Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are rights protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. People may exercise these rights in national parks. 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.
- Groups of 25 or fewer people do not require a permit, and may use the following areas for public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, or demonstrations protected under the First Amendment.
- Black Ridge Trailhead/administrative access road directly opposite the Visitor Center on Rim Rock Drive
- Overflow parking area near the East Entrance Station.
- Devils Kitchen Picnic Area (backup if overflow parking is administratively closed). Detailed maps of these locations can be found on pages 20 and 21 of the Compendium of Regulations.
- Permits are required for First Amendment activities involving 26 or more people. These permits are free. Permit locations for groups of 26 or more can be located anywhere in the monument, and are subject to denial based on consideration by the Superintendent on a case-by-case basis.
- If you have questions, and to apply for a free permit for groups of 26 or more, call 970-858-2823 or email COLM_PERMITS@nps.gov
Examples of First Amendment Activities
- Religious services or ceremonies
- Press conference
- Collecting signatures on petitions or voter initiatives
- Public demonstration, picketing, assembly or rally for expressing opinion and views
- Sale or distribution of printed material related to free expression of opinion
Examples of activities that are NOT covered by the First Amendment
- Religious picnics or social gatherings
- Wedding ceremonies or receptions
- Political fund raisers or other invitation-only political activities or events
- Foot or bicycle races
- Memorial services
If you would like to hold one of the above activities which are not covered under the First Amendment, you can find information on getting a permit here. If you have questions, please call 970-858-2823.