Deception Pass Bridge with marathon runners, running across bridge.

Special Activities Permit

Washington State Parks are popular spots for weddings, company picnics, community festivals, scouting events, and organized recreational events such as adventure races and fun runs.

These activities are referred to as “Special Activities” and are likely to impact park staff, visitors, park lands and wildlife. Special Activities require a permit to guarantee staffing and safety of both your group and the park. 

Special Activities also are defined as having a limited timeframe. This means they do not last more than a couple of days and occur no more than three (3) times a year.

Plan ahead

Some special activities might need special planning and review as well as additional agency, state, or local permitting. Please plan well ahead as application for and approval of these permits require time - an event may delayed or denied if the permit process is not followed or is turned to late for the park to process the request. Plan to submit your permit at least 60 days in advance of the event.

Before you apply

Before applying for a special activity permit, contact the park where you are planning to host your activity.

Then, to apply for a Special Activity Permit (PDF 841KB) please complete the application and send it to the park contact where the activity will take place. See the park contact list (PDF) for park address, emails, and phone numbers.

How to apply for a Special Activity Permit

Follow these steps to apply for a special activity permit after you have contacted park:

  • Fill out, print, sign, and date the Special Activity Permit Application (PDF 841KB).
  • Include a copy of a park map indicating the location of the activity. Find a parks map .
  • Include payment, $45 application fee, additional fees will be assessed. See fee schedule.
  • Provide a certificate of insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 general liability and $1,000,000 personal injury naming State Parks as an additional insured or show evidence of insurance for WA State self-insured governmental entities. State Parks should be listed as follows: Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, 1111 Israel Rd SW, Olympia, WA 98504.
  • Submit the application and supplemental information to park contact at least sixty (60) days in advance to allow for review, consultation with local governments, public notice, SEPA review requirements, and required agency preparations.

Please note

Not all permit applications are approved and permits that are issued will often have restrictive conditions placed on the permittee. Do not advertise for a special activity before obtaining a permit. 

Please prepare to communicate regularly with Washington State Parks staff to ensure successful completion of application.

Additional requirements

Serving alcohol at an event or gathering may require a liquor licenses. Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) requirements.

If your activity includes professional filming or still photography, the photographer is required to have a film permit. See Filming and Photography Permits.

If your special activity permit covers multiple parks or will occur more than 3 times within a year please contact a region office for more information.

Application fee includes the basic environmental review. Additional review fees may apply.