Permits & Reservations

 

Reservations

  • No advance reservations are needed to enter Joshua Tree National Park.
  • Reservations are required for ranger-led tours of Keys Ranch. Reservations can be made by calling the Oasis Visitor Center at (760) 367-5522.
  • Some campgrounds are first come, first served, whereas others require reservations during the peak season. Reservations may be made on recreation.gov.
 

Permits

Backcountry Permits
A permit is not required for day hiking in the backcountry. To backcountry camp, you must park and register at a backcountry registration board. There is no fee. Your registration is your permit.
Bolting Permits
The rules that govern the placement of fixed anchors for rock climbing are complex. A permit may or may not be required depending on a number of factors. You are responsible for following bolting guidelines and applying for a permit if applicable.

Business Permits and Commercial Use Authorizations

Tour groups coming to Joshua Tree National Park must abide by park regulations and safety guidelines. Please contact the Special Park Use Coordinator, Jeannie Wilson, at (760) 367-5518 or jeannie_wilson@nps.gov.

All Road Based Company's are required to complete the NPS Form 10-550 and submit the following supporting documentation. Most recent safety inspection from the CHP or DOT, list of all vehicles that will enter the park, current liability insurance, and the completed application. Without all documents a permit cannot be issued.
  • Permits are issued from January 01 of the current year until December 31, of the current year only. Please submit all application no later than November 01, 2018 for the 2019 season.
  • Starting January 1, 2019 charter companies will be required to pay a non-refundable application fee in the amount of $300.00. This fee is National Park Service wide. Each National Park requires a separate CUA permit. Operating in Joshua Tree National Park without an approved CUA Permit will result in a $500.00 fine for each occurrence. Continuing to visit Joshua Tree National Park and provide additional tours without an approved permit can and/or will result in non-entry into the park. Charter companies will be turned around at the entrance gate.
Other forms
NPS Form 10-660 Monthly Report
NPS Form 10-660 Annual Report

Filming Permits

Commercial filming or photography requires a filming permit. Permits are not required for visitors using cameras for personal use, or for film or video news crews at breaking news events.
  • Application/Administration Fee: $315.00, non-refundable. This is paid online with a credit card. Once your permit has been received and reviewed we will send instructions on how to make your payment.
  • Location Fee: There is a location fee and that is determined by the total number of cast and crew you will have on location. Below is a table that lists the location fees.
# of Cast/Crew Video/Motion Picture Location Fees Still Photography Location Fees
1–10 $150/day $50/day
11–30 $250/day $150/day
31–49 $500/day $250/day
50 or more $750/day $500/day
  • Monitoring Fee: $50/hour, non-negotiable. There is a monitoring fee for the Park Ranger that is required to be on location for every shoot that is permitted in the park.
  • Liability Insurance: You will be required to provide a copy of your liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000.00 and the certificate holder on the policy must read THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA/JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK.
  • Deposit: A deposit is required and ranges from $500.00 - $20,000.00. This will depend on the scope of the project and the locations you will be using. Each project is different so this fee is not a set price.
  • Once your permit is received it will take 10-15 business days to process.

Permits for filming/photography are only granted in the following locations:

  • Hidden Valley Picnic Area (Not available February–May)
  • Quail Springs (Not available February–May)
  • Cap Rock
  • Rattlesnake Picnic Area
  • Live Oak
  • Split Rock
To apply for a commercial filming/still photography permit, fill out the Long Form request.

Please contact the Special Park Use Coordinator, Jeannie Wilson, at (760) 367-5518 or jeannie_wilson@nps.gov.

Guiding Permits

Commercial Use Authorizations are available for guided day hikes, backpacking trips, rock climbing, photography workshops, art workshops, and motorcycle tours. If you're leading a trip in Joshua Tree National Park, ensure your group is aware of park regulations and safety concerns.

The following are Joshua Tree National Park approved services/activities authorized to operate in the park. You will need to submit NPS Form 10-550 and the following documentation if it pertains to your operation. Provide proof of Rock Climbing training certificate, Current liability insurance and automobile insurance, Current First Aid and CPR or equivalent training completion certificate, Leave No Trace training certificate, Wilderness Responder or equivalent training certificate.

  • Climbing Guide Certification Program
  • Limited Trip Climbing
  • Guided Hiking on Established Trails
  • Guided Backpacking
  • Guided Front-Country or Back-Country Camping
  • Photography Workshop
  • Yoga Class and/or Workshops
  • Off-Trail Travel
  • Guided Motorcycle Tours
  • Guided Bicycle Tours
  • Catering Services
  • Guided Horse Back Riding Tours
Please read all documentation prior to submitting your application. Incomplete packages will not be accepted. Other forms
NPS Form 10-660 Monthly Report
NPS Form 10-660 Annual Report

Scientific Research and Collecting Permits

A permit is required to carry out scientific research or related activities in the park. Fees are not charged for the permit, but researchers must submit an annual activity report. Scientific research permit applications are completed online and reviewed by discipline specialists, who will contact the applicant for further information.

Special Use Permits

A special use permit is required for activities that provide a benefit to an individual, group, or organization, rather than the public at large, and that require some degree of management from the National Park Service in order to protect park resources and the public interest.

Special-use permits are required for events such as: weddings, ceremonies, First Amendment activities, festivals, concerts, cultural programs, sporting events, and public spectator attractions. Please contact the Special Park Use Coordinator, Jeannie Wilson, at (760) 367-5518 or jeannie_wilson@nps.gov.

Weddings and Engagement Photos

Joshua Tree National Park is an amazing location to have your wedding or take engagement photos. A Special Park Use Permit is required for both of these activities.

Weddings

All weddings require a Special Park Use Permit regardless of size. The cost of the wedding application is $120.00 and is non-refundable. Additional cost can vary depending on the size of your wedding and location. If you are hiring a professional photographer or cater they are required to obtain a separate Special Use Permit.
Weddings of 25 or less
Hidden Valley Picnic Area (not permitted in March–May)
Quail Springs Picnic Area (not permitted in March–May)
Cap Rock
Live Oak
Split Rock
Rattlesnake Picnic Area

Weddings of 26 to 100
Indian Cove Amphitheater is the only authorized location that can hold more than 26 people. The setting at the amphitheater is breathtaking. There is a location fee of $200.00 to have a wedding here. This location does come with seating. Unfortunately there is no parking and you are required to shuttle your guest in and out of this location. From the entrance of the amphitheater gate there is a short walk on a dirt path that will lead you into the site. Vehicles are not permitted into the amphitheater without prior written approval.

The Indian Cove Amphitheater has a small structure with a rollup door. This structure is not for public use. Nothing is to be fixed to this building to cover it up. If you would like to hide the rollup door from guest you can build a free standing structure (PVC Pipe) and drape cloth over it. The free standing structure is not permitted to be placed into the ground.
Items that are permitted for a wedding
Arch, must be free-standing
Small table for guest book
Cooler with water
Live flowers
Battery-powered candles
Runner
Rug
Cake
Champagne

Items not permitted for a wedding
Drones
Dried flowers
Non-battery powered candles
Bubbles
Any live animals, including doves, butterflies, etc
Confetti
Rice
Birdseed
Balloons
Smoke Bombs
Please complete the NPS Form 10-930 Short Form. You can email your application to e-mail us or mail it to the address listed on the application.
Once your application is reviewed we will send you instructions on making your payment online. Joshua Tree National Park does not accept checks.

Please note if a permit is not obtained for this activity you are subject to a citation fine up to $500.00

Engagement Photos

A Special Park Use Permit is required for all photos in the park. The cost for a permit is $120.00 and is non-refundable.

Permits for filming/photography are only granted in the following locations:

  • Hidden Valley Picnic Area (Not available February–May)
  • Quail Springs (Not available February–May)
  • Cap Rock
  • Rattlesnake Picnic Area
  • Live Oak
  • Split Rock
The following items are strictly prohibited in Joshua Tree National Park and are not authorized for the use in photos
Smoke Bombs, drones, dried flowers, open-flame candles, campfires outside of a designated location, butterflies, doves, confetti, rice, chalk, balloons, colored-water tablets, hanging or attaching anything to a tree or bush, or in the ground, and gathering of branches, plants, or flowers within Joshua Tree National Park is not authorized.

Items that are permitted for use in photos are listed below
Blanket, rug, picnic scene, small chalk board and/or small sign with date or message written on it, battery-operated candles, small arrangement of flowers.

Any other items not listed on the above list will require a photo be submitted to Special Park Uses Office for approval.
Please complete the NPS Form 10-930 Short Form. You can email your application to e-mail us or mail it to the address listed on the application.
Once your application is reviewed instructions on making your payment online will be emailed to you. A copy of the receipt must be emailed to e-mail us. Joshua Tree National Park does not accept checks.

Please note if a permit is not obtained you are subject to a citation up to $500.00.

Last updated: August 8, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597

Phone:

(760) 367-5500

Contact Us