Tonto National Forest Announces Fee-free Dates for 2018

PHOENIX, January 9, 2018 – Tonto National Forest joins other federal agencies in waiving fees at day-use sites on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 15, the first of seven days the Tonto will provide people an easier way to experience national forests and grasslands, sometimes referred to as “America’s Backyard.”

The fee waiver program is in cooperation with other federal land management agencies under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. Day-use fees will be waived at all standard amenity fee sites operated by the forest for these listed dates.  Camping and campground fees are not waived.  Concessionaire-operated sites may be included in the waiver if the permit holder wishes to participate.

The 2018 fee-free days honored by the Tonto National Forest are:

  • Jan. 15            Martin Luther King, Jr Day
  • Feb. 19            President's Day
  • June 9             National Get Outdoors Day
  • Sept. 22           National Public Lands Day
  • Nov. 10-11      Veterans Day
  • Nov. 23           Opt Outside Day

In January, fees will be waived at the following recreation sites on the Tonto National Forest:

  • Apache Lake - Burnt Corral Boating
  • Roosevelt Lake - Grapevine Boating
  • Apache Lake - Crabtree Wash
  • Roosevelt Lake - Schoolhouse Boating
  • Apache Lake - Davis Wash
  • Roosevelt Lake - Windy Hill Boating
  • Apache Lake - Lower Burnt Corral
  • Roosevelt Lake - Grapevine Bay
  • Apache Lake - Three Mile Wash
  • Saguaro Lake - Saguaro Del Norte Boating
  • Bartlett Lake - Rattlesnake
  • Saguaro Lake - Butcher Jones
  • Bartlett Lake - Jojoba
  • Saguaro Lake - Saguaro Del Norte
  • Bartlett Lake - Yellow Cliffs
  • Salt River - Blue Point
  • Bartlett Lake - Bartlett Flat
  • Salt River - Coon Bluff
  • Bartlett Lake - SB Cove
  • Salt River - Goldfield
  • Canyon Lake - Acacia
  • Salt River - Granite Reef
  • Canyon Lake - Boulder
  • Salt River – Pebble Beach
  • Canyon Lake - Palo Verde
  • Salt River - Phon D. Sutton
  • Canyon Lake - Laguna Boating
  • Salt River - Water Users
  • Canyon Lake - Palo Verde Boating
  • Verde River - Box Bar
  • Roosevelt Lake - Cholla Boating
  • Verde River – Needle Rock

The other federal agencies – Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers – determine their fee-free schedule.

Forest officials hope these fee-free days allow people to enjoy their national forests.  The Tonto Pass is usually required at these sites, and can be purchased at over 200 vendor locations around the valley, at fee machines located across the Forest, through the Viply mobile app for select locations on the Cave Creek District, or at Tonto National Forest Offices.  Additional information can be found at, or by calling the Tonto National Forest at 602-225-5200 during business hours.

Fees are not charged at any time on 98 percent of national forests and grasslands, and approximately two-thirds of developed recreation sites in national forests and grasslands can be used for free.  This includes opportunities such as dispersed camping, and picnicking.

National forests and grasslands are working lands that provide a multitude of benefits to the American public, including contributing more than $30 billion annually to the American economy and supporting nearly 360,000 jobs.  Recreation alone accounts for more than $9 billion in annual visitor spending.

Visitors are encouraged to visit their national forests and grasslands and join the year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System Act and the National Trails System Act.  Both were signed into law in October 1963 and called for designation of certain rivers and trails for their outstanding values.