Permits & Reservations

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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 on Recreation.gov.
  • Some campgrounds are first come, first served, whereas others require reservations during the peak season. Reservations may be made on recreation.gov.
 
 

Permits

Permit Office Hours

Permit office hours are Monday - Friday, 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM. The permit office is closed on Saturday and Sunday. Permits may still be granted in advance for a Saturday or Sunday.

Permits are not issued on federal holidays and NPS free entrance days.

No permits will be issued from December 20, 2020 to January 1, 2021 with the exception of First Amendment activities.

No permits will be issued for the following dates:
  • January 1
  • January 18
  • February 15
  • April 17
  • May 31
  • July 4 & 5
  • August 4
  • August 25
  • September 6
  • September 25
  • October 11
  • November 11
  • November 25, 26, 27
  • December 24, 25, 26, 31


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.
  1. Review bolting guidelines and determine if a permit is required.

  2. Complete the Bolting Proposal Form.

  3. Complete a free Special Use Permit request (NPS Form 10-930 Short Form).

  4. Submit both forms to the Division of Science and Resource Stewardship.

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 January 31, 2021 for the 2021 season.

  • Charter companies are 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

Photography and Filming Permits

A permit is required for most commercial filming. Please fill out the form under Permit Information to start your application. If you are unsure whether your filming requires a permit, please contact Jeannie_Wilson@nps.gov. Commercial photography also requires a permit. Permits are not required for visitors using cameras for personal use, or for film or video news crews at breaking news events. Commerical photographers should read through the below information.
  • 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
  • Trailer Rental Delivery
  • 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.

First Amendment Permits

First Amedment permits are issued at no charge. Joshua Tree National Park has three locations for this activity:

  • Black Rock Visitor Center parking lot
  • Oasis Visitor Center parking lot
  • Cottonwood Visitor Center parking lot
Please contact the Special Park Uses Office for a map of these locations.

Scattering Ashes

Scattering ashes is authorized with an approved permit. There is one location in Joshua Tree National Park where the park is permitted to allow this activity. The Special Park Uses Office will provide you with a map of this location once your permit has been approved.

There is no charge to scatter ashes in the park.

Please complete the NPS Form 10-930 Short Form. You can email your application to Jeannie_Wilson@nps.gov. 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

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, and any group of people including meet-ups, clubs, non-profits organizations, friends & family, et cetera. Please contact the Special Park Use Coordinator, Jeannie Wilson, at (760) 367-5518 or Jeannie_Wilson@nps.gov.

To request a permit, please complete the NPS Form 10-930 Short Form. You can email your application to 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.

Please check with the Special Park Use Office for current gathering restrictions and group size limitations. Contact Jeannie Wilson at (760) 367-5518 or Jeannie_Wilson@nps.gov.

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.

Indian Cove Amphitheater; No more than 100 people total and only 1 vehicle. You must shuttle your guest in and out of this location.
Hidden Valley Picnic Area; No more than 35 people total and up to 8 vehicles.
Turkey Flats; No more than 35 people total and up to 8 vehicles.
Cap Rock; No more than 25 people total and up to 8 vehicles.
Rattlesnake Picnic Area; No more than 20 people and 8 vehicles.
Quail Springs Picnic Area; No more than 15 people and 8 vehicles.
Split Rock; No more than 15 people and 5 vehicles.
Porcupine Wash; No more than 12 people and 4 vehicles.
Queen Valley Mine Intersection; No more than 10 people and 5 vehicles.
Lost Horse Parking Lot; No more than 10 people and 5 vehicles.
Live Oak Picnic Area; No more than 5 people and 3 vehicles.

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 Jeannie_Wilson@nps.gov.
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 Jeannie_Wilson@nps.gov.
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 Jeannie_Wilson@nps.gov. 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.

 

Commercial Filming

Changes to Commercial Filming Permits on Park Land

On January 22, 2021, the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision in Price v. Barr determining the permit and fee requirements applying to commercial filming under 54 USC 100905, 43 CFR Part 5, and 36 CRF Part 5 are unconstitutional. The National Park Service is currently determining how this decision will be implemented.

Joshua Tree National Park is issuing permits for large-scale commercial filming, but not small-scale filming. If you are unsure whether you are a large-scale commercial filmer or small-scale, please contact Jeannie_Wilson@nps.gov.

 

Still Photography

When is a permit needed?

Price v. Barr had no impact on how the National Park Service regulates still photography, so there are no changes in how the National Park Service regulates that activity. Still photographers require a permit only 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.

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. 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.

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.

Last updated: February 27, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597

Phone:

(760) 367-5500

Contact Us