The Tonto National Forest is located in the center of Arizona.
Where is this Forest?


Passes & Permits


Tonto Pass

Find everything you need to know about the Tonto Pass and other Recreational Fees nation-wide and on the Tonto. Visit the Tonto National Forest - Tonto Pass webpage for more information.

The Tonto Pass is not valid on the Payson Ranger District. Day-use and camping fee sites on the Payson Ranger District are managed by the concessionaire located at Houston Mesa Campground.

*fee changes began March 29th, 2006.

America the Beautiful - the National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass

The government has established the America the Beautiful -- the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Program (national interagency pass) that allows the public to access some fee areas without additional charge. This is very convenient and cost effective when traveling to several sites that charge an entrance fee. Visit the America the Beautiful USGS website for more information.

Interagency Pass Upgrade

Since national interagency passes apply only to sites with entrance fees, they have limited applicability on the Tonto National Forest. However, so that all national interagency pass holders can use their Passports at many Tonto National Forest fee sites, a national interagency pass upgrade can be purchased for $15. The upgraded national interagency pass is valid for use at all sites on the Tonto National Forest where a daily-use fee is charged. The upgrade is in the form of a windshield decal that is valid for one year from the date of purchase. Expires last day of the month in the year card is punched. (For example, Purchase Oct. 1, 2009, expires October 31, 2010.)

Upgraded national interagency passes are not valid at campgrounds, concessionaire operated sites or at group reservation sites.

More information is available at the recreation FAQ page.

Visitors must first purchase or obtain a national interagency pass at any location where they are available. These interagency passes, along with Tonto Upgrades can only be obtained at Tonto National Forest administrative offices as well as through an on-line vendor accessed through our website.

Permit Information

Salt River Permits

Recreation Permits are required to utilize the Tribal lands and waters of those portions of the Salt River Canyon which are within the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. These permits are required 365 days a year. Permits may be obtained at the Salt River Trading Post near the Highway 60 Bridge.

Boating is strictly prohibited by the Tribe through the portion of the Salt River Canyon upstream of Apache Falls (located 1/4 mile upstream of the Highway 60 Bridge). In addition, All over-land visitation (both on foot or by vehicle) is prohibited in the Salt Banks area (located 10 1/2 miles downstream of the Highway 60 Bridge). This area is a sensitive cultural and religious site.

For further information about the rules and regulations on Tribal lands and waters, contact the White Mountain Apache Outdoor Recreation Division at (928) 338-4385. For information concerning Recreation Permits, contact the Hon Dah Ski & Outdoor Sport Center (928) 369-7667 or visit

For information on boating permits for the Salt River Canyon Wilderness Area visit the Upper Salt River Rafting Permit Information webpage.