Permits & Reservations

When is a permit needed?

  1. the activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or
  2. the activity uses model(s), sets(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the location's natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities; or
  3. a park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.

Permits are NOT generally required for:

  • Visitors engaged in filming/photography intended for their personal use and enjoyment.
  • Visitors engaged in filming/photography in an area open to the public.
  • The filming of breaking news (an event that cannot be covered at any other time or location) by news crews.
  • Filming that is conducted pursuant to a cooperative agreement or contract with the National Park Service.


A request for a permit may be denied if:

  • There is potential that resource damage or impairment of their value would occur that cannot be mitigated or restored.
  • There is potential of unreasonable disruption of/or conflict with the public's use and enjoyment of the site.
  • There is likelihood that the activity poses health or safety risks to the public or crew.
  • The requested activity will violate any other Federal, State, or local laws or regulations.
  • It involves access to areas normally closed or limited to administrative use for resource or safety reasons.
  • The project includes a portrayal of activities that are not permitted within a national park.
  • Monitoring and preparation requirements place an unreasonable burden on park staff.



The National Park Service is required by law to recover all costs for special use permits. All costs incurred by the NPS in conjunction with the permitted filming activity will be reimbursed by the permittee. A cost estimate can be calculated and provided once the Special Use Coordinator has received all applicable information.

Non-refundable Application Fee – $100.00

This non-refundable fee must accompany any SUP or photography application. This fee is based on an average time it takes to provide initial contact and consultation with permittee and initial review an application.

Administrative Fee – $80.00

If an application request is approved, this fee covers the costs associated with issuing a permit, including the average time it takes for permit preparation, consultations with the permittee, managerial consultations and billing.

Hourly Monitoring Fee

$50 per hour, per ranger rate may apply to permitted activities for monitoring. The scope and complexity of the activity will determine the level and type of supervision. If required, a minimum of 2 hours monitoring ($100) is applied to the permit upon issuance.


All interviews of park personnel will be assessed at the hourly rate. This will not apply to pre-approved filming or photographing of NPS staff members performing their regularly scheduled work activities.

Location Fees

The National Park Service will collect a cost recovery charge and a location fee for still photography permits. Cost recovery includes an application fee and any additional charges to cover the costs incurred by the National Park Service in processing your request and monitoring your permit. This amount will vary depending on the park and the size and complexity of your permit. The application fee must be submitted with your application.

In addition, the National Park Service has been directed by Congress to collect a fee to provide a fair return to the United States for the use of park lands. The National Park Service uses the following still photography fee schedule:

  • 1–10 people - $50/day
  • 11–30 people - $150/day
  • Over 30 people - $250/day


General liability insurance must be carried by the permittee naming the United States Government as an additional insured. Short-term policies must show coverage on an "occurrence" basis. Required commercial general liability for video or film productions is generally one million dollars ($1,000,000), but will vary according to project scope, risk to park resources and other relevant circumstances. All insurance certificates must be issued by an insurance company operation in the United States. Must receive the original insurance certificate no later than one week before the scheduled activity.

Performance Bonds

Permitted filming activities may require the permittee to post a performance bond. The purpose of the bond is to insure that the resource is left in as good condition as it was prior to the filming, and to cover restoration costs (if needed). The amount of the bond will be determined according to the scope and potential for damage by the activity. At the conclusion of the permit, the bond will be returned to the permittee after final billing costs and costs of necessary clean up;repair or rehabilitation is deducted. The performance bond can be in the form of a money order or cashiers check.

Sharing the Park

A SUP or photography permit does not give exclusive rights to the permittee or allow the permittee to restrict visitors from any location. Normal visitor use patterns will not be interrupted for longer than five minutes, and only as specified in the approved permit. Visitors will be able to observe filming activity.


How to Apply

Download and fill out the SUP and Photography Permit application, then mail it (along with a check or money order made out to National Park Service) to the address below. Credit card payments may be arranged by e-mailing ATTN: Special Use Permits Coordinator Flagstaff Area National Monuments 6400 N. U.S. Highway 89 Flagstaff, AZ 86004.

Applications require a minimum of 14 days to fully process after the application and payment are submitted.

A special use permit is required for activities that provide a benefit to an individual, group, or organization rather than the public at large and requires written authorization and management control in order to protect park resources and the public interest. Examples include: organized group events, weddings, athletic events, First Amendment activities and special assemblies.

Each of these activities requires a special use permit that must be acquired in advance.

Applications require a minimum of 14 days to fully process after the application and payment are submitted.

If after reading the information from the above links you have questions or not sure a permit is needed, please contact the Special Use Permits Coordinator at

Each of the Flagstaff Area National Monuments has designated areas for public assemblies and distribution of printed materials. Please see Appendix A of the Superintendent's Compendium for more information on locations. 

First Amendment Activities Explained

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 a permit to conduct First Amendment activities is determined by the group size.

A small group is defined as 25 people or less. A small group is not required to obtain a First Amendment Permit if they are located within a park designated First Amendment site and have no more than leaflets, booklets, and/or hand-held signs. A permit is required for any small group that:

  • wants to hold a demonstration or distribute and/or sell printed matter somewhere outside a designated First Amendment area.
  • wants to use equipment (i.e., tables, banners, platforms, etc.) even if it is within a designated area.
  • is merely an extension of another group already availing itself of the 25 person maximum.
  • 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.

How to Apply

There are no permit fees associated with First Amendment permits. Simply fill out the application form and mail it to the address below.

To obtain an application or for more information, contact the 

Please send completed applications to:

ATTN: Special Use Permits Coordinator
Flagstaff Area National Monuments
6400 N. U.S. Highway 89
Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Researchers may apply online through the National Park Service Research Permit and Reporting System.

Last updated: January 19, 2024

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

6400 U.S. 89
Flagstaff, AZ 86004


928-526-0502 x0

Contact Us