips change. When a client cancels, the updated Verifiable Client Form must be submitted to the Backcountry Information Center within 72 hours. If no Verifiable Clients remain for a particular permit, the Backcountry Information Center must be notified within 72 hours and the permit cancelled.

Last updated: January 3, 2024

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