Passes and permits are required for some Forest activities. These permits help us to provide quality recreation opportunities, to insure distribution of visitors in sensitive areas such as wilderness, and to regulate activities such as removal of firewood and other products.
Recreation Passes & Permits
Adventure and Interagency Passes
These passes cover standard amenity fees at day use sites such as picnic areas and trailheads. The senior and access passes also provide a 50% discount of expanded amenity fees such as camping. Please visit our Recreation Passes and Permits page.
The San Jacinto, Santa Rosa, San Gorgonio, and Cucamonga Wilderness Areas require a free wilderness permit for dayhiking and overnight camping. Please visit our Recreation Passes and Permits page.
California Campfire Permits are required on public lands in California for use of campfires, camp stoves, lanterns or open flame devices. Campfire permits are available at the local Ranger Station and are subject to local fire restrictions. Please visit our Recreation Passes and Permits page.
Christmas tree farms and lots are a viable industry in southern California and opening the forest to Christmas tree cutting could have a negative impact on the industry. Because of this and other issues, our policy is to not provide this opportunity on the San Bernardino National Forest at this time.
Fern Collecting Permits
The San Bernardino National Forest will not be offering fern permits this spring and summer in the Lake Arrowhead or Skyforest area. The Forest is still actively processing fire-killed trees in the fern picking areas and have not finished clearing dead trees and hazards for public safety. Due to the impacts of the wildfire and tree removal process, we ask that the community help by allowing the ground another season to heal before fern picking resumes. The ferns are popular with many Asian American visitors, who consider the young fiddlebacks a delicacy. Contact the Big Bear Discovery Center at (909) 382-2790 for more information.
Other Forest Products
Those wishing to collect seeds, pine cones, plant specimens, mistletoe, manzanita, and other forest products are required to obtain a permit before removing anything from National Forest land. The permit will tell you where you may collect and any restrictions which may apply. Contact the Ranger Station in the area you would like to visit to find out how to obtain your permit. Be sure to plan ahead, as some permits require advance notice.
Event/Commercial Permits or Special Use Permits
Certain types of uses of public lands require "Special Use Authorizations". These include commercial activities, such as filming and guiding. Non-commercial uses may also require Special Use Authorizations, including recreation residences and organized events and gatherings. Please visit our Events / Filming Page
Prospecting & Mining
Prospecting, mining and claim staking activities are permitted on National Forest system unappropriated land. Check with the Bureau of Land Management Office for land status pertaining to mining claims and the Ranger Station for land appropriation status. Please visit our Prospecting and Mining page
The San Bernardino National Forest does not issue permits to collect rocks for personal use.