Commercial Use Authorization

The National Park Service will only issue CUAs for commercial activities and visitor services that:

  • are determined to be an appropriate use of Saguaro National Park;
  • will have minimal impact on Saguaro National Park’s resources and values; and
  • are consistent with Saguaro National Park’s purpose, management plans, policies, and regulations.

Who needs a CUA?

A CUA is required if you, as an individual, organization, or company, provide any goods, activities, services, agreements, or other function for members, clients, or the public that:

  • take place at least in part in Saguaro National Park,
  • use park resources, and
  • result in compensation, monetary gain, benefit, or profit.

Businesses and individuals may not conduct commercial activities in the park without a valid CUA or in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the CUA.

How much does a CUA cost?

  • Annual Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee for CUAs is $275. This fee is due at application submission.
  • Market Price Fee: Parks are required to collect a reasonable fee to recover the costs associated with administering and managing the CUA program. CUA holders are subject to a market price fee calculated by gross receipts earned from park-based operations. Application fees are credited to the CUA holder upon payment of market price fee. Fees are based on the following:

Market Price Fee (% of gross receipts earned from park-based operations)

  • <$250,000 – 3% of gross receipts (minus application fee)
  • $250,000 to $500,000 – 4% of gross receipts (minus application fee)
  • >$500,000 – 5% of gross receipts (minus application fee)

You will receive a bill of collection for the market price from Saguaro National Park by January 31. Payment is due by February 15. You may submit your payment via check or credit card using the attached form.

Do CUA holders have to pay park entrance fees?

Yes. Road-based commercial tour operators pay the commercial tour entrance fee each time they enter the park, based on the parks length of stay.

Other types of CUA holders pay the park’s per person entrance fee ($15) for their clients; passes are accepted.

How long does it take to get a CUA?

Saguaro National Park requires four weeks to process a CUA application. Applications are reviewed in the order they are received.

What are the reporting requirements?

CUA holders must submit an annual report each year by January 15 using NPS Form 10-660. This report provides the park with visitation statistics, reportable injury data, and a record of annual gross receipts.

You must return this report via email each year. Failure to return required reports or misrepresentation of statistics or earnings will result in denial of your next CUA application.

How do I apply for a CUA?

  • Download and complete the CUA Application Form
  • Submit the signed application and any other required documentation via email to e-mail us.
  • Payment for the $275 permit application fee must be enclosed with the application. Payment can be made by either check or credit card (which is the preferred method). Credit card information must include the name on the card, card number, expiration date, security code, and billing address that is associated with the card.

Incomplete applications or applications submitted without payment will not be processed.

  • Please call (520) 733-5121 if you need to submit your application using another method.

Wilderness Camping Permits are required Overnight Operators

In addition to the CUA, overnight camping commercial trips are required to also obtain a backcountry camping permit for each trip on recreation.gov. Please be sure to review our wilderness regulations and visit our camping page for more info.


Entrance Fees for Road-based Commercial Vehicles

  • Based on vehicle capacity (not the actual occupancy) for all tour groups and bus companies. Taxis are classified as commercial tours as they do not have regularly scheduled service.

Vehicles with capacity of 1-6: will be charged a Flat Fee of $25.00.
Vehicles with capacity of 7-25: will be charged a Flat Fee of $40.00.
Vehicles with capacity of 26+: will be charged a Flat Fee of $100.00.

  • No per person fees are charged as long as passengers are traveling with the original road-based commercial vehicle. Tour passengers who re-enter the park by other means are subject to per person fees. Entrance Fees are NOT refundable and/or transferable. The permit is valid for up to 7 days for the same tour group only.

Automated Fee Machines

The Interagency Annual Pass ($80), the Saguaro National Park Annual Pass (($45) and the three types of weekly passes (Vehicle, Motorcycle, Individual) may be purchased by credit card from automated fee machines available year round 24 hours a day.

  • One is located next to the Fee Kiosk at the Rincon Mountain District (east side).
  • Another is available outside the Red Hills Visitor Center in the Tucson Mountain District (west side).

Last updated: November 30, 2022

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Mailing Address:

3693 S Old Spanish Trail
Tucson , AZ 85730

Phone:

520 733-5153
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