Recreation Fee Area Maps and FAQs

[Photo]: Henshaw Overlook - funded in part by Adventure Pass fees.
Henshaw Overlook
Funded in part by Adventure Pass Fees

Recreation Fee Maps 

Map showing Recreation Fee Sites on the Descanso Ranger District

Map showing Recreation Fee Sites on the Palomar Ranger District

Map showing Recreation Fee Sites on the Trabuco Ranger District

Printable Maps

Map showing Recreation Fee Sites on the Descanso Ranger District

Map showing Recreation Fee Sites on the Palomar Ranger District

Map showing Recreation Fee Sites on the Trabuco Ranger District

For additional information, please visit the National Forest Service website via the following link:

Questions and Answers 

Scope of the Program

Q1. Will I still be able to use my Adventure Pass?

Q2. Will fees still be charged in campgrounds?

Q3. I've heard that REA extends the fee program. Is this true?

Q4. What other Federal agencies are included in the REA legislation?

Q5. What types of fees are authorized under REA?

Q6. What amenities must be in place in order to charge fees in high impact recreation areas?

Q7. Will there be additional fee sites under the new law?

Where Fees are Required

Q8. Section 13 of the new legislation specifically repeals the recreation fee demo program. How can you continue to charge fees under a program that has been repealed?

Q9.The legislation specifically indicates that agencies cannot charge for access to dispersed areas with low or no investment, for driving through the Forest, or for stopping at overlooks or scenic pullouts. Isn't the Adventure Pass inconsistent with this direction?

Q10. Will the Adventure Pass be phased out as a result of the REA legislation?

Q11. I am a Special Use permittee and use an Administrative Pass when I access the Forest. Has anything changed for me?

Q12. Are there any plans to change the name of the Adventure Pass?


Q13. Will there be any increases in fees?

Q14. What about campgrounds? Will you be raising fees there?

Q15. Will there still be Free Days?

Q16. How much revenue do you expect to lose as a result of this change? Will you still be able to take care of the Forest?

Q17. What types of improvements will my fees be used for?

Q18. Will my fees still be used in the area where they were collected?

Q19. Will the funding provided by the Recreation Enhancement Act close the gap between tax dollars and the cost of providing services?


Q20. Can I get a refund if the area I visit no longer requires an Adventure Pass?

Q21. How do I get my refund?


America the Beautiful Pass

Q22. What is the new America the Beautiful Pass?

Q23. When will the America the Beautiful Pass be available?

Q24. How much will it cost to purchase an America the Beautiful Pass?

Q25. Will the America the Beautiful Pass be like the Golden Passport Program?

Q26. Will you continue to offer the Golden Passports until the America the Beautiful Pass is available?

Q27. Will I be able to exchange my current Golden Age or Golden Access passport for the new America the Beautiful Passport?

Q28. Will I still get 50% off my camping fees with my Golden Age/Golden Access Passport?

Q29. Will the new America the Beautiful Pass replace the Adventure Pass?

Q30. Will individual project passes like the Adventure Pass still be available?

Advisory Committees

Q31. The legislation provides for the creation of Recreation Advisory Committees to help address issues related to recreation fees. Why haven't you created them yet?

Q32. The legislation states that fees must be approved by an advisory committee. How can you continue to require the Adventure Pass before the Advisory Committee has even been created?

Q33. How many Advisory Committees will there be?

Q34. What process will be used to select the Advisory Committee members?

Q35. What will the makeup of the committee be?


A1. Yes. The Adventure Pass will be accepted at many individual sites that require a fee, and in high impact recreation areas. For more information go to our website at or our temporary website at Visitors may also contact the nearest Forest Service office to find out where fees are now required. Many popular developed picnic areas will still require an Adventure Pass.

A2. Yes. Campgrounds will continue to charge camping fees in some locations.

A3. Yes. REA permits federal land management agencies to continue to charge recreation fees for the next 10 years.

A4. The legislation applies to the Forest Service, National Park Service, BLM, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation.

A5. REA authorizes four types of fees, including three different types of fees for Forest Service use:

a. Entrance Fees may be charged by the National Park Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. (The Forest Service may not charge entrance fees).
b. Standard Amenity Fees include fees at specific recreation sites, or in high impact recreation areas that have six specific amenities.
c. Expanded Amenity Fees include fees for specific services, such as campgrounds, boat launch facilities, tours, special rentals, etc.
d. Special Recreation permits include fees for issuing permits to individuals for a specific type of use. Wilderness Permits are one example where fees could be considered. Fees for Special Recreation permits may be used to pay for both the cost of permit issuance and for on-the-ground management.

A6. Toilets, parking, trash receptacles, picnic tables, interpretation, and security.

A7. New fees may be proposed in other locations and by the other agencies listed in the legislation, but they must first be reviewed by Recreation Resource Advisory Committees (RACs). No new standard or expanded amenity fee areas will be added until the RACs are established in 2006.

A8. The legislation granted new fee authority at the same time it repealed the old fee demo authority. The new fee areas are consistent with the High Impact Recreation Areas identified in the new fee authority.

A9. Use in the areas where the Adventure Pass will still be required is consistent with the high impact recreation areas described in the REA legislation. The Forest Service continues to make a substantial investment in our heavily used urban forests. Trash pickup, installation of portable toilets, graffiti removal, and providing visitor information all require a substantial amount of funds and all help to improve the visitor experience.

A10. The Adventure Pass will not be phased out, but the area where it is required has been reduced.

A11. If you are working in an area where the Adventure Pass is required, the Administrative Pass is still the most appropriate way to identify vehicles that are parked on the Forest for other than recreation use.

A12. Not at this time. Although the area where fees are required will be smaller, we are currently planning to retain the name "Adventure Pass" because many visitors are familiar with it, know how to use the pass, and know where it can be purchased.

A13. No. The cost of the Adventure Pass will remain at $5 for a daily pass or $30 for an Annual Pass. A second vehicle pass (to be used in conjunction with an Annual Pass) will continue to cost $5.

A14. The formula for setting campground fees was already in place prior to REA and remains unchanged. Where a change in campground rates was already in progress for the 2005 season, fees will be adjusted.

A15. We will continue the Free Days that have already been announced for 2005. Free Days were originally implemented to ensure that every individual could visit the National Forest without paying a fee. Because a large portion of the Forest no longer requires the Adventure Pass, we will discontinue the monthly Free Days program in 2006.

A16. We don't yet know how revenues will be affected, but we are hopeful that we will still have enough funds to provide basic services. And regardless of the impact to revenues, Forests must follow the law as passed by Congress under REA.

A17. Under the legislation, fees can be used for:

  • Repair, maintenance, and enhancement of facilities
  • Visitor Services
  • Habitat Restoration
  • Law Enforcement
  • Operating expenses

A18. Yes. Revenue collected under REA will continue to be returned to the local Forest.

A19. By itself, no. The Act is one critical tool, but the funds must be combined with grants, partners, volunteers, youth programs, and appropriated dollars to provide needed services.

A20. Visitors may request a refund of their Annual Pass and accompanying second vehicle pass any time before December 31, 2005. Refunds will be pro-rated depending on the months remaining on the pass. We expect that it will take about 30 days to process a refund request

Before requesting a refund, visitors should keep in mind that they may also wish to visit one of the many popular areas where the adventure pass will still be required.

A21. Visitors will be able to obtain a refund by sending a Refund Request Form, along with their current pass, to Project Headquarters. The Refund Request form and instructions for obtaining your refund will be available at Forest Service offices.

A22. The REA legislation authorized a new National Passport, called the America the Beautiful Pass. The America the Beautiful Pass will be accepted nationally for recreation use across all participating Federal agencies.

A23. We don't expect the pass to be in place before 2007. It will take some time to work through the details of the America the Beautiful Pass Program, including planning, marketing, revenue distribution, design, and printing.

A24. Cost of the America the Beautiful Pass is not specified in the legislation and is currently unknown.

A25. Yes, America the Beautiful will be similar to the Golden Passport program in that seniors and Americans with disabilities will be able to secure lifetime passes. Others can purchase a yearly pass, which will be good for entrance to National Parks and for any standard amenity fee across the nation.

A26. Until the details of the America the Beautiful Pass are worked out, we will continue to provide existing national passports such as the Golden Passports. Such passes will be honored until they expire.

A27. We don't yet know the specifics of the America the Beautiful program, and don't yet know how it will implemented.

A28. Yes.

A29. No. The America the Beautiful Pass is a national passport, while the Adventure Pass is a local pass, offered as a lower cost option for those who recreate primarily in southern California. The America the Beautiful Pass will be accepted nationwide and will primarily be purchased by individuals who have the opportunity to visit many different Parks and public lands in a single year.

A30. Yes. Local or regional passes like the Adventure Pass (or individual passes for admission to a single National Park) will still be available and will provide visitors who only use local sites and areas with a different cost option.

A31. The number of Advisory Committees and guidelines for their establishment are currently being developed nationally. We don't expect them to be operational until 2006.

A32. The Adventure Pass is an existing fee that is being modified to fit the REA legislation. Only new standard and expanded amenity fees must be approved by an advisory committee.

A33. We don't know yet how many advisory committees will be created.

A34. The specific process is being determined at the national planning level. We will distribute information to the media when the process is announced.

A35. The legislation specifies the committee will include 11 persons representing the following:

1) Winter motorized recreation, such as snowmobiling
2) Winter non-motorized recreation
3) Summer motorized recreation
4) Summer non-motorized recreation
5) Hunting and fishing
6) Motorized outfitters and guides
7) Non-motorized outfitters and guides
8) Local environmental groups
9) State tourism official
10) Affected Indian tribes
11) Local government interests