Special Use Permits, Commercial Permits & Overnight Reservations



Changes to Commercial Filming Permits on Park Land

Effective October 28, 2022 and following a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on October 21, 2022, the National Park Service (NPS) functionally reinstated previous laws and regulations related to commercial filming in national parks. The NPS has rescinded the interim guidance that was in place during litigation and has returned to longstanding laws and regulations governing commercial filming in parks.

This means that all commercial filming that occurs within a unit of the National Park System 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. Individual parks may require a permit for non-commercial filming if a permit is necessary to manage the activity to protect park resources and values, minimize conflict between user groups, or to ensure public safety. More details about filming and permits in parks are available online: Filming & Still Photography Permits (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)

Those interested in commercial filming activities on land managed by the National Park Service are encouraged to contact the park directly for more information about filming in the park and to discuss how to minimize potential impacts to visitors and sensitive park resources.

For more information about photography and filming,
e-mail us or write to Olympic National Park, attn: Fee Program, 600 East Park Ave, Port Angeles, WA 98362

Filming in Wilderness Areas

The National Park Service manages and protects more than 67 million acres of park lands and waters as wilderness areas. These areas have additional laws and policies to preserve their wilderness character for future generations. Filming activities in wilderness areas must follow all applicable laws and regulations that govern wilderness areas in the park, including prohibitions on structures, installations, motor vehicles, mechanical transport, motorized equipment, motorboats, or landing of aircrafts.

Except for casual filming by visitors, special use permits for filming are required for all filming activities in wilderness areas, no matter the group size or equipment used.

Still Photography

When is a permit needed?

Still photographers require a permit only when:

  1. the activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or
  2. the activity uses model(s), sets(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the location's natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities; or
  3. a park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.

How do I apply for a permit?

Permit applications are available through each park's administrative office or website. Contact information for parks can be found on their websites; visit Find a Park to locate the park where you would like to photograph. You should submit a completed application along with the application fee to the park where you want to film or photograph as far in advance of your planned date as possible. In addition, you should request a meeting with park staff if your proposed activity is unusual or complex. Early consultation with park staff will help them process the submitted application in a timely manner.

What fees will I have to pay?

The National Park Service will collect a cost recovery charge and a location fee for still photography permits. Cost recovery includes an application fee and any additional charges to cover the costs incurred by the National Park Service in processing your request and monitoring your permit. This amount will vary depending on the park and the size and complexity of your permit. The application fee must be submitted with your application.

In addition, the National Park Service has been directed by Congress to collect a fee to provide a fair return to the United States for the use of park lands. The National Park Service uses the following still photography fee schedule:

  • 1–10 people - $50/day
  • 11–30 people - $150/day
  • Over 30 people - $250/day

Are there other permit requirements?

You may be required to obtain liability insurance naming the United States as additionally insured in an amount commensurate with the risk posed to park resources by your proposed activity. You may also be asked to post a bond to ensure the payment of all charges and fees and the restoration of the area if necessary.

What about photography workshops?

If you are planning a photography workshop, you may need a commercial use authorization. See the commercial use authorization page for more information.


Special Use Permits

Special Use permits are required for special events such as weddings, ceremonies and memorials. In certain circumstances, Special Use permits may be required for still photography and First Amendment activities. See the sections on Still Photography and First Amendment activities for further guidance. Please allow 3-4 weeks for processing.


Weddings and ceremonies - Special use permits are required for events such as weddings, ceremonies, meetings or gatherings. To apply for a Special Use Permit you can download a Special Use Permit application, but we also recommend that you e-mail us or write to c/o Olympic National Park, 600 East Park Ave, Port Angeles, WA 98362


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. First Amendment activities involving less than 25 people do not require a permit, but are restricted to certain areas of the park. Examples of special events that require permits when more than 25 people are involved include, but are not limited to: distribution/sale of printed matter, religious services, public demonstrations, assemblies or collecting signatures for petitions. For more information contact the park at (360)565-3092 or c/o Olympic National Park 600 East Park Avenue, Port Angeles, WA 98362


Memorial permits - A permit is required for the scattering of ashes. There is no charge for a memorial permit. You can download a Special Use Permit application, but we also recommend you e-mail us or write to c/o Olympic National Park, 600 East Park Ave, Port Angeles, WA 98362


Miscellaneous - Other activities may require permits if there is the potential for interference with visitor use, congestion of a highly visited area, or possible impact on park resources. You can download a Special Use Permit application, but please email e-mail us or write to c/o Olympic National Park, 600 East Park Ave, Port Angeles, WA 98362 for more detailed information and clarification.


Commercial Use Authorizations or Non-Profit Special Use Permits

Commercial Use Authorizations - Authorization is required before conducting any form of commercial use activity in the park. Please allow 3-4 weeks for processing. For more information and an application for a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA), contact the Concessions Specialist.


Non-Profit - Commercial Use Authorizations are not required for Non-Profit entities deriving no taxable income from their activity within Olympic National Park. However a Non-Profit Special Use Permit is required along with documentation from the IRS of their Non-Profit status. For more information and an application for the permit contact the Concessions Specialist.

You can learn more about Commercial Use Authorizations and Non-Profit Special Use Permits, and download applications, here.


Research Permits

A permit is required before conducting any research within the park. An online application process is administered nationally, but we recommend that you also contact the park's Research Coordinator for more information and to help facilitate the application process.


Lodging Reservations

A variety of overnight accommodations are available within Olympic National Park by advance reservation.


Campground Reservations

Park-operated campgrounds
Kalaloch, Hoh, Mora, Fairholme, and Staircase campgrounds are the only park-operated campgrounds that accept reservations in the summer. Reservations are accepted for the summer peak season online
at recreation.gov beginning 6 months in advance. All campsites at these campgrounds are reservable during the peak season. Any unreserved or cancelled sites will be sold in person on a first-come, first-served basis. Campsites are first-come, first-served the rest of the year.

Concession-operated campgrounds
Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort RV Park & Campground offers reservations for the summer season online at

Log Cabin Resort RV & Campground offers reservations by phone at 888.896.3818.

All other park campgrounds are first-come, first-served. Visit our Camping webpage for more information.


Wilderness Camping Reservations & Permits

For the most up to date information on how to obtain a Wilderness Backpacking Permit click here.

Last updated: May 16, 2024

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

600 E. Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362


360 565-3130

Contact Us