Target Shooting


Respect Your Sport / Keep It Safe and Clean

You are responsible for where you shoot and where your bullets go

Choosing a Location

When you plan on visiting the Eldorado National Forest, make sure to familiarize yourself with the location you intend to use for target shooting. A good shooting area has legal access, an effective backstop that absorbs bullets without producing ricochets, an unobstructed view so that no one can wander into the line of fire without being seen, and no nearby buildings (especially occupied private residences), campsites, or trails.

  • Know where you are in the forest - National Forest System lands are surrounded by private inholdings and it can be difficult to know with certainty if you are on public land or private property.
  • Maps - There are many roads and trails in the forest that may be just beyond what you can see in the direction you are target shooting.  An Eldorado National Forest recreation map and Motor Vehicle Use Map can help you navigate your surroundings to provide a safe target shooting environment for all forest visitors including yourself.


  1. Firearms should always be considered loaded to prevent accidental discharge.
  2. Be sure of your target and what is beyond the target.
  3. Pick up after yourself and remove any trash or debris you created.
  4. Preplan your trip to provide for your safety and the safety of other forest visitors.

Safety, Rules and Regulations

All target shooters are expected to always follow the principles of firearms safety, and to obey Federal and California State laws and regulations as they pertain to firearms possession and use.

  • Please review the guide on “Firearms Use” for the Eldorado National Forest. 
  • It is prohibited to discharge a firearm or any other implement capable of taking human life, causing injury or damaging property 36CFR261.10(d);
    • In or within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site or other occupied area; or
    • Across or on any Forest System road, or a body of water adjacent thereto, or in any manner or place whereby any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result in such discharge ;
    • Into or within any cave. 
  • Appropriate Targets - Please use paper targets only and do not leave litter and debris behind associated with your target shooting activities.  Glass and household appliances should not be brought to National Forest System lands for use as shooting targets.  These items are rarely removed from the forest and cause dumping problems in the forest.  36 CFR 261.11( e) $300.  Respect your sport and keep it clean.
  • Inappropriate Targets - When target shooting remember that is unlawful to damage any natural feature or other property of the United States such as trees, signs, outbuildings, or other objects on federal lands that are there for public use.  36 CFR 261.9(a) $5000 fine or up to 6 months in jail.
  • EXPLODING TARGETS:  Using explosives on national forest system lands is PROHIBITED!  This includes detonating binary explosive targets. 36 CFR 261.52(b) $5000 or up to 6 months in jail.


Target Shooting Areas

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities