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Can You Scatter Ashes in a National Park?

With the rise in popularity of cremation, more and more people are looking for unique places to scatter the ashes of their loved ones. National parks can be a beautiful and meaningful place to do this, but it's important to be aware of the laws and regulations surrounding scattering ashes in these locations.

What are the laws regarding scattering ashes?

In the United States, there is no federal law governing the scattering of ashes, so it is up to each individual state to set its own rules and regulations. Some states, like California, have very specific laws about where and how ashes can be scattered, while others have no laws on the books at all. It's necessary to check with the national park you're planning to visit to find out their specific policies.

Do you need a permit to spread ashes?

In general, the rules regarding spreading ashes depend heavily on your state's laws and the property's regulations where you're considering spreading ashes. When it comes to spreading ashes in national parks, the regulations differ depending on which park you're visiting and interested in.

Which national parks can you scatter ashes in?

While many national parks allow you to scatter ashes, there are some that do not. It's always best to check with the specific park you're interested in beforehand to see if they allow this activity since the regulations for scattering ashes differ from park to park. Here are some of the most popular national parks and their regulations regarding scattering ashes:

Here are 10 national parks that permit scattering ashes and their regulations:

How do I find out which parks I can scatter ashes in if they're not on this list?

If you're looking to scatter ashes in a national park and the park you're interested in isn't on this list, don't worry! You can easily find out the regulations for each park by doing a quick Google search for the national park's specific website or by searching the National Park Services' database. While some families and individuals may already have a specific park picked out, you may discover other options that feel like a great fit. You can expand your choices by looking at national parks online and visiting their respective websites. It’s important to consider where in the national parks you’re able to scatter ashes – some request you do it in a private location (in the forest or off the main paths) while others may have designated areas.

What are the regulations for memorial services in national parks?

If you're interested in having a memorial service for your loved one, in addition to scattering their ashes, that's also possible at most national parks. However, as with scattering ashes, it's always best to check with the specific park you're interested in first to see what their policies and regulations are. Additionally, many parks require a separate permit or permission form in order to hold a gathering if you're doing this in addition to scattering the ashes, especially if you have a gathering of over 20 people.

Scattering ashes in national parks is just one of many options when it comes to unique and beautiful final resting places for your loved ones. With a little bit of planning, you can easily create a memorable and personal tribute to your loved one that everyone can enjoy.

If you haven't already, creating a memorial website through Ever Loved is a great way to start planning and to share this experience with friends and family. You can use the memorial website to share pictures and memories, collect RSVP's, raise funds to cover unexpected costs (or other causes), and much more.

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Last updated September 21, 2022
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