Special Use Permits

Special Use Permits authorize activities that benefit an individual, group or organization, rather than the public at large: and that require written authorization and management control in order to protect park resources and the public interest. Examples include weddings, scattering of ashes, commercial filming and/or photography, First Amendment activities, special events, and commercial vehicle access to "Science City". Any commercial activity, other than commercial filming/photography, requires a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA).

Sunrise Reservation Requirements

Individuals or groups requesting a Special Use Permit during sunrise must obtain a sunrise reservation. Proof of reservation will need to be submitted with your application. If you do not have a sunrise reservation, a Special Use Permit will not be issued. To make a reservation, please visit www.recreation.gov. For more information, please visit Haleakalā Sunrise Reservations.

Timeline

Due to ever-changing workloads, we must receive your Special Use Permit application and application fee no less than two weeks prior to the start of your proposed activity. Requests that are complex in nature will require, at a minimum, four weeks to process as they must be reviewed by additional park staff for environmental and cultural compliance. The only exception to this is for First Amendment activities. Do allow at least two days for processing of these permits. Once an application is approved, a permit will be written, and the permittee will have to review and sign it confirming their intent to adhere to all permit conditions. Once the permittee has signed the permit, the Park Superintendent will authorize the permit by signature.

Application

Application forms may be found by selecting the permit type below. Please fill out the application completely; incomplete applications are not considered. Provide as much detail as you can regarding your event; you may attach additional pages. Along with your application, you must submit the non-refundable application fee. Please note that the application fee for special use permits is charged to recover costs of the permit approval process and is non-refundable per 54 U.S.C. 103104, OMB Circular A-25, and NPS Reference Manual 53 Chapter 10. Please indicate on your application if you'd like to pay with credit card (preferred). We will call you when we are ready to process your application and will obtain a credit card at this time. We will also accept a check or money order made payable to National Park Service. The park does not review applications until receipt of payment. Submit applications via email (preferred) to hale_commercial_manager@nps.gov, or by mail to the park address listed at the top of your application.

Entrance Fees

Vehicles entering the park with valid Special Use Permits listed below are subject to entrance fees, with the exception of First Amendment, Access, and Commercial Filming and Still photography.

Administrative Charges

Permits that require more than two hours of administrative time for review, site visits, meetings, or permit processing incur a charge at the rate of $50 per hour.

Monitoring Charges

The park monitors events when there is concern of impact to other visitors, cultural sites, or endangered species habitat. This charge is for actual time spent, including travel time, at the rate of $50 per hour, in half-hour increments.

 

When is a permit needed?

Photographers require a permit when:

  1. the activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or
  2. the activity uses model(s), sets(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the location's natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities; or
  3. a park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.

What fees will I have to pay?

The National Park Service will collect a cost recovery charge and a location fee for still photography permits. Cost recovery includes an application fee of $150.00 and any additional charges to cover the costs incurred by the National Park Service in processing your request and monitoring your permit. This amount will vary depending on the size and complexity of your permit.

The non-refundable application fee of $150.00 must be submitted with your application. This covers the first two hours of time spent on the permit to include initial communications, site visits, compliance review, and writing of permit conditions. Please indicate on your application if you'd like to pay with credit card. We will call you when we are ready to process your application and will obtain a credit card at this time.

In addition, the National Park Service has been directed by Congress to collect a fee to provide a fair return to the United States for the use of park lands. The National Park Service uses the following still photography fee schedule:

  • 1–10 people - $50/day
  • 11–30 people - $150/day
  • Over 30 people - $250/day

Are there other permit requirements?

You may be required to obtain liability insurance naming the United States as additionally insured in an amount commensurate with the risk posed to park resources by your proposed activity. All insurance certificates must be issued by an insurance company operation in the United States. The United States Government will be named as additional insured on the insurance certificate and it should read as follows: United States Government, P.O Box 369, Makawao, HI 96768.

The name on the certificate of insurance must match your business name, including any names used as DBAs (doing business as). The certificate can be mailed, shipped, emailed, or faxed using the contact information listed above. A copy of the insurance certificate must be received before the permit will be approved by the Superintendent.

You may also be asked to post a bond to ensure the payment of all charges and fees and the restoration of the area if necessary

Cancellations/Delays:
The permitted activity must be well planned and scheduled. Notification to the Permits Coordinator regarding changes is imperative. Last minute changes will not be accommodated unless the changes are contingent upon weather or other emergency conditions and approved by the Permits Coordinator or onsite representative.

You may want to consider including alternate "weather dates" in your application. Weather within the park changes constantly and cannot be predicted. Keep in mind that you are still required to contact the Permits Coordinator if you choose to use your rain dates.

What about photography workshops?

If you are planning a photography workshop, you may need a commercial use authorization. See the commercial use authorization page for more information.

Email Hale_Commercial_Manager@nps.gov for the permit application.

Effective October 28, 2022, the National Park Service rescinded interim guidance that was in place during litigation regarding commercial filming and has returned to longstanding laws and regulations governing commercial filming in parks. Questions and answers about filming and photography are provided below.

When is a permit needed for commercial filming?

Under federal law, all commercial filming that occurs within a unit of the National Park Service System requires a permit.

What is considered commercial filming?

"Commercial filming" means the film, electronic, magnetic, digital, or other recording of a moving image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience with the intent of generating income. Examples include, but are not limited to, feature film, videography, and documentaries. Commercial filming may include the advertisement of a product or service, or the use of actors, models, sets, or props.

Does non-commercial filming require a permit?

Individual parks may require a permit for non-commercial filming if necessary to manage the activity, to protect park resources and values, minimize conflict between user groups, or to ensure public safety. Examples of non-commercial filming include, but are not limited to, filming for tourism bureaus, convention and visitor bureaus, student filming, and filming for personal use and enjoyment. If you have questions about whether a non-commercial film project requires a permit, please contact the permit coordinators in advance.  

Does commercial filming by individuals or small groups require 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 and TikTok. The primary focus of the NPS, however, is on commercial filming that has the potential to impact park resources and visitors beyond what occurs from normal visitor use of park areas. Examples of this type of filming are productions that use substantial equipment such as sets and lighting, productions with crews that exceed 5 people, and filming in closed areas, wilderness areas, or in locations that would create conflicts with other visitors or harm sensitive resources.   

All filmers, no matter the size, must comply with all rules that apply in park areas, just like other visitors. 

In most cases, a permit is not necessary for visitors filming for personal enjoyment.

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 of $150.00 must be submitted with your application.

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: 

Commercial Filming 

  • 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 

Still Photography 

  • 1–10 people - $50/day 
  • 11–30 people - $150/day 
  • Over 30 people - $250/day 

Permits issued for non-commercial filming may be subject to cost recovery charges, including an application fee, but a separate location fee will not be charged.

What terms and conditions will permits have?

Filming and photography permits will contain terms and conditions that are necessary to protect park resources and visitors. They will specify the location and time of the activity and the number of personnel and equipment that may be used. The permits also may require you to obtain liability insurance naming the United States as additionally insured in an amount commensurate with the risk posed to park resources by your proposed activity. You also may be required to post a bond to ensure the payment of all charges and fees and the restoration of the area if necessary.

Filming in Wilderness Areas

The National Park Service manages and protects more than 67 million acres of park lands and waters as wilderness areas. These areas have additional laws and policies to preserve their wilderness character for future generations. Filming activities in wilderness areas must follow all applicable laws and regulations that govern wilderness areas in the park, including prohibitions on structures, installations, motor vehicles, mechanical transport, motorized equipment, motorboats, or landing of aircrafts.

Except for casual filming by visitors, special use permits for filming are required for all filming activities in wilderness areas, no matter the group size or equipment used.

Are individuals entering the park to film required to pay entrance fees?

If a person enters the park for the sole purpose of filming and requires a permit, then the activity is non-recreational, and that person does not have to pay the entrance fee. A person who enters the park for recreation must pay the entrance fee even if they engage in casual filming once inside.

Filming Locations
Possible locations include any road, front country trail, and overlook that can be used by any park visitor. Approval may be given for backcountry/wilderness trails but only after an environmental and cultural compliance review. Areas that are closed to the public are rarely permitted for filming and photography.

The following activities will not be permitted under any circumstance:

  • Filming off trail

  • Filming of any cast, crew or visitor swimming, playing or recreating in any water feature (predominately streams- e.g. Palikea, Pīīai,ʻOheʻo Gulch) will not be permitted.

  • Commercial activity, filming, or photography is not permitted in the Kaʻāpahu section of the park (including Lelekea, Alelele, and Kalepa streams).

  • Filming of water features is allowed provided no people are in the frame. The best time for this is prior to 9:00 a.m. Do note that if streams are closed due to flash flooding, high water, or fast stream flow, crews will not be permitted in the streambed or beyond closure signs/gates/barricades.

Please contact the park’s permit coordinators if you have any questions regarding filming. Additional information on filming outside of the park may be found at the Maui Film Commission website at Maui County Film Office, HI - Official Website | Official Website (filmmaui.com)

Email Hale_Commercial_Manager@nps.gov for the permit application.

The Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR §5.6) requires that all construction and commercial vehicles moving through the National Park obtain authorization to do so from the Superintendent. At Haleakalā National Park, a Special Use Permit (SUP) is used to permit such activity.

Vehicle/Equipment Invasive Species Inspections: Haleakalā National Park requires and performs vehicle and equipment inspections to ensure the non-transport of non-native species prior to arriving at the park entrance. These invasive species inspections are subject to payment of cost recovery at the permittees expense. Once you have submitted a permit application, you will be directed to arrange for such inspection with park personnel. Inspections take place outside of the park Monday-Friday, excluding Federal holidays.

Insurance: The application shall be accompanied with a copy of the Business/Organization Commercial Liability Insurance Certificate (CLI) underwritten by a United States Company, or a company holding a Certificate of Authority for the State of Hawai’i, showing a minimum coverage for Commercial Liability of $1,000,000 ($1M) each occurrence. The minimum coverage may be adjusted higher depending on the intended use/amount of use of the Park road. The CLI shall also show a minimum coverage for Automobile Liability of $1,000,000 ($1M) Combined Single Limit for All Owned Autos, Hired Autos, and Non-Owned Autos. The CLI shall show Policy Number(s). Binders are not acceptable and Policy EFF/EXP shall cover the period requested in the application. The United States Government/Haleakalā National Park shall appear on the Certificate as Additionally Insured. The CLI shall be signed by an Authorized Representative. Federal/State entities are exempt from this requirement; however, non-government contractors/subcontractors listed under this application, and any future non-government contractors/subcontractors registered under the issued Permit shall comply with this requirement.

Performance Deposit: Dependent upon the complexity and scope of your proposal, a performance deposit may be required to ensure that payment is covered for vehicle/equipment inspections and monitoring.

Along with your application, you must submit the non-refundable $150 application fee. Please indicate on your application if you'd like to pay with credit card. We will call you when we are ready to process your application and will obtain a credit card at this time.

Email Hale_Commercial_Manager@nps.gov for the permit application and pre-inspection checklist.

A Special Use Permit is required to hold a wedding within Haleakalā National Park and should be planned as a small private affair, conducted away from high visitor use areas.

The park does not approve permits for sites within the Wilderness Area, including wilderness cabins and campgrounds, or for the Ka'apahu or Alelele areas near Kīpahulu. Wilderness Area also includes Halemau`u Trail, and Keonehe`ehe`e (Sliding Sands) Trail. Other locations may be approved pending a compliance review and can take up to 60-days to process. Off-trail access is not permitted due to endangered bird, insect, and plant species habitats. Keep in mind that these are public areas and the park will not exclude or allow you to exclude other park visitors from the site during your ceremony. Wedding permits will not be approved for any group larger than 25 persons.

Approved Summit area sites include Pu’u’ula’ula (Red Hill), Haleakalā Visitor Center area, Pa’ka’oao (White Hill), Kalahaku Overlook, and Leleiwi Overlook. Approved Kipahulu area sites include Kūloa Point, and Kūloa Loop Trail Coastal Trail from Kūloa Point to Kīpahulu Campground.

Audio devices (e.g. electrified musical instruments, P.A. systems, tape players, etc.) are prohibited. Non-amplified musical instruments that do not impact the visitor experience may be considered in some locations—e.g. flute, violin, ukulele. Erecting of banners, signs, etc. is prohibited. Food service is prohibited except at designated picnic/camping areas. Permittee may bring plants, flowers or lei for use during the ceremony, but such materials must be removed from the park at the conclusion of the permitted activity due to the potential for non-native and invasive species to be left behind.

Along with your application, you must submit the non-refundable $150 application fee. Please indicate on your application if you'd like to pay with credit card. We will call you when we are ready to process your application and will obtain a credit card at this time.


Businesses/Organizations Insurance: Application shall be accompanied with a copy of the Business/Organization Commercial Liability Insurance Certificate (CLI) underwritten by a United States Company, or a company holding a Certificate of Authority for the State of Hawai’i, showing a minimum coverage for Commercial Liability of $1,000,000 ($1M) each occurrence:

a. The CLI shall also show a minimum coverage for Automobile Liability of $500,000 Combined Single Limit for All Owned Autos, Hired Autos, and Non-Owned Autos.

b. The CLI shall show Policy Number(s). Binders are not acceptable and Policy EFF/EXP shall cover the period requested in the application.

c. The United States Government/Haleakalā National Park shall appear on the Certificate as Additionally Insured.

d. The CLI shall be signed by an Authorized Representative.

Email Hale_Commercial_Manager@nps.gov for the permit application.
A Special Use Permit is required to scatter ashes within Haleakalā National Park and should be planned as a small private affair, conducted away from high visitor use areas.

Haleakalā National Park must abide by the terms outlined in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 2.62(b), which states in part: "the scattering of human ashes from cremation is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit, or in designated areas according to conditions which may be established by the Superintendent." Permits will not be approved for sites within the Wilderness Area, including wilderness cabins and campgrounds, or for the Ka'apahu or Alelele areas near Kipahulu. Off-trail access is not permitted due to endangered bird, insect, and plant species habitats. Approved Summit area sites include Pu’u’ula’ula (Red Hill), Pa’Ka’oao (White Hill), Kalahaku Overlook, and Leleiwi Overlook. Approved Kipahulu area sites include Kūloa Loop Trail and the Coastal Trail from Kūloa Point to Kipahulu Campground. Keep in mind, these are public areas and the park will not exclude or allow you to exclude other park visitors from the site during your ceremony. Scattering of ashes is not permitted in areas other than those listed or for any group larger than 25 persons.

Scattering must take place in such a manner and location that the ashes will not be located and identified as human remains. Permittee may bring plants, flowers or lei for use during the ceremony, but such materials must be removed from the park at the conclusion of the permitted activity due to the potential for non-native and invasive species to be left behind. No memorials, plaques, or photos will be left in the park.

Along with your application, you must submit a copy of the death certificate along with the non-refundable $25 application fee. Please indicate on your application if you'd like to pay with credit card. We will call you when we are ready to process your application and will obtain a credit card at this time.

Email Hale_Commercial_Manager@nps.gov for the permit application.

Please complete an application if you’re looking to hold a special event.

Along with your application, you must submit the non-refundable $150 application fee. Please indicate on your application if you'd like to pay with credit card. We will call you when we are ready to process your application and will obtain a credit card at this time.

Email Hale_Commercial_Manager@nps.gov for the permit application.

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 handheld 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 or entrance fees associated with First Amendment activities. Please reference the Superintendent's Compendium for designated First Amendments sites.

Email Hale_Commercial_Manager@nps.gov for the permit application.
Scientists representing academic institutions, government agencies, or private research organizations who are interested in obtaining a research and collection permit should visit the Research Permits page.
 

Questions?
Contact information for Special Park Uses.

 

Last updated: November 29, 2022

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Haleakalā National Park
PO Box 369

Makawao , HI 96768

Phone:

808 572-4400

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