Special Use Permits (non-guided services)

A Special Use Permit is required for activities that provide a benefit to an individual, group, or organization, rather than the public at large. These activities require some degree of management from the National Park Service if there is the potential for interference with visitor use, congestion of a highly visited area, or possible impact on park resources. Please note, with the exception of filming, commercial operations are not authorized under a Special Use Permit.


Weddings and Group Gatherings

The park is beautiful and is a popular destination for visitors to share festivities and special events/occasions with friends and family. There are several locations within the park that have been identified as suitable and appropriate for group gatherings and associated activities. Specific conditions apply to the various locations and include recommendations for group size capacity.

Photography Sessions and Special Events

The Photographer

North Cascades National Park accepts Commercial Use Applications for Commercial Portrait Photography services provided within park boundaries. The activity permitted is taking portrait photographs. The CUA authorizes entities or individuals to conduct photography sessions of individuals or groups of people for memorialization purposes and/or special events including, but not limited to, weddings, elopements, graduations and family reunions. The commercial photographer or entity conducting the portrait session is the person responsible for obtaining the Commercial Use Authorization. For additional information on CUAs, click here.

In cases where the photography session is being conducted in conjunction with an event, the individual or group hosting the event, may also need a Special Use Permit to conduct their activity. A Special Use permit is required for groups of more than 2 people (3 or more individuals being photographed). The SUP must be obtained by the party or group for which the portrait session is being conducted; the Commercial Portrait Photography CUA holder may not obtain the Special Use Permit for the event being photographed.

The Client

For clients of the services authorized under the Portrait Photography Session CUA, a Special Use Permit is not required of the portrait session subjects(s) if the party size is less than 2 people (i.e. high school senior or engagement photos). Groups of more than 2 people must apply for a Special Use Permit to conduct their event, and all weddings and elopements require a Special Use Permit.

Non-professional or casual photo taking activities do not require a permit.


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. First Amendment activities are restricted to certain areas of the park. Please contact the Commercial Services Office for more information.

Memorial Activities

A Letter of Authorization is required for the scattering of ashes within the Park. Contact the Commercial Services Office for more information.

To apply:

Fees and Conditions of permits vary, depending on the type of Special Use Permit being issued.

To receive application materials for your intended activity or event, contact the Commercial Service Office, Or call 360/854-7213.

For non-filming Special Use Permits, the following is required prior to permit approval:
1. Completion and Submission of the Special Park Uses Application
2. Payment of $50 for non-refundable Application Fee

The park accepts payment for SUP and CUA fees through Pay.gov for EFT, credit or debit payment methods. A copy of your payment confirmation receipt from pay.gov must be forwarded to the Commercial Services Office.

*Note: Payment of the application fee through Pay.Gov does not automatically generate a permit; potential permittees must submit application materials through the Commercial Services Office to receive a permit.

Last updated: January 5, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

810 State Route 20
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284


360 854-7200

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