Single Session Photography Commercial Use Authorizations

A Single Session Portrait Photography Permit is a one day permit issued to cover a single photo session. This permit does not authorize wedding ceremonies, elopements, exchanging of vow ceremonies, etc. Individuals will need to apply for Wedding Special Use Permit. Each permit is $50. If you have obtained 7 or more permits, the park can convert you to an annual CUA for portrait photography for the remainder of the calendar year.

To obtain a single session permit:

  • Read the following regulations.
  • At the bottom of the regulations, click on "I Agree." This will send you to the a website where you can enter your payment information.

The email confirmation on is your permit. The permit allows free entry for the photographer for the day of the photo session; clients are responsible for their entrance fee.


Portrait Photography Conditions of This Authorization

  1. The holder is prohibited from knowingly giving false information. To do so will be considered a breach of conditions and be grounds for revocation: [RE: 36 CFR 2.32(a)(3)].
  2. The holder shall exercise this privilege subject to the supervision of the park area Superintendent. The holder shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations of the area and terms and conditions of the authorization. The holder must acquire all permits or licenses of State or local government, as applicable, necessary to provide the services described above, and, must operate in compliance with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws and regulations, including, without limitation, all applicable park area policies, procedures and regulations. The commercial services described above are to be provided to park area visitors at reasonable rates and under operating conditions satisfactory to the park area Superintendent.
  3. This authorization is issued upon the express condition that the United States, its agents and employees shall be free from all liabilities and claims for damages and/or suits for or by reason of any injury, injuries, or death to any person or persons or property of any kind whatsoever, whether to the person or property of the (holder), its agents or employees, or third parties, from any cause or causes whatsoever while in or upon said premises or any part thereof during the term of this authorization or occasioned by any occupancy or use of said premises or any activity carried on by the (holder) in connection herewith, and the (holder) hereby covenants and agrees to indemnify, defend, save and hold harmless the United States, its agents, and employees from all liabilities, charges, expenses and costs on account of or by reason of any such injuries, deaths, liabilities, claims, suits or losses however occurring or damages growing out of the same.
  4. Holder agrees to carry general liability insurance against claims occasioned by the action or omissions of the holder, its agents and employees in carrying out activities and operations under this authorization. The policy shall be at least $500,000 and naming the United States of America as additional insured. Holder agrees to have on file with the park copies of the above insurance with the proper endorsements.
  5. Costs incurred by the park as a result of accepting and processing the application and managing and monitoring the authorization activity will be reimbursed by the holder. Administrative costs and estimated costs for activities onsite must be paid when the authorization is approved. If any additional costs are incurred by the park, the holder will be billed at the conclusion of the authorization.
  6. Benefit – Neither Members of, nor Delegates to Congress, or Resident Commissioners shall be admitted to any share or part of this authorization or derive, either directly or indirectly, any pecuniary benefit to arise therefrom: Provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to extend to any incorporated company, if the authorization be for the benefit of such corporation.
  7. This authorization may not be transferred or assigned without the written consent of the park area Superintendent.
  8. This authorization may be terminated upon breach of any of the conditions herein or at the discretion of the park area Superintendent.
  9. The holder is not entitled to any preference to renewal of this authorization except to the extent otherwise expressly provided by law. This authorization is not exclusive and is not a concession contract.
  10. The holder shall not construct any structures, fixtures or improvements in the park area. The holder shall not engage in any groundbreaking activities without the express, written approval of the park area Superintendent.
  11. The holder is to provide the park area Superintendent upon request (and, in any event, immediately after expiration of this authorization) a statement of its gross receipts from its activities under this authorization and any other specific information related to the holder’s operations that the park area Superintendent may request, including but not limited to, visitor use statistics and resource impact assessments.
  12. The holder is to maintain an accounting system under which its accounts can be readily identified within its system of accounts classification. This accounting system must be capable of providing the information required by this authorization. The holder grants the United States of America and the Government Accountability Office access to its books and records at any time for the purpose of determining compliance with the terms and conditions of this authorization.
  13. Executive Order 13658 – Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors, and its implementing regulations, including the applicable contract clause, are incorporated by reference into this contract as if fully set forth in this contract. The applicable contract clause is available at

Appendix: Special Park Conditions

  1. Authorized Services
    1. The commercial activity authorized by this permit is taking portrait photographs.
    2. Participants must comply with conditions of seasonal area closures as signed and noted in park compendium.
    3. The photographer and participants will stay on established walkways in tundra areas to minimize impacts to the fragile tundra environment. Use of the Tundra Nature Trail is not authorized.
  2. Photographer Certification
    1. The photographer must:
      1. Be familiar with the park, know and obey park regulations and area closures, and assure compliance with regulations and area closures from participants.
      2. Understand the hazards involved and prepare participants for conditions and situations that may be encountered.
      3. Be currently certified in standard first aid and CPR and carry a basic first aid kit if traveling in the backcountry.
      4. Assure that all clients are properly clothed and equipped for the activities.
    2. A written list of photographers, with description of basic qualifications, must be provided to the park prior to beginning operations. Copies of all certifications must be on file at the base of operations, and may be requested by the Superintendent at any time.
  3. Conduct of Group
    1. All groups must honor the rights of others and conduct themselves in an orderly manner at all times.
    2. Photographic activities authorized in this permit will be conducted with the least possible impact to wildlife. Photographers and clients will not be permitted to employ techniques of calling, baiting, flushing or any other means of artificially attracting wildlife. No harassment of wildlife will be permitted. Flash photography of wildlife is not permitted.
    3. Utmost care will be exercised to see that no natural features are injured.
    4. The permittee is responsible for adhering to Leave No Trace practices at all times while in the park.
  4. General Provisions
    1. Frontcountry camping is available on a first-come, first served basis at Longs Peak and Timber Creek Campgrounds and by advanced reservation at Moraine Park, Glacier Basin, and Aspenglen Campgrounds. Normal camping fees and regulations, including length of stay, will apply to the Permittee and its participants.
    2. Single Session Permit and Entrance Fees for Clients
      1. Single Session Permits are to be used solely by the Permittee and designated employees to conduct official business under a Commercial Use Authorization/ Special Use Permit or Concessions Contract and are not for personal use. Photographer must carry this permit at all times while in the park.
      2. Permit must be kept with photographer at all times in the park, to be presented as requested to park staff to confirm appropriate use and entry to the park. Permittee is responsible for ensuring that its employees comply with this requirement. ID is required.
      3. Clients of the Permittee are not admitted free entrance to the park. The clients’ options are:
        1. Buy an entrance pass- pay when they enter with the Permittee
        2. Have a Current Entrance Receipt
        3. Have a Current Pass (Rocky Mountain National Park Annual Pass, Interagency Annual Pass, Senior, or Access Pass) (pass is valid & in the name of the client)
    3. Prior to initiating each trip, guides are encouraged to contact Park Headquarters (970) 586-1206 for information on current conditions.
    4. Proof of adequate general liability and automobile insurance coverage must be provided to the park prior to operating under this permit.
      1. Commercial general comprehensive liability coverage is required in the amount of $500,000 per person per accident.
      2. Automobile coverage is required for all owned, non-owned, and hired vehicles used by the Permittee. Minimum limits are: car, van, or bus up to five passengers, $300,000; six to 12 passengers, $500,000; 13 to 20 passengers, $750,000; 21 to 50 passengers, $1,500,000. Rocky Mountain National Park must be listed as additional insurer.
    5. All incidents involving overdue parties or accidents involving property damage or personal injury must be reported to park dispatch at (970) 586-1203 as soon as possible.
    6. All advertisements/brochures which make reference to Rocky Mountain National Park must be approved by the Superintendent prior to publication, distribution or broadcasting. All such publications must include a statement that the operator is authorized by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, to conduct services in Rocky Mountain National Park.
    7. Violation of park regulations or the terms of this permit may result in the suspension of privileges granted by this permit and could lead to appropriate fines or citations, as well as non-renewal.

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517


970 586-1206
The Information Office is open year-round: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily in summer; 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Mondays - Fridays and 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Saturdays - Sundays in winter. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

Contact Us