Yosemite National Park Filming Permit: 5 Incredible Tips

Yosemite National Park is a breathtaking natural wonder that has captivated filmmakers and photographers for decades. If you’re planning to capture the park’s stunning landscapes, waterfalls, and wildlife on camera, you’ll need to obtain a filming permit from the National Park Service. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of obtaining a Yosemite National Park Filming Permit, so you can create your masterpiece while ensuring the protection of this iconic destination.

Understanding the Need for a Yosemite National Park Filming Permit

Commercial filming within Yosemite National Park, or any unit of the National Park System, requires a permit under federal law. This includes feature films, documentaries, videography, and other recordings of a moving image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience with the intent of generating income.

Fees and Charges for Yosemite National Park Filming Permit

Yosemite National Park Filming Permit

The commercial filming application processing fee for Yosemite National Park is $300. This non-refundable fee must be submitted with your application. Additionally, the National Park Service is required by federal law to collect a location fee that provides a fair return to the United States for the use of park lands for commercial filming.

Applying for a Yosemite National Park Filming Permit

To apply for a Yosemite National Park Filming Permit, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Download the Application Form: The application form for a special use permit can be found on the NPS website. This form requires you to provide details about your project, company, location, and equipment.

  2. Submit the Application: Submit your original application and payment to the Office of Special Park Uses. Permits cannot be processed until the original application and any required payments are received.

  3. Comply with Terms and Conditions: The filming and photography permit will contain terms and conditions that are necessary to protect park resources and visitors. These will specify the location, time, and the number of personnel and equipment that may be used. You may also be required to obtain liability insurance.

Filming in Yosemite Wilderness Areas

If your filming activities are planned for Yosemite’s wilderness areas, you’ll need to follow additional regulations. Filming in wilderness areas must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including prohibitions on structures, installations, motor vehicles, mechanical transport, motorized equipment, motorboats, or landing of aircraft. Special use permits are required for all filming activities in wilderness areas, regardless of group size or equipment used.

Exemption from Entrance Fees

If a person enters the park solely for the purpose of filming and requires a permit, their activity is considered non-recreational, and they do not have to pay the entrance fee.

Resources for Yosemite National Park Filming Permit

For more detailed information and the latest updates on Yosemite National Park Filming Permits, please refer to the following resources:

Capturing the beauty and grandeur of Yosemite National Park on film is a privilege, and obtaining the proper filming permit is essential to ensure the protection of this natural wonder. By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, you can create your cinematic masterpiece while respecting the park’s rules and regulations. Happy filming!


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