Groups and Special Event Permits
Special events, special use, and groups of 25 or more people require permits in advance. Groups of 24 or fewer do not require permits.
Groups of 25 or More
Groups of 25 or more require a reservation or a permit. These include activities such as picnic groups, weddings, hiking and mountain biking meet-ups, classes and docent-led walks. Organizers are responsible for limiting the size of their group.
Special Events / Special Use Permits
"Special events," such as running or bicycling races, usually require the use of many city resources (e.g., road closures, police or fire personnel). Permits for these events are required to be completed at least a month in advance. "Special uses" include scientific research or collecting, commercial photography, rest stops for athletic training events, and weddings. All require permits in advance.
Groups of 24 or Fewer
Small groups, which are 24 or fewer adults and children, do not require reservations or permits. Organizers are responsible for limiting the size of their group and may be subject to citation and expulsion from the preserve if the group size exceeds 24 people.
In Foothills Park, residency requirements apply regardless of group size. All non-resident guests must be accompanied by a Palo Alto resident. Each resident may have up to 15 non-resident guests but the total group size may not exceed 24 people without a permit or reservation made in advance. The total number of people in your group may not exceed 24 residents and non-residents, adults and children. Organizers of small groups may obtain a small group guest list form in person from a ranger at the entrance station on the day of your gathering.