The Mendocino National Forest is located in the northwestern part of California.
Where is this Forest?


Passes & Permits

[Photograph]: Water swirling through rocks on the Middle Fork Eel River.
Middle Fork Eel River

The Forest Service offers many activities such as hiking, biking, skiing, camping, birding, using cabins, driving for pleasure, harvesting mushrooms, and gathering firewood. Many of the facilities and services associated with these opportunities are free. Some do require fees or permits to help maintain, manage and improve the amenities that you enjoy.

Most national forest system lands are open, free of charge for your use and enjoyment, but entrance and user fees may be charged at some areas.

Recreation Permit Information

Recreation permits may be required when extra measures are needed to protect natural or cultural resources.

Recreation permits can include:

  • Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area/Trail
  • River
  • Wilderness
  • Rifle Range
  • Groomed Cross-Country Ski Trail
  • Group Activities*
  • Recreation Events*

* These activities have historically required a "Special Use Permit", which sometimes includes a fee and sometimes are free. The Recreation Enhancement Act allows funds from these fees to now remain where collected.

A Special Use Permit grants rights or privileges of occupancy and use to the holder. Examples include reserving a public site for a wedding party, or holding a bicycle race on public lands. These permits contain specific terms and conditions that the holder must follow.

Before Special Use Permits are issued, the Forest Service must determine that the proposed use complies with all management plans and laws, that there is a demonstrated need for the activity, and that the use is appropriate on national forest system lands. Special Use Permits are a temporary authority.

Information about Special Use Permits required to conduct business on National Forests.