Special Use Permits

Kalaupapa National Historical Park requires a Special Use Permit for certain events and activities. This includes, but is not limited to, filming, photography, public assembly, religious events, and commercial use providing the activity will not cause harm to the park's resources or values, visitor experiences, or the purpose for which the park was established. Special Use Permits are required by the National Park Service and are addressed in the Superintendent's Compendium.

Visiting Kalaupapa also requires a Visitor Permit. Members of the public who are interested in a general visit to the park can learn more on the Plan Your Visit page, the Permits and Reservations page, and the Guided Tours page. This page focuses on Special Use Permits.

Special Use Permits

Special Use Permits are required for short-term activities that:

  • Take place within the park and benefit an individual, group, or organization

  • Require NPS management to protect park resources and the public interest

  • Are not prohibited by law or regulation

Download the Application for a Special Use Permit which can be used to apply for special use activities including filming. Photography specific applications can be found below. The submission of an application and processing fee ($100.00) does not guarantee a permit will be authorized. In addition to the application fee, the park is authorized to recover and retain all costs associated with monitoring and managing special use permits, as well as request a location fee, with the exception of First Amendment activities. Please allow 90 days for processing of your request. For more information, please contact the park at 808-567-6802. Applicants must also obtain Visitor Permits from the State Department of Health.


Still Photography

Still photography permits are needed when the activity takes places at a location closed to the public, models are used, sets, props, or when the park will incur on additional administrative costs to monitor the activity. The park will monitor the activity to avoid impairment or incompatible use of the resources and values of the park, to limit resource damage, or to minimize health or safety risks to the visiting public. Download the application for the Still Photography permit.

For questions regarding permits, please contact the park at 808-567-6802.


“Low-impact filming’ is defined as outdoor filming activities in areas open to the public, except areas managed as wilderness, involving five people or less and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras. Those participating in low-impact filming activities do not need a permit and are not required to contact the park in advance. If low-impact filmers have questions about areas where they want to film, they should contact us directly.

Filming activities that do not meet the description of low-impact filming require at least ten days advance notice to the National Park Service by contacting the park directly with a completed Application for a Special Use Permit. Based on the information provided, a permit may be required to:

  • maintain public health and safety;

  • protect environmental or scenic values;

  • protect natural or cultural resources;

  • allow for equitable allocation or use of facilities;

  • avoid conflict among visitor use activities; or
  • ensure consistency with the policies of Kalawao County.

The decision to require a permit rests with the park superintendent based on potential impacts to park resources or the visitor experience. Please contact us directly if unsure whether or not a filming activity is considered low-impact or may require a permit.

Learn more about Filming & Still Photography Permits in national parks!

Last updated: July 11, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 2222
7 Puahi Street

Kalaupapa, HI 96742


808 567-6802

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