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 written authorization and management control in order to protect park resources and the public interest. Examples include: weddings, memorial services, commercial filming and/or photography, special assemblies, First Amendment activities, athletic events, or collecting of resource materials. Each of these activities requires a special use permit that must be acquired in advance.

Special Use Permit Application Form (docx)


Mesa Verde's inspiring viewpoints and natural settings are ideally suited for small, informal weddings. All weddings, regardless of size, require an approved wedding permit issued by the National Park Service. Application Form

First Amendment Activities

Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are constitutional rights. However, the courts have recognized that activities associated with the exercise of these rights may be reasonably regulated to protect park resources. The necessity of a permit to conduct First Amendment activities is determined by the group size.

A small group is defined as "25 people or less." A "small group" is not required to obtain a First Amendment Permit if they are located within a park designated First Amendment site and have no more than leaflets, booklets and/or hand-held signs. A permit is required for any small group that:

a. wants to hold a demonstration or distribute and/or sell printed matter somewhere outside a designated First Amendment area.
b. wants to use equipment (i.e., tables, banners, platforms, etc.) even if it is within a designated area.
c. is merely an extension of another group already availing itself of the 25 person maximum.
d. wants to guarantee they will have priority for the use of a location, including the designated First Amendment areas.

A large group is defined as more than "25 people" and is required to obtain a First Amendment Permit even if they are utilizing a park designated First Amendment site.

Some examples of special events that fall under First Amendment Rules:

  • distribution and/or sale of printed matter
  • religious services
  • public demonstrations or assemblies, etc.

There are no permit fees associated with First Amendment permits. Application Form

Please contact the Concessions Management Office at 970-529-4612 for more information about Designated First Amendment sites or the application process.

Please send completed applications to:
Mesa Verde National Park
Concessions Management Office
PO Box 8
Mesa Verde National Park, CO 81330

Or fax to 970-529-4637

After favorable review of your application, a Special Use Permit will be prepared and mailed to you for signature. Upon receipt, you will need to review, sign and return the permit to our office for final approval. After the permit is approved we will send you an authorized copy. The approved permit must be in your possession at the time of your wedding or event.

Most applications require a minimum of 3 weeks to fully process.

Special Use Permit Fees

Permit Fees are non-refundable and are based on an annual cost recovery analysis conducted by the Concessions Management Office. These fees include the cost of permit processing and administration. An additional fee may include monitoring depending upon the event. Please contact the park for fee information. Payment can be made by cashier's check, money order or personal check. If you wish to pay by credit card, payment can be made through pay.gov. Please contact a Special Park Use Coordinator at (970) 529-4612 for a permit number and more information before using pay.gov.

Additional Information

For more information about Special Use Permits:
Contact the Concessions Management Office via email or at 970-529-4612.

Last updated: November 15, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 8
Mesa Verde National Park, CO 81330



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