Wilderness Camping permits are required for all overnight stays in Olympic National Park wilderness (backcountry) year-round. Permits are limited in quota areas year-round.
Permiting office hours and locations vary seasonally. Please check our currently scheduled hours. If you are not passing the WIC during business hours on the way to your trailhead, call several days ahead for permit options.
Due to staffing levels, self-registration permits may not be available at remote self-registration boxes.
A wilderness camping fee of $8 per person per night is applicable for all overnight stays in the wilderness. There is no nightly charge for people 15 years old or under.
Some areas of the backcountry accept Wilderness (Backcountry) Reservation for the summer season.
Check the Wilderness Trip Planner for more info on visiting and enjoying the Olympic wilderness.
Commercial Photography and Filming
Changes to Commercial Filming Permits on Park Land
On January 22, 2021, the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision in Price v. Barr determining the permit and fee requirements applying to commercial filming under 54 USC 100905, 43 CFR Part 5, and 36 CFR Part 5 are unconstitutional. The National Park Service is currently determining how this decision will be implemented.
Following the recent court decision, the National Park Service will not be implementing or enforcing the commercial filming portions of 43 CFR Part 5 until further notice, including accepting applications, issuing permits, enforcing the terms and conditions of permits, issuing citations related to permits, or collecting cost recovery and location fees for commercial filming activities.
As regulations regarding commercial filming permits are being reassessed, those interested in commercial filming activities on land managed by the National Park Service are encouraged to contact the park directly for more information about filming in the park and to discuss how to minimize potential impacts to visitors and sensitive park resources.
Do I need a permit to film?
Currently, the National Park Service is not issuing commercial filming permits, but is in the process of evaluating how best to regulate filming activities that affect visitors and park resources. All applicable laws and regulations governing activities and public use in parks still apply, including park hours and areas open and closed to the public. Videographers, filmers, producers, directors, and other staff associated with commercial filming are reminded that rules and regulations that apply to all park visitors still apply to filming activities even if no permit is needed for their activity. Check with the park staff for more information on closures, sensitive resources, and other safety tips.
Are filmers still required to pay fees to film in parks?
As of January 22, 2021, the National Park Service is no longer collecting application or location fees, or cost recovery for filming.
When is a permit needed?
Price v. Barr had no impact on how the National Park Service regulates still photography, so there are no changes in how the National Park Service regulates that activity. Still photographers require a permit only when:
How do I apply for a permit?
You should submit a completed commercial photography application along with the application fee to the park as far in advance of your planned date as possible. 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 submitted application in a timely manner.
What fees will I have to pay?
The National Park Service will collect a cost recovery charge and a location fee for still photography permits. Cost recovery includes an application fee and any additional charges to cover the costs incurred by the National Park Service in processing your request and monitoring your permit. This amount will vary depending on the park and the size and complexity of your permit. The application fee must be submitted with your application.
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. The National Park Service uses the following still photography fee schedule:
Are there other permit requirements?
You may be required to obtain liability insurance 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 the payment of all charges and fees and the restoration of the area if necessary.
What about photography workshops?
If you are planning a photography workshop, you may need a commercial use authorization. See the commercial use authorization page for more information.
Weddings and ceremonies - Special use permits are required for events such as weddings, ceremonies, meetings or gatherings. To apply for a Special Use Permit you can download a Special Use Permit application, but we also recommend that you e-mail us or write to c/o Olympic National Park, 600 East Park Ave, Port Angeles, WA 98362
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 involving less than 25 people do not require a permit, but are restricted to certain areas of the park. Examples of special events that require permits when more than 25 people are involved include, but are not limited to: distribution/sale of printed matter, religious services, public demonstrations, assemblies or collecting signatures for petitions. For more information contact the park at (360)565-3092 or c/o Olympic National Park 600 East Park Avenue, Port Angeles, WA 98362
Miscellaneous - Other activities may require permits if there is the potential for interference with visitor use, congestion of a highly visited area, or possible impact on park resources. You can obtain a Special Use Permit here, but please e-mail us or write to c/o Olympic National Park, 600 East Park Ave, Port Angeles, WA 98362 for more detailed information and clarification.
Commercial or Non-Profit Use
Non-Profit - Commercial Use Authorizations are not required for Non-Profit entities deriving no taxable income from their activity within Olympic National Park. However a Non-Profit Special Use Permit is required along with documentation from the IRS of their Non-Profit status. For more information and an application for the permit contact the Concessions Assistant at (360) 565-3028 or c/o Olympic National Park, 600 East Park Ave, Port Angeles, WA 98362.
Science & Research
Wilderness (backpacking) reservations - Reservations are required in the backcountry/wilderness areas in Olympic National Park with quota designation. The quota system helps preserve the wild character of the Olympic Wilderness for future wilderness explorers. To make a reservation in a quota area go to the Wilderness (Backpacking) Reservations page.
Last updated: February 8, 2021