Permits & Reservations

Runners at LIRI for the 8th Annual Canyon Half Marathon 2019
Runners competing in the 8th Annual Canyon Half Marathon

NPS / Matt Switzer


What types of activities require a permit?

  • Organized Groups/Events/Rides such as (but not limited to) weddings,baptisms, motorcycle/motor vehicle groups and clubs, and races require a Special Use Permit.
  • Photography/Filming may require a Filming Permit, contact the park for more information.
  • All Commercial Use activities require a Commercial Use Permit

Special Use Permits

Any organized group or event (such as, but not limited to: Baptisms, Weddings, Organized Group and Club Activities, Bicycle/Motorcycle/Motor Vehicle Rides, etc.) requires a Special Use Permit. A nonrefundable processing fee of $50 must accompany this application (unless the requested use is an exercise of a First Amendment right) 10 business day prior to the event. You must allow sufficient time for the park to process your request; check with the park for guidelines. You will be notified of the status of the application and the necessary steps to secure your final permit. Special Use Permits may be picked up at the Little River Canyon Center.

A special park use is defined as an activity that takes place in a park area and that:

  • provides a benefit to an individual, group or organization rather than the public at large;

  • requires written authorization and some degree of management control from the National Park Service in order to protect park resources and the public interest;

  • is not prohibited by law or regulation;

  • is not initiated, sponsored, or conducted by the National Park Service (NPS); and

  • is not managed under a concession contract, a recreation activity for which the NPS charges a fee, or a lease;

  • is a short term activity.

The National Park Service may permit a special park use if the proposed activity will not:

  • cause injury, damage or impairments to park resources;

  • be contrary to the park’s purpose for which the park was established and the mission of the NPS;

  • unreasonably impair the atmosphere of peace and tranquility maintained in wilderness, natural, historic, or commemorative locations within the park; or

  • interfere with visitor use, access, and programs

  • interfere with park management or administration;

  • interfere with concession operations or other public facilities;

  • present a clear and present danger to public health and safety.

Filming Permits

All commercial filming activities taking place within a unit of the National Park system require a permit. Commercial filming means the film, electronic, magnetic, digital, or other recording of a moving image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience with the intent of generating income.

You should submit a completed Filming/Photography Application along with the $250 application fee 14 business days prior to your planned date. In addition, you should request a meeting with park staff if your proposed activity is unusual or complex. Early consultation with park staff will help them process the application in a timely manner once it is submitted.

Commercial Use Authorizations

Commercial Use Authorizations allows and individual, group, company, or other for-profit entity to conduct commercial activities and provide specific visitor service within a national park unit. Depending on the park, this can include guided rock climbing, bike tours, kayak trips, photography workshops, fishing trips,and much more. Learn about all Commercial Use Authorizations by clicking here. Contact the park to receive an application.

Federal law mandates the NPS issue Commercial Use Authorizations only for commercial activities and visitor services that:

  • are determined to be an appropriate use of the park
  • will have minimal impact on the park resources and values, and
  • are consistent with the park purpose, management plan, policies, and regulations.

You should submit your Commercial Use Authorization application and non-refundable application fee, currently $250, at least 30 days in advance - in some cases, the park may require more time to process your application. Your permit may require the payment of cost recovery charges and proof of liability insurance naming the United States of America an additional insured. All permit applications are subject to approval.

Why are there fees?

The National Park Service is authorized to collect two fees: cost recovery and a location fee. Cost recovery includes an application fee which must be submitted with your application as well as a charge to cover the costs incurred by the National Park Service in processing your request and monitoring your permit.

In addition, the National Park Service has been directed by Congress to collect a fee to provide a fair return to the United States for the use of park lands.

Are there other permit requirements?

You will be required to obtain liability insurance (Commercial Use only) 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 payment of all charges and fees and the restoration of the area if necessary.



Reservations are required for use of pavilions at Canyon Mouth Park. For more information reach out to fee rangers at (256) 845-9605.

The tables at Canyon Mouth Park and Little River Falls will be full during peak seasons - come early to get a good spot, or enjoy one of the tables at many of the overlooks on Little River Canyon Rim Parkway (State Route 176) on the west side of the canyon.

We hope you have an enjoyable visit!

Last updated: October 4, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

4322 Little River Trail NE Ste 100
Fort Payne, AL 35967


256 845-9605 x201
Main phone number for Little River Canyon National Preserve.

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