Annual Photo Permit



Cave of the Mounds National Natural Landmark is a popular destination for photographers because of the beautifully manicured grounds and gardens. Photography is allowed by guests for personal, noncommercial use while visiting the property for the purpose of touring the Cave of the Mounds attraction. A permit is required for posed/formal and commercial photography for above ground use only. Private cave rental is available for those wishing to take posed or commercial photographs underground in the cave environment.

Posed photography

Photographers taking posed/formal pictures (e.g., engagement, wedding, senior year, family) must obtain a permit and carry it while on the grounds at Cave of the Mounds during the permit effective date(s).

Photographers may purchase an ANNUAL above ground photography permit for $300 per year. The annual permit allows multiple sessions for one year starting from the permit purchase date. This is ideal for professional photographers and others who might regularly use Cave of the Mounds as a photo shoot location. Please contact us for conditions before purchasing an annual permit.


  • Please call ahead with the date and time of your photography shoot(s) so the date and time can be recorded.
  • Mini shoots are considered multiple sessions and require an annual photography permit.
  • Photographers and clients muststay on trails or lawn areas at all times. No walking into garden beds, climbing rock walls, climbing trees, or going off trail.
  • There is no access to buildings that are not open and available to the general public.
  • Pets are not allowed on the grounds at Cave of the Mounds.
  • Photographers must accompany their props & equipment at all times.
  • Please do not trample, pick, or collect flowers, leaves, branches or rocks anywhere on the grounds or in the gardens.
  • Vehicles must be parked in designated parking spaces in the main entrance upper parking lot. NO PARKING AT OR AROUND THE HISTORIC BARN.
  • All photographers and clients must follow guest etiquette. Questions can be directed to any of our Cave of the Mounds staff members.

Please Note:

  • Cave of the Mounds staff and stewards will check your permit and record your visit.
  • Guests visiting the property for the purpose of touring the Cave of the Mounds attraction are free to use any area at any time. Areas cannot be reserved, and photography does not take priority over other guest activities.
  • You may not use props that are otherwise not allowed at Cave of the Mounds—for example, no pets in the gardens. Allowable props may only be placed on lawns and trails–not in garden beds or off trail. Props may not be left unattended.
  • Cave of the Mounds reserves the right to deny permits for certain dates when photography sessions could interfere with scheduled events.

Failure to adhere to the photography permit policy may result in the forfeiture of the permit fee and loss of photography privileges at Cave of the Mounds.


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