Special Use Permits

Special Use Permits

Saguaro National Park is home to many beautiful landscapes which make it a popular place for weddings and special events. Most special events and activities held in the park require a special use permit, issued only after the National Park Service (NPS) determines that the activity will not cause degradation of the park's valuable resources, visitor experience, or the purpose for which the park was established.

Special Events

A special use permit is required for activities that provide a benefit to an individual, group, or organization rather than the public at large. These activities require some degree of management from the National park Service if there is the potential for interference with visitor use, congestion of a highly visited area, or possible impact on park resources. Special Event examples include; Large Picnic Groups, Holiday Services, Filming/Photographing, Organized Group events, Religious events, Scientific Research, Commercial Tours, etc.


Saguaro's inspiring natural settings are ideally suited for small, informal weddings. All weddings, regardless of size, require an approved wedding permit issued by the National Park Service.

Please review the Wedding Information Brochure for a list of ceremony sites in Saguaro National Park and indicate the specific location on the application. Wedding Information.

For information on lodging, catering or reception availability; please contact the local hotels and facilities directly.

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. The necessity of permit to conduct First Amendment activities is determined by the group size:

a) wants to hold a demonstration or distribute and/or sell printed matter somewhere outside a designated First Amendment area.

b) wants to use equipment (i.e. tables, banners, platforms, etc.) even if it is within a designated area.

c) is merely an extension of another group already availing itself of the 25 person maximum.

d) wants to guarantee they will have priority for the use of a location, including the designated First Amendment areas.

A large group is defined as "more than 25 people" and is required to obtain a First Amendment Permit even if they are utilizing a park designated First Amendment site.

Some examples of special events that fall under First Amendment Rules:

· Distribution and/or sale of printed matter

· Religious services

· Public demonstrations or assemblies, etc.

There are no permit fees associated with First Amendment permits.

Please contact the park at (520) 733-5116 for more information about Designated First Amendment sites or the application process.

Ash Dispersal

Saguaro National Park asks that: Ashes will be scattered so that they blend with the natural earth and do not leave an obvious visual concentration in one spot and that ashes be scattered in wash areas out of sight of designated trails and not immediately adjacent to roadways.

After favorable review of your application, a Special Use Permit will be prepared and mailed to you for signature. Upon receipt, you will need to review, sign and return the permit to our office for final approval. After the permit is approved we will send you an authorized copy. The approved permit must be in your possession at the time of your event.

Special Use Permit Fees

Permit Fees are non-refundable and are based on an annual cost recovery analysis conducted by the Resource Management Office. These fees include the cost of permit processing, administration and the basic monitoring of events.

Payment can be made by cashier's check, money order 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.

Permit Type

Administrative Application Cost 2015

Wedding Permit


Special Event


Scattering Cremation Ashes


First Amendment


Note: Other fees may apply. Cost Recovery can apply to any permit and be caused by the need to have a ranger, cleaning up site, etc.

Special Use Permit Application

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

3693 S Old Spanish Rd
Tucson , AZ 85730


(520) 733-5153
Saguaro National Park Rincon Mountain District (East) Visitor Center

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