Yellowstone National Park currently issues service-based CUAs for the following activities. Please select a service-based CUA for a detailed operating plan.
Service-based CUA Requirements and Fees
The authorization is issued to an operator to permit the provision of suitable commercial services to park area visitors. The superintendent determines if an operator has the ability to satisfactorily provide visitor services and carry out the terms of the CUA.
The superintendent determines that the commercial services are “suitable”; that is they (a) will have minimal impact on park area’s resources and values; (b) are consistent with the purposes for which the park area was established; and, (c) are consistent with all applicable park area management plans, policies, and regulations.
The holder must agree to comply with all of the general and specific conditions described in the CUA conditions and operating plans. You should familiarize yourself with these documents before applying for a CUA.
All service-based CUAs are issued for up to a two-year period. The CUA operating year is from January 1 to December 31.
Applications will be accepted beginning October 1st of the year prior to the operating year and will be accepted throughout the operating year. Please submit complete application packets 45 days before your first trip in the park.
All service-based CUA activities require a $150 non-refundable application fee.
The CUA holder is responsible for maintaining accounting records that demonstrate evidence of gross receipts. NPS may audit CUA holder financial reports at any time.
National Park Service Policy requires the Superintendent to charge a reasonable fee for CUAs. The park retains such fees to help pay for the cost of the CUA program, including administration, evaluations, monitoring, and training.
Annual Financial Reports, which cover the operating year and require reporting of gross receipts and visitors served for each month of that year, are due by January 31st following the end of the operating year. A separate Financial Report is required for each activity a CUA holder has a CUA for. Annual Financial Reports will be available by October 1st of each operating year.
These include biking, environmental education, boating, skiing and snowshoeing, overnight backcountry, art workshops, and fishing.
Road-based Commercial Tours
Traveling by vehicle on an itinerary that someone has packaged and sold for leisure purposes and provide no other services.
Application Process and Insurance Needs
Here is everything you need to know about submitting a CUA application, including insurance requirements.
Last updated: September 30, 2020