Today I ran into an access denied error when trying to create a page within a SharePoint publishing site. I was able to create web part pages and sites, but unable to create publishing pages despite being a site owner. After doing some searching I found some posts about users with similar errors. Come to find out, to create a publishing page, you need at least read rights to the master page gallery. I opened up the master page gallery in my site collection, and sure enough, it wasn’t inheriting site permissions and my user had no permissions on the master page gallery. I gave my user (the site owner group) read rights on the master page gallery and it took care of my problem. I can now create my publishing page!