Nonprofit Groups Leading Wilderness Trips

Glacier Travel on Hoh
Glacier travel across the Hoh Glacier on the Olympus massif.

Wilderness Information Center photo

Special Use Permits are REQUIRED for all nonprofit organizations planning to lead trips in Olympic National Park wilderness.

Call the Concessions Assistant at (360) 565-3028 to start the application process. A copy of the general Non-Profit Special Use Permit (SUP) application can be found under the heading "Commercial Use Authorizations and Non-Profit Special Use Permits" on this web page: https://www.nps.gov/olym/getinvolved/dobusinesswithus.htm

Special Use Permits are obtained by schools and other nonprofit organizations such as those involved in wilderness education and therapy. Schools may be eligible for waivers of entrance fees with an Educational Fee Waiver, but this entrance fee waiver does not waive SUP or Wilderness Camping Permit fees.

Leave No Trace ethics offer further information on the analysis and decision-making involved in complying with these rules, especially when running trips in fragile areas such as alpine meadows and high-traffic areas such as the Coast.

The
Superintendent's Compendium presents other rules for operating in the Park. Most groups run their trips according to the rules by educating their educators in the park rules and monitoring their compliance while in the park.

Email or call the Wilderness Information Center (WIC) for more information about wilderness practices such as vegetation protection, human waste disposal, group size, and bear canisters (required of all organized groups).

Education

Educating students and clients in Leave No Trace ethics and practices is critical for preserving Olympic's wilderness character now and for future generations. Please have your participants watch the Leave No Trace video prior to their trip. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics at LNT.org also has a variety of educational materials available. Ask the WIC for a DVD of the video.

Click here for a free online Leave No Trace Awareness Course.

Instructor-led courses are also available. LNT.org offers a variety of teaching resources as well.

Important information about reservations & quota areas:
  • All trips run by CUAs and SUPs must be made with the Wilderness Camping Permit Request form. For quota areas, reservations are taken beginning February 15 for trips taking place between May 1 and September 30. Reservations are not necessary in non-quota areas, but all permit itineraries must be set up using the Wilderness Camping Permit Request form. Permits must be set up through the Port Angeles WIC with this form.
  • Camping is permitted only in designated sites within quota areas (red camps on map). Groups with 7-12 persons must reserve group sites in all quota areas. See the reservations page for more information.
  • Campsites at larger camp areas are not individually assigned but are available to permit holders on a first come, first served basis.
  • In quota areas, deviation from your permit itinerary is not allowed, except in cases of emergency.
  • In other areas (brown campsites on Trip Planner Map), permits are not limited. CUAs are still required to make these permits through the Port Angeles WIC with the Wilderness Camping Permit Request form.
  • Bear canisters are the only method of food storage for CUAs\SUPs. Bear cans are not reservable. Although these are loaned at some ranger stations, most of these will not have sufficient bear canisters for large groups.

Reservation Request Form Submission:
1.) Email request to: OLYM_WIC_Reservations@nps.gov (PREFERRED METHOD)
  • Download Reservation Request Form
  • Fill out form completely using a PDF Viewer (Adobe Reader, etc.) and save
  • Attach the saved PDF form to an email and send it to: OLYM_WIC_Reservations@nps.gov
2.) Mail request to: Olympic National Park, Wilderness Information Center, 600 East Park Ave, Port Angeles, WA 98362

3.) Bring request to the Wilderness Information Center in person.
***For trips taking place outside of the May 1 to September 30 window, please e-mail the request form to OLYM_WIC@nps.gov***


Wilderness Camping Permit Form Notes:
  • Please re-read your CUA/SUP before making your itinerary.
  • Your CUA/SUP must be completed and signed by the park superintendent before Wilderness Camping permit requests will be processed.
  • You must send copies of CPR and First Aid cards to the Concessions Office and at least 30 days prior to the start of each trip. Food Handler's Permits are also required for staff who cook for clients/students. You must also bring those medical certifications with you on your trip. A permit will not be issued to groups with staff without physical proof of their valid certifications.
  • Staff names must be listed on the Permit Request form with the expiration dates of their medical certifications.
  • Permit requests are due 2 weeks prior to the start date of trips. Permit requests received with less notice may not be processed due to limited staffing. Without the permit, the trip may not be run.
  • Each group must include at least one staff member for each eight clients/students (1:8) and a minimum of 2 staff for 8-10 clients/students, with a maximum group size of 12 persons.
  • Do not call to verify that we received your request. If you do not receive a confirmation after one week, you may email us to verify that we received your request.
  • Be sure to use the "Camp Area Map" names when you list your campsites
  • Separate forms must be submitted for each non-continuous itinerary.
  • If you are staying in red and brown camp areas on the same hike, please include the brown camps (the full itinerary) when you send in your reservation.
  • Once we process your request form, you will be sent a link to Pay.gov to pay for the permit.
  • Wilderness Permit fees are non-refundable.
  • You will receive a reply via email as soon as we process your form or if we have questions or your trip is not possible due to lack of availability. Please be sure to check your email.

Last updated: April 27, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

600 E. Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362

Phone:

(360) 565-3130

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