Filming and Still Photography

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General Information

Effective October 28, 2022, the National Park Service rescinded interim guidance that was in place during litigation regarding commercial filming and has returned to longstanding laws and regulations governing commercial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.

If you are unsure if your event will need a special park use permit, please contact the Park Use Coordinator: Lake Mead National Recreation Area Special Park Use Office 601 Nevada Way Boulder City, NV 89005 (702) 293-8931 e-mail



Commercial filming is defined as a digital or film recording of a visual image or sound recording by a person, business or other entity for a market audience, such as for a documentary, television or feature film, advertisement or similar project.

Non-commercial filming includes student films or videos filmed at Lake Mead National Recreation Area by another government agency or park partner, not intended for commercial use

Still photography activities require a permit only when:

• The activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed;
• 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
• The park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity;
• The park needs to provide management and oversight to:

  • Avoid impairment or incompatible use of the resources and values of the park, or
  • Limit resource damage, or
  • Minimize health or safety risks to the visiting public.

All commericial filming and still photography permits are subject to cost recovery and a location fee per 54 USC §103104 and 54 USC § 100905 and proof of liability insurance naming the United States of America as also insured.

The location fee is calculated per day and must be based on the following schedule and is determined by the type of activity and the number of people on park lands associated with the permitted activity. There is no deviation from the schedule.

Cost of recovery (54 U.S.C. § 100905). The NPS shall recover from the permittee all agency costs incurred in processing the application and monitoring the permitted activity if the request is approved. Applicants shall be responsible for reimbursing the park for all costs incurred by the park in processing the application (even if the application is denied) and monitoring the permitted activity and subsequent site restoration if necessary.

Applications are accepted via email:

You must allow no less than 10 business days, excluding weekends and holidays (no exception), for the park to process your request. Permits may take up to 60 business days to process requests for applications.

Additional administrative costs, cost recovery, or facility-use cost may also be charged.

All permit applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable permit application fee. This fee is non-refundable even if your application is denied, so please contact the office prior to sending in paperwork.

The permit office accepts payment by credit card only and cannot accept personal or business checks. Please contact the permit office before making payment on Pay.Gov.

Submitting an application with the fee does not guarantee your activity or the date requested will be approved. Applications are accepted up to one year in advance. We will let you know within 4 business days that we have received your application, but approval or denial of your activity can range from days to weeks.

Some activities are required to go through full environmental or historic compliance review.

Permit Fees Graphic Film and Still Photography page

Film Permit Application and Cost Recovery Fees

Application Fee Recovery Cost Total Cost





Major Motion Picture




Travel Log




*TBD - To Be Determined at the end of the activity.

Commercial Filming Location Fees

(not required for non-commercial filming permits)

1-2 people, camera & tripod only


1-10 people


11-30 people


31-49 people


More than 50 people


Still Photography

Application Fee Recovery Cost Total Cost
1 or more people $150 TBD* TBD*
*TBD - To Be Determined at the end of the activity.

Still Photograpy Location Fees
1-10 people $50/day
11-30 people $150/day
More than 30 people $250/day

Additional administrative costs, cost recovery or facilities use cost may also be charged.


Frequently Asked Questions

We do not expedite applications as we process all applications in the order we receive them. Film and photography permit applications must be submitted no later than two-weeks in advance of your proposed shoot date.

It is important to remember that a permit is a legally binding document between the permitted applicant and the United States of America. Because of this, liability insurance may be required with all special park use permits.


If you are unsure if your event will need a special park use permit, please contact the Park Use Coordinator:

Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Special Park Use Office
601 Nevada Way
Boulder City, NV 89005
(702) 293-8931


Last updated: April 27, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

601 Nevada Way
Boulder City, NV 89005


702 293-8990
Call 911 For All Emergencies (24 hours). Call 988 for Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (24 Hours). Call 702-293-8990 for Visitor and Recreation Information (Visitor Center open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 7 days a week). Call 702-293-8906 for Park Business and Administration (Open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday - Friday).

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