It is the policy of the National Park Service (NPS) to allow filming and photography when it is consistent with the protection and public enjoyment of park resources, and avoid conflict with the public's normal use and enjoyment of the park. Aesthetic values such as scenic vistas, natural quiet and dark night skies, are resources that we value. The National Park Service is also sensitive to the environments around our park sites. There are restrictions associated with group size, the use of commercial vehicles, generators, artificial lighting, commercial film equipment, props, sets and audio devices. Commercial vehicles must be in compliance with all federal and state laws and local ordinances. inclement weather imposes road restrictions and limited access, in addition to tire chain controls in specific park areas.
Applications MUST be submitted NO LESS THAN 30 days prior to the requested filming activity date. Applications received later than that will not be approved. Requests that involve multiple locations, complex logistics, visitor activities, or special projects may require additional time to process.
The National Park Service cannot accommodate a project if:
1. Damage to natural, cultural, wilderness, and recreational resources is expected, which cannot be mitigated.
2. Other activities are already planned or expected to occur at the same time and place, and filming or photography would be incompatible.
3. The activity involves access to areas normally closed for reasons of resource protection or safety.
4. The level of activity within the park is already so high that staff would be unavailable to work with film crew.
5. The project includes a portrayal of activities that are not permitted within a national park.
6. The production company is unwilling or unable to obtain necessary insurance, or is unwilling or unable to reimburse the National Park Service for costs or comply with the National Park Service bond requirements.
Film Permit Requirements
A permit is required when the filming, videotaping, sound recording or still photography involve the use of talent, professional crews, set dressings, or props; when they involve product or service advertisement; or when the activity could result in damage to park resources or disruption of visitor use.
A permit is also required if the photographer wants to film in areas not open to the public, or before or after normal visitation hours. If you are uncertain whether your project requires a permit or not, contact the park for additional information.
Media - Breaking News
Breaking news is an event that cannot be covered at any other time or at any other location. Filming of breaking news does not involve advertising, sets, props, or models. Coverage of breaking news does not require a permit, but film crews may not disrupt park visitors, damage park resources, or compromise public health and safety regulations.
There may be opportunities for news organizations to focus on park programs, or increase public awareness of park-specific issues. Filming related to these stories must be coordinated and planned in advance. A permit will be issued if it is determined that the park would benefit from the increased public awareness.
Photography of scenery has traditionally been part of a visit to a national park. Photography does not require a permit if it involves only hand-carried equipment (tripod, interchangeable lenses or flash), and does not involve professional crews, product or service advertisement, or use of models, props or sets.
A still photography permit is required when:
1. Product or service advertisement is involved.
2. Talent/models, props, crews or sets are involved.
3. The project has the potential to disrupt other park activities or visitors.
4. More than just hand carried equipment is utilized.
5. Project requires access to an area normally closed or restricted to general public use.
6. Access into an area outside of normal public use hours is required.
7. Project carries with a potential risk to park resources.
8. Activity raises safety concerns that can be mitigated through issuance of permit with restrictions.
Activities having the potential to significantly impact, alter, or damage park resources are prohibited and include:
1. Altering, damaging, or removing vegetation for filming projects.
2. Vehicle use off established roads and parking areas.
3. Use of insecticides--herbicides and pesticides
4. Loud noises (60 decibels or higher) between 10 pm and 6 am.
5. Anything involving public nudity.
6. Night filming with artificial lighting
7. Smoking in buildings, on boardwalks, or in vegetated areas.
8. Harassment of wildlife or introduction of wildlife captured elsewhere.
10. Commercial filming in wilderness areas
11. Use of equipment that inhibits public views of popular scenic vistas.
12. Digging, scraping, chiseling, or defacing natural features for filming purposes.