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 to January 1 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
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.
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
On January 1, 2023, Joshua Tree National Park is changing its CUA management fee structure to what is called market-price management fee. This fee will reflect the value of the business opportunity for commercial activities conducted in Joshua Tree National Park. It will be a tiered system of fee management based on gross receipts earned from CUA-authorized business here. Below is a table that details how these fees will be assessed:
|CUA Annual Gross Receipts
||CUA Management Fee
||3% of gross receipts (minus application fee)
|$250,000 to $500,000
||4% of gross receipts (minus application fee)
||5% of gross receipts (minus application fee)
The table is best explained by example. Suppose a CUA holder earns $750,000 in gross revenue from doing business at Joshua Tree National Park. Under the upcoming fee structure, the National Park will charge the CUA holder 3 percent of their gross receipts, 4 percent for the next $250,000, and 5 percent for the remaining $250,000. This hypothetical CUA holder would then have a total fee of $30,000. The application fee will then be subtracted from $30,000. After subtracting the application fee from $30,000, the difference must be remitted to the National Park before a new CUA can be issued. The combined charges for the application fee and the market-rate management fee may not exceed the limits noted in the table above. If the calculated market-rate fee is less than the application, then the National Park Service will retain the application fee.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Road Based Company’s are required to obtain a Commercial Use Authorization prior to entering the park. There is a non-refundable fee of $300.00 to obtain a CUA.
Road based Company’s need to complete the NPS Form 10-550 along with the following additional documentation.
- Safety Inspection from the CHP and/or DOT
- List of all vehicles that may enter the park
- Current liability insurance
Commercial Use Authorizations are issued for January of the current year and expire in December of current year.
The NPS Form 10-660A annual report is required no later than the 15th of January for the prior year.
When is a permit needed?
Still photographers require a permit only when:
- the activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or
- 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
- 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.
Still Photography Fees
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 Crew
Still Photography Location Fees
50 or more
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 may 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.
Once your permit is received it will take 10-30 business days to process.
Permits for photography are only granted in the following locations:
To apply for a still photography permit, please fill out fill out the 10-932 Long Form request.
Please contact the Special Park Use Coordinator, Jeannie Wilson, at (760) 367-5518.
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.
Guided Front-Country or Back-Country Camping
Yoga Class and/or Workshops
Guided Motorcycle Tours
- Guided Bicycle Tours
- Trailer Rental Delivery
- Catering Services
Guided Horse Back Riding Tours
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 Amendment 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 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.
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
Items not permitted for a wedding
Non-battery powered candles
Any live animals, including doves, butterflies, etc
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
Contact the permit office at email@example.com
Permits for filming/photography are only granted in the following locations:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com. 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.