First Amendment Activities

an american flag with joshua tree branches in the foreground

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 peacefully in national parks, but the National Park Service retains as its highest priority the protection of park visitors and resources. Therefore, the National Park Service requires a permit for most First Amendment activities in order to establish the location, time, number of participants, and other general conditions under which such events may occur. The content of First Amendment activities is not regulated, and the opinions expressed by permittees do not necessarily reflect the vision, mission and/or policy of the National Park Service.

A permit is required for First Amendment activities that meet any of the following criteria:

  • Groups larger than 25 participants

  • Utilizes significant equipment including generators, platforms, tents, etc.

  • Would like a guarantee of priority use of a specific location

  • Requesting an area not designated as a first amendment area in the park's compendium

A group of 25 people or less is not required to obtain a First Amendment Permit if they do not meet the criteria above, but they are encouraged to get one as a permit will prevent another group from reserving the area.

Examples of First Amendment Activities:

  • Religious services

  • Political speeches

  • Press conferences

  • Public demonstration, picketing, assembly or rally expressing opinions and views

Type of Activities Not Covered by the First Amendment:

  • Church picnic or social gathering

  • Wedding ceremonies or receptions

  • Political fundraiser or other invitation-only political activity or event

  • Solicitation of donations without a permit

  • Community parades, athletics, or sporting events


There are three locations for this activity:

  1. Black Rock Visitor Center parking lot

  2. Oasis Visitor Center parking lot

  3. Cottonwood Visitor Center parking lot

Please contact the Special Park Uses Office for a map of these locations.

How to Apply

To apply, complete the Special Use Application form and submit it to at least two weeks (10 business days) before the planned date.

First Amendment permits are issued at no cost to the permittee. Many of the activities not covered by the First Amendment can be accommodated through a Special Use Permit for which cost recovery will be charged.


Permit Office

The permit office is open Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 3:30 pm (PST). We are closed on federal holidays. Permits may still be granted in advance for a Saturday or Sunday. Permits are not issued on federal holidays and NPS free entrance days.

Contact us

Phone: (760) 367-5518

74485 National Park Dr.
Twentynine Palms, CA
*We are located in office building 100 near the flag pole.

Last updated: December 20, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597


760 367-5500

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