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


Recreation Passes & Permits

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The Tonto pass program

In 1996, the Tonto National Forest began charging use fees at many of the forest's water based recreation areas under the Recreation Fee Demonstration Act. The program continued under the Recreation Enhancement Act passed in 2004.

Recreation Fee Program Accomplishment Report - 2008 (pdf)



About the Tonto pass

The Tonto Pass is a daily (24-hour) recreation pass for visitors to more than 50 recreation sites where a daily-use fee is required on the Tonto National Forest. The Pass will be displayed on visitor’s vehicle rear-view mirror. The passes sell for $6.00 per vehicle plus a watercraft use fee of $4.00 per watercraft.



Where are Tonto passes sold?

Tonto passes are available at a variety of retail outlets and at Forest Service offices. They can also be purchased online and by mail. Find a list of retail vendors and Forest Service offices, or download a mail-in order form on the Where Do I Buy Recreation Passes section of the website.

Tonto Passes are NOT sold at the recreation sites, they must be purchased at a retail location or online prior to your visit.


Which pass do I need?

Whether you are just spending a day out at the lake, or you visit the forest every weekend, - there is a pass just for you.



Wait! I have more questions!

Here are some of our more frequently-asked questions (FAQs).


Tonto National Forest - Tonto Pass


Welcome - Overview of the daily Tonto Pass

Wherever you live in Phoenix, you're just a short drive away from a spectacular wildlands adventure—recreating in the Tonto National Forest! Here you will find mountains as high as 8,000 feet, canyons, vast Sonoran Desert and ponderosa pine forests, lakes, rivers and streams, and a wealth of recreation activities from cycling to water sports —all waiting for you in your national forest. These precious lands are a unique resource, ours to enjoy and take care of so that they will always be there...for us, for our children, and for our children’s children.