Special Use Permits

Learn and Explore

Certain types of activities require a special use permit. These include many types of organized gatherings, distribution of printed material and other public expressions of opinion, and other activities that are controlled or prohibited. See the following definitions and examples to determine if your use might be included.

It is the policy of the National Park Service (NPS) to allow special uses that are not in conflict with law or policy; will not result in derogation of the values and purposes for which the park was established; do not present a threat to public safety or property and do not unduly interfere with normal park operations, resource protection, or visitor use.

The park has the authority and responsibility to evaluate applicant requests, permit, manage, and/or deny all special uses within the park. Therefore, before any permit will be granted, consideration will be given to potential park resource impacts, as well as impacts to visitor use, access to park sites, or park administration. There are cost recovery fees associated with the administration and management of special use permits for costs incurred by the park. Special park use guidelines state that “it is the policy of the NPS to charge permit fees for special uses. Permit fees should reflect the fair market value of a benefit provided the permittee. The fair market value of a special use is the value of the lands or facilities used and the NPS cost incurred in managing, facilitating, or supporting the use.”

A special park use is defined as a short-term activity that takes place in a park area, and that:

  • Provides a benefit to an individual, group, or organization rather than the public at large;
  • Requires written authorization and some degree of management control from the National Park Service (NPS) in order to protect park resources and the public interest;
  • Is not prohibited by law or regulation; Is not initiated, sponsored, or conducted by the NPS; and Is not managed under a concession contract, a recreation activity for which the NPS charges a fee, or a lease.

On This Page Navigation


What is "Special Use"?

A special use permit (SUP) is required for activities that benefit an individual, group, or organization rather than the public at large. Examples of activities that require a permit at Guadalupe Mountains include, but are not limited to:

  • Weddings/elopements/vow renewals
  • Certain Types of Still Photography
  • Other ceremonies or public assemblies
  • Memorials and the spreadings of remains
  • Sporting events, or events conducted by organized clubs
  • Worship services
  • Trips organzied by scouting groups, churches, academic institutions, or other non-profit organizations
  • Groups of 20 or more hiking on certain high use trails in the park
  • Any person or persons seeking to visit a documented historic airplane crash site in the park.
  • Spreading cremated remains in the park
  • Any organized group conducting an activity in the park
  • Certain First Amendment activities

Application for Special Use Permit (PDF)
Application for Special Use Permit (MS Word)

Please contact the Special Use Coordinator at 915-828-3251 ext 2500 for more information about the application process.


Other Activities That Require Use-Specific Permits



As required by regulation (54 USC §103104), there are cost recovery fees for Special Use Permits. The current basic fees for permits at Guadalupe Mountains National Park are as follows (fees subject to change):

  • $100 application fee
  • Additional costs may apply depending on the activity

How To Apply for a Special Use Permit

Application for Special Use Permit (PDF)

Please contact the Special Use Coordinator at 915-828-3251 ext 2500 for more information about the application process.

Send completed applications and the application fee to:
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
ATTN: SUP Coordinator
400 Pine Canyon Dr
Salt Flat, TX 79847

Application Process Timeline

Please submit your application well in advance of your planned activity and allow 6-8 weeks for park staff to fully process your application. Permit applications will not be considered without the application fee. After favorable review of your application, a Special Use Permit will be prepared and 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 send you an authorized copy. The approved permit must be in your possession at the time of your event.

Last updated: November 9, 2021

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

400 Pine Canyon
Salt Flat , TX 79847



Contact Us

Stay Connected