Memorial Services

Update During COVID-19 Pandemic:
Special Use Permits are subject to change prior to the event as circumstances and guidance evolves from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), OMB/OPM, and State/local public health officials.

Cabrillo National Monument requires 21 business days’ notice to process any and all permit requests.

Scattering of Ashes

Cabrillo National Monument is certainly a beautiful place that has touched many hearts. On occasion, visitors have wanted to memorialize a loved one who has passed away by scattering their ashes, and we certainly understand that sentiment, unfortunately due to Cabrillo National Monument's natural terrain and historical features it does not lend itself to lawfully abiding by California State Law nor the federally enforced Clean Water Act and we are unable to permit these types of requests.

Ashes can be spread at some state parks, but not in National Forests. In San Diego you may reach out to the Neptune Society (for at sea services) or to Torrey Pines State Reserve (for land based services). Permits, fees and applications will be required.

Memorial Services

If you do decide to request such a Memorial Service to be held at Cabrillo National Monument, please be aware that there are some rules that must be observed and a permit application must be submitted.

Fill out and E-mail your Permit application. A non-refundable $100 application fee is required and payable by credit/debit only. Completed applications for Special Use Permits must be received by the park. To make credit/debit card payments call 619-523-4272.

All completed applications must be E-mailed to or mailed to the following address:

Cabrillo National Monument
C/O Special Park Uses
1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive
San Diego, CA 92106

Please keep in mind that a permit request is just a request until you have received official confirmation from Park Staff.

Once your application has been received by the park, Park Staff will get back to you as soon as possible. This e-mail will include a pending permit and additional conditions for you to print, sign and return via e-mail or mail. You will also be notified of any cost recovery fees you are responsible for paying at this time.

When the permit ranger receives your signed copy of the Permit you will be notified that the Superintendent has approved your permit and your date is officially confirmed. Please note, all permits are pending until you receive this notification via e-mail.

General Permit Conditions

  • Memorial Services will be permitted for priority use of the event bluff for one hour of time only. Cabrillo National Monument does not permit exclusive use.
  • No marker or memorial of any sort may be placed or left at the site. The placement or planting of real or artificial flowers, memorial trees, brass markers, wooden crosses, etc. is prohibited.
  • No ashes, birds, butterflies, or objects either natural or artificial may be released in conjunction with the Memorial Service.
  • Additional conditions will apply.
Failure to abide by the Park rules and guidelines can result in fees and fines that may include and are not limited to:
- $200 scattering ashes without a permit (CFR 2.62)
- $100 violation of terms of permit (CFR 2.62)
- $200 disposing of refuse improperly (CFR 2.14)
- $150 trespassing on property not open to the public (CFR 2.31)

Last updated: February 3, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive
San Diego, CA 92106


619 523-4285

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