Commercial Filming

Do I Need A Permit?

Yes. All commercial videography requires a special use permit. Commercial still photography requires a permit if it involves the use of props or models, is occurring in a place where visitors are not usually allowed, or the use of equipment not common to the average visitor. Additionally, if there is the potential to have an impact on resources or visitors, a permit may be required.


What Areas Are Covered By This Permit?

The four parks included in the partnership that permits are issued through this office are Redwood National Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Redwoods State Park, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.


Where Are Other Filming Locations?

For locations any other national park you will need to contact them directly at , or for other California State Parks visit

Chambers of Commerce can also assist you.
Humboldt County Visitors Bureau
Crescent City - Del Norte County
Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce
City of Arcata

Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission is also a valuable resource.


How To Apply For A Permit?

The special use commercial film permit application and addendum are below. Be sure to complete and sign both forms.

1) Fillable Special Use Permit Application (word document).
2) A threatened and endangered species addendum (PDF document).

Be sure to read through the Common Conditions for Commercial Filming before submitting the application.

When completing the forms, if a question does not apply to your project, please indicate "none," "does not apply," or something similar, rather than leave a blank. All park regulations apply, unless a specific written exception is included in the permit.

No one has ever provided "too much" information. Please provide as much detail as possible; storyboards, shooting schedules, summaries, outlines, samples of similar projects, a resume for the director or significant talent involved (we will keep information confidential as needed, but it is important for us to know). In order to properly review your request, we need to know what you want to film. A website for your company is helpful also.


What Locations Can I Film/Shoot At?

You will need to indicate specific locations you wish to shoot, a GPS location, a map indicating the location, the name of a trail, etc. Each request is reviewed based on the activity, location, time of year and day. So, while a permit may be approved for a certain activity at one location, it might not be suitable at another, based on natural or cultural resource impact; the same is true regarding the time of year or day, and visitation levels for that location. A permit is not usually required to send someone to scout locations that are open to the public.

We regret that at this time we are not issuing special use permit for the following locations: Fern Canyon, Stout Grove, LBJ Grove and James Irvine Trail. Filming activities are also restricted before, during and after holidays.


What If I Want A Different Location?

At this time we do not issues special use permits for LBJ Grove, Stout Grove, Fern Canyon, or the James Irvine Trail. We also do not normally issue permits during holiday time frames, the days before, during and following a public holiday.


How Much Is The Application Fee and When Do I Pay?

The application fee must accompany your application. The application fee is non-refundable once we accept your application. We accept credit cards through, please ask the Permit Coordinator for more information in this process.

The amount of the fee is based on the size of your project, please contact us to discuss the fees.

Application fees range from $225 for a small project (usually a crew of less than 10, single camera, one day of shooting at one location, usually commercials) up to $1353 for a large project (crew larger than 20, multiple days, cameras and locations, commonly feature length or series projects). If you send us details of your project, we can give you a specific fee.


Do I Need Insurance?

Yes. In addition to the application, please submit a copy of your Certificate of Insurance showing a minimum $1 million liability, with a $3 million aggregate. Prior to issuing your permit, we will require a COI showing the State of California and the United States as additional insureds. Insurance must be through a US based A- (or better) rated company. Additional insurance may be required for large or complex projects.

Are There Other Costs Associated With My Project?
Additional fees may be project dependent, but generally fall in the category of "cost recovery." If your project incurs a cost for the park, we will collect it from the permittee. Monitoring for instance, is $80/hour/ranger (there is a 4-hour minimum/ranger). A deposit may be requested based on estimated monitoring time. Other costs could involve rehabilitation or repairs in the event resources are negatively impacted by your project. For example: if excessive trash is left behind, ground or vegetation disturbance, damage to man-made structures, etc. These will be billed to you at the conclusion of your project, and are due within 30 days of billing.


Can I Close The Area Of My Event For Privacy?

All permits are issued on a non-exclusive basis; other visitors to the park may not be excluded from the area of your event.


How Long Does It Take To Process A Request?

Processing a request takes no less than 14 days from receipt of a completed application; larger or complex projects may take longer. Once your completed application is received, your request will be reviewed by our staff. We might contact you for additional information or clarification. Incomplete applications will extend the time it takes to review your request.

Be sure to read through the common conditions before submitting application.If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

What Else Do I Need To Know?

We reserve the right to disapprove of any filming activities which may have adverse impact on park resources. Permittee agrees not to depict activities or situations that are not permitted within Redwood National and State Parks or conflict with the park's preservation, protection and public use regulations.

  • Depiction of tree climbing activities and/or equipment, actual or implied, is not permitted.
  • The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) is not allowed.
  • The issuance of a filming permit is not, and does not imply, an endorsement of any product or service.
  • Commercial filming or photography of staff or volunteers requires prior approval.

Please keep in mind that our permits are issued on a non-exclusive basis, meaning that you may not exclude other visitors from the area during your project.

A list of common permit conditions is also attached, but these may vary by project; be sure to read this before submitting your application.


What Airports Are Close By?

San Francisco (SFO) and Portland, Oregon (PDX) are the closest major airports, both are a 6-8 hour drive from the respective ends of the parks.

Medford, OR (MFR) is a 2-hour drive east of Jedediah Smith Redwoods.

Eureka/Arcata, CA (ACV) airport is 1-hour drive south of Prairie Creek Redwoods.

Redding, CA airport (RDD) is about 4-hours east of Prairie Creek Redwoods.

There is also an airport in Crescent City (CEC) that is 15-minutes from Jedediah Smith Redwoods, but flights are very limited.


If you have any questions, please feel free to call, or e-mail.

Beth Hartsig
Redwood National and State Parks
707- 465-7307


Last updated: October 26, 2018

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