Commercial Use Authorization Program and Commercial Non-Profit Special Use Permit Program for 2017

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Date: August 3, 2016
Contact: Jan Crosetto, CUA Office, 360-569-6514
Contact: Lindsey Kurnath, Chief, Administration & Business Management, 360-569-6512

Superintendent Randy King announced today that applications can now be requested for the Commercial Use Authorization program for 2017 and 2018 and the Commercial Non-Profit Special Use Permit program for 2017.

Commercial Use Authorizations (CUA)
The CUA program for Mount Rainier National Park will begin accepting applications for CUAs, starting September 1, 2016. CUAs will be available for guided backpacking trips, commercial use of drive-in campgrounds, guided day hiking, guided bicycling trips, shuttle transportation, and winter guiding activities.

The number of CUAs issued for each activity will continue to be limited under this program. Potential permittees will compete for the award of permits. CUA applications will be accepted until all of the permits have been issued. In order to ensure that the most qualified operators are selected for CUAs, application evaluations will occur at the end of each month. The park will begin accepting applications on September 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016 for the first evaluation round. The first evaluation round will review applications postmarked on or before September 30, 2016. If there are CUAs left over after the September round, there will be another evaluation of applications postmarked October 1 through October 31, 2016.

Update to Winter Use CUAs: The number of Guided Winter Use CUAs that can be awarded has increased from 4 CUAs to 7 CUAs. In order to make this increase, the 14-night trip offered on the CUA has been removed. CUA holders can continue to conduct ten day trips, and three 5-night trips per year.

Update to Day Hiking CUAs: The number of Guided Day Hiking CUAs that can be awarded has increased from 10 CUAs to 20 CUAs. In order to make this increase, the number of overall trips was reduced. This CUA has 3 options:

  • Four CUAs will offer 40 day trips
  • Six CUAs will offer 20 day trips
  • Ten CUAs will offer 12 day trips

When applying, you can state the number of day hikes you plan to conduct and the appropriate CUA will be issued.

Commercial Non-profit Special Use Permits (Non-Profit SUP)
The Commercial Non-profit SUP program will begin accepting applications for Commercial Non-profit SUP's starting October 1, 2016 for the year 2017.

Commercial Non-profit SUPs will be issued to non-profit entities on a first-come, first-served basis. Non-profit SUPs are for one-year and will continue to be limited under this program. Non-profit SUPs are available for single trip guided summit attempts, summer guided backpacking trips, winter guided activities, and use of drive-in campgrounds.

Organizations that have 501(c)3 non-profit status and in-park activities that are commercial in nature can apply for a Commercial Non-profit SUP. Examples of criteria used to determine if a non-profit organization falls into the Commercial Non-profit category are:

  1. Rates charged to participants –Is the fee greater than direct expenses?
  2. Leaders/Guides paid above stipend.
  3. No taxable income is received by company or organization.
  4. Purpose is the sale of the service.

Update to Winter Use SUPs: The number of Winter Use SUPs remains at 5, but the number of trips allowed on the SUP has increased from three trips to ten day trips and two 5-night trips which is more consistent with what is allowed on a Winter Use CUA.

CUA Application Packets
The CUA Application Packets include the following: Application Instructions, Application Form, Activity Appendix, Exhibit 1 Commercial Free Zone, Exhibit 2 Acknowledgement of Risk Form, and Exhibit 3 Annual Use Report.

Please read the Application Instructions and Appendix for your activity before applying for a CUA. Applications must be mailed to the park; emailed applications will not be accepted. All items listed on your activity's Appendix Checklist must be included with your signed application to qualify for a CUA.

The 2017-2018 CUA Application packets can be downloaded from the park's website at for Guided Summer Overnight Use, Drive-in Campground Use, Guided Summer Day Hiking, Guided Bicycle Tours, Shuttles, and 2017-2019 Guided Winter Use.

Commercial Non-profit SUP application packets can be requested by e-mailing Jan Crosetto at or by calling 360-569-6514.


Last updated: August 3, 2016

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