Special Use Permits

Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site is home to beautiful and unique landscapes and settings that are ideal venues for a variety of special activities such as events, wedding ceremonies, and film and photography projects.

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 for activities that require some degree of management by the National Park Service in order to protect park resources and the public interest.

Required processing time for a Special Use Permit is a minimum of 14 days and may be longer for some activities. The application fee is $110 based upon actual costs to write and review the permit application. Some Special Use Permits may require insurance and payment to recover costs to support the permitted activity.

For information on Special Use Permits or to email in your application, please contact the Special Use Permit Coordinator via phone at 719 383-5010. Applications accepted by email ONLY.

Activities and events that require Special Use Permits include:


Established Maximum Capacities for Special Use

The established carrying capacities are based upon fire code, the physical and social capacities of the sites, available parking, minimizing damage to the resources, and to minimizing crowding, displacing, or disturbing of other visitors. Generally, special use permit requests for resource protection zones, or hiking on trails in groups larger than 25 will not be permitted.


Permit for Photography

All commercial photography requires a permit. “Commercial photography” involves the digital or film recording of a visual image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience. This includes recordings such as those used for a documentary, television or feature film, advertisement, or similar project.


Permit for Filming

All commercial filming requires a permit. "Commercial filming" means the film, electronic, magnetic, digital, or other recording of a moving image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience with the intent of generating income. Examples include, but are not limited to, feature film, videography, and documentaries. Commercial filming may include the advertisement of a product or service, or the use of actors, models, sets, or props. 

Non-commercial filming may require a permit to manage the activity, to protect park resources and values, to preserve wilderness character, to minimize conflict between user groups, or to ensure public safety. Examples of non-commercial filming include, but are not limited to, filming for tourism bureaus, convention and visitor bureaus, and student filming. Interviews with park staff or volunteers will almost always require a film permit. 


Permit for Weddings

A permit is required for all wedding ceremonies held within Bent's Old Fort National Histoirc Site. The reconstructed fort and landscape along the Arkansas River provide one-of-a-kind settings. 


Permit for a Special Event or Activity

Any organized gathering of a group of people within the park may require a Special Use Permit. These gatherings or events could include, but are not limited to:

  • Stationary events at a single location for over 30 participants, such as picnics, family reunions, special programs

  • Sports events, public spectator attractions, pageants


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. 

Last updated: May 14, 2024

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Mailing Address:

35110 State Highway 194
La Junta, CO 81050


719 383-5010

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