Do Business With Us

On This Page Navigation

Commercial Use Authorization Header

Commercial Use Authorizations


What is a Commercial Use Authorization?

A Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) is a business permit with the National Park Service. It authorizes you or your organization to conduct commercial activities and to provide specific visitor services within a national park.

You must have a CUA if you or your organization provide services that:
  • take place at least in part in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve,
  • use park resources, and
  • result in compensation, monetary gain, benefit, or profit.

Your organization is considered a business if it provides goods, services, activities, or other things to the public using National Park Service lands. If you receive any form of compensation for the things you provide, you are conducting a business or commercial activity. The National Park Service definition of a business or commercial organization does not distinguish between commercial and non-profit organizations.

You may not conduct commercial activities in the park without a valid CUA or in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the CUA. You must carry a complete copy of your Commercial Use Authorization with you at all times while operating in the park.

What are the general criteria for the issuance of a CUA?

The authorization is issued to a qualified operator to permit the provision of appropriate commercial services to park area visitors. A qualified operator is an organization that the superintendent determines has the ability to satisfactorily provide visitor services and carry out the terms of the CUA.

Authorized commercial services must:
  • Have minimal impact on park area’s resources and values;
  • Are consistent with the purpose for which the park area was established;
  • 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. You should familiarize yourself with these documents before applying for a CUA.

What commercial activities are authorized at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve?

  • Guided overnight camping
  • Portrait photography, including wedding, engagement, senior portraits, etc.
  • Guided day hiking
  • Photographic workshops
  • Horseback Riding
  • Guided Hunting Service (Preserve Only)
  • Vending
  • Campstore
  • Firewood Sales
  • 4WD Tours

What fees do I need to pay?

Application Fee

You are required to pay a nonrefundable application fee each time you submit an application. The application fee amount is currently determined by each park. This fee allows the park to recover costs associated with processing and approving or denying your CUA application.

Management Fee

In addition to the application fee, you must pay a management fee that allows the park to recover costs associated with managing CUAs. This fee may vary because each CUA type requires a different degree of management and monitoring.

A $200 application/administrative fee for each service category is due with the application. This fee is non-refundable.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve requires the following information in order to complete a CUA application:

1. A completed application. Download a printable CUA application (Word file, 659kb, updated 2021).

2. The $200 CUA fee per guided activity.
  • Only checks are accepted, please make check out to National Park Service, Department of Interior.
3.Proof of adequate general liability insurance and automobile insurance. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve needs to be listed on the General Liability Insurance as an additional insurer on the face of the policy. To make sure the park receives a copy, it needs to read as follows:
United States Government
Department of the Interior
National Park Service
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
11500 HWY 150
Mosca, CO 81146

4.We require the following coverage:
Single Purpose Activities $500,000
Vehicle Insurance
(bodily injury and property damage)
Minimum per Occurrence Liability Limits*
Up to 6 passengers $1,000,000
7 – 15 passengers $1,500,000
16 – 25 passengers $3,000,000
26+ passengers $5,000,000

5.A copy of your brochure and/or rates as soon as you have it or a web address that has information such as rates and trip dates.

6.An itinerary of the areas of the park you are planning on using for guided activities.

7.Please include a copy of the "Acknowledgment of Risk" that you have your clients and guests before participating in the guided activity. If you require such a form to be signed by your clients, it must follow this format.

All paperwork needs to be completed and returned to the Chief Ranger no later than one month prior to operating in the park to make sure all parties have the appropriate paperwork on file. This change has been made due to an increase in the number of permits being issued.

Send paperwork to:
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Attention: Chief Ranger
11500 HWY 150
Mosca, CO 81146

All required documents must be received, reviewed, and the permit signed by the Superintendent prior to operating in the park. Once executed, a signed original permit will be returned to you.

What are the reporting requirements?

CUA holders must submit an annual report each year. This report is due at the end of season. This report provides the park with visitation statistics, reportable injury data, and a record of annual gross receipts. Download the CUA Annual Report Form (.docx file, 638 kb, updated 2021).

Last updated: August 2, 2021

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Visitor Center
11999 State Highway 150

Mosca , CO 81146


719 378-6395
Great Sand Dunes Visitor Center main number

Contact Us

Stay Connected