NOTE: Application Fees for Backpacking, Day Hiking, Horse Rides, Bicycle Tours and Commercial Tours CUA will be $275 annually. The CUA application fees are determined by a cost analysis in compliance with the 2005 Interim Guidelines for CUAs. This guidance authorizes the National Park Service to recover, at a minimum, associated management and administrative costs associated with CUAs.
A Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) is a permit that authorizes suitable commercial services for park visitors within Saguaro National Park. The term of a CUA may not exceed 2 years and no preferential right of renewal or similar provisions for renewal may be provided. Saguaro National Park authorizes a variety of commercial services.
Who needs a CUA?
A CUA is required if an entity provides a good, activity, service, or other function that takes place, at least in part, in the National Park, uses Park resources and results in compensation, monetary gain, benefit or profit.
What constitutes a commercial tour or service?
A commercial tour or service consists of one or more persons traveling on an itinerary that has been packaged, priced, or sold for leisure/recreational purposes by an organization that profits from providing that service.
Processing time for CUA permits can take four or more weeks depending on the time of year so please plan accordingly. All applications will be processed in the order in which they are received. Please submit all required documents in one application packet. Any incomplete applications will be placed on hold until all required documents are received. The following information must be submitted in an application packet:
Mail completed packets to:
Saguaro National Park
Attn: Commercial Use Authorizations
3693 S Old Spanish Trail
Tucson, AZ 85740
Or e-mail us
Please call (520) 733-5103 if you need to submit your application using another method. We require a minimum of 4 weeks to fully process a basic authorization request.
Applications will not be processed if submitted incomplete or are received without payment.
For questions regarding CUAs please contact the Commercial Use Coordinator at 520-733-5103 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.,Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays or contact us by email.
Wilderness Camping Permits are required Overnight Operators
In addition to the CUA, overnight camping commercial trips are required to also obtain a backcountry camping permit for each trip, from the Rincon Mountain Visitor Center. Get more information and download a wilderness camping permit application. Keep in mind permits for after 2/1/2020 need to be reserved on our rec.gov third party site.
Entrance Fees for Commercial Vehicles
Based on vehicle capacity (not the actual occupancy) for all tour groups and bus companies. Taxis are classified as commercial tours as they do not have regularly scheduled service.
Vehicles with capacity of 1-6: will be charged a Flat Fee of $25.00.
Vehicles with capacity of 7-25: will be charged a Flat Fee of $40.00.
Vehicles with capacity of 26+: will be charged a Flat Fee of $100.00.
No per person fees are charged as long as passengers are traveling with the original commercial vehicle. Tour passengers who re-enter the park by other means are subject to per person fees. Entrance Fees are NOT refundable and/or transferable. The permit is valid for up to 7 days for the same tour group only. A Commercial Use Authorization is required for any commercial tour company, regional shuttle service company, or local transit company that enters the park.
Last updated: December 3, 2019