Doing Business With The Park


Below is information about Special Use Permits, insurance requirements, and a description about what activities require a permit. For more information please call the park at 605-745-4600 or write to:

Special Use Coordinator
Wind Cave National Park
26611 US Hwy 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747

For information about Special Use Permits for Photography or Filming, please e-mail us.


Filming and Photography

"The service...shall promote and regulate the use of ... national parks ... [its] purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." (16 U.S.C. 1)

It is the policy of Wind Cave National Park to allow filming and photography when and where possible, while adhering to this mandate. Therefore primary consideration will be given to potential resource damage and to anticipated disruption of normal public use.

The following guidelines are established by the superintendent of Wind Cave National Park as they relate to filming and photographic activities within the park. These are pursuant to Pub­ lic Law 106-206(P.L. 106-206). Codified at 16 U.S. C. 460/-6d and revision to 43 CFR part 5.

Generally, permits are not required for:

  • Visitors using cameras and/or recording devices for their own personal use.

  • Sound technicians, and film or video news crews at news events.

  • NPS filming or photography done pursuant to a cooperative agreement or contract.

A request for a filming or photography permit may be denied if:

  • in the opinion of the superintendent or his/her designee, the filming activity requested represents a potential for harm or impact on the park's natural, cultural, wilderness or re­ creational resources, may create health or safety risks, or disrupt visitor use and enjoy­ ment;

  • it is determined that supervisory requirements for the proposed project will place unrea­ sonable burdens on park staff, regardless of the applicant's willingness to pay supervisory costs;

  • The permittee fails to obtain insurance/bonding, or to agree to pay assessed cost recovery; or location fees.

  • the proposed filming or photography would conflict with the visitors' normal use of the park;

  • The request includes entry into areas closed to the general visiting public, or which would allow activities not permitted to the average visitor.

Please download and complete the Filming and Photography permit and send it via email.

Commercial Filming

Due to a recent court ruling, information on commercial filming is under revision. Current guidance on commercial filming will be posted as it becomes available.

Special Use Permits for Activities in Wind Cave National Park

General Information about Special Use Permits
WHO MUST APPLY: This document provides the regulations and procedures necessary to apply for a permit to conduct activities anywhere within the boundaries of Wind Cave National Park that are normally prohibited. A list of activities that require a permit may be found here.
Operating a commercial activity within the park without authorization is a violation of the Code of Federal Regulations Title 36, Part 1, Section 6.

Last updated: November 2, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs , SD 57747


605 745-4600

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