Permits & Reservations

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Reservations

For campground and lodge reservations, contact Yellowstone National Park Lodges. Make your reservations early as lodge rooms and campsites can fill months in advance. Reservations are not needed to enter the park.

 
Girl roasting marshmallow over an open fire.

Camp in a Campground

Plan a night in one of twelve park campgrounds.

A large, A-frame-style log lodge rises above surrounding conifer trees.

Stay in a Lodge

Pick a lodge that's right for you and make a reservation early!

 

Recreational Permits

 
Angler fishing in Yellowstone during a golden morning.

Catch a Fish

Be a responsible angler and understand the regulations before you come.

Canoer paddles on Yellowstone Lake

Boat

Take in the view from the water.

Hikers crossing a creek via a cable suspension bridge.

Camp in the Backcountry

Enjoy the solitude of more than 300 backcountry campsites.

Horseback riders in Yellowstone

Ride a Horse

Bring your own stock or take a guided ride.

 

Special Use Permits

The National Park Service may require a special use permit to for certain activities to occur in Yellowstone. These include organized gatherings like weddings or church services, public assemblies and demonstrations, special events and some commercial activities like commercial travel or commercial filming. A special park use is defined as a short-term activity that takes place in a park area, and that:

  1. provides a benefit to an individual, group or organization rather than the public at large;
  2. requires written authorization and some degree of management control from the National Park Service (NPS) in order to protect park resources and the public interest;
  3. is not prohibited by law or regulation;
  4. is not initiated, sponsored, or conducted by the NPS; and is not managed under a concession contract, a recreation activity for which the NPS charges a fee, or a lease.

Please note that while a special park use may meet the above criteria, not all activities are approved based on park specific resources, visitation and potential impact.

What Activities May Need a Permit

The following includes but is not limited to what activities may need a permit; please contact us to inquire if your requested activity will require a Special Use Permit.

 
A videographer looks through his viewfinder of the video camera to frame a scene.

Film, Photography, and Sound Recording

A permit is required for commercial filming, photography, and audio recording.

A wrecker hauls a broken down vehicle along a park road.

Suppliers, Travel, & Hazardous Materials

Certain transportation into Yellowstone National Park requires an additional permit different from that of a recreating visitor.

Sign stating that people in the area and expressing their own opinions.

First Amendment (FA)

Church services or demonstrations require a special use permit (non-fee).

The grey stone chapel at Mammoth Hot Springs surrounded by green grass.

Weddings and Other Ceremonies

Weddings and other ceremonies may be permitted in certain areas of Yellowstone depending on location, group size, and time of day or year.

Black and white photograph of low-lying clouds and distant mountain peaks.

Ash Scattering

Review these regulations if you would like to scatter the remains of your loved one within the park.

 

How to Apply and Fees

A non-refundable application fee is required for your activity to be considered. Applications and payment form must be submitted at least 2-4 weeks in advance depending on the time of year. Complex uses or activities may need additional time, however, most applications will not be accepted more than one year before your event.

 

Other Permits and Authorizations

 
Researcher working with a pipette in the lab.

Scientific Research

Most types of research done in the park are subject to the park's research permitting policy and require a permit.

Three lines of snowmobiles wait for their drivers to return.

Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs)

The National Park Service requires specific authorizations for commercial businesses to operate in national parks.

Last updated: June 4, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

307-344-7381

Contact Us