Recreation Passes & Permits
Most national forest system lands are free of charge for your use and enjoyment. However, developed recreation fees may be charged at some developed sites that offer certain services to the public. 95% of these fees stay on the Cibola National Forest & Grasslands and help to maintain these services. These fees help:
- Conserve, protect, and restore natural and cultural resources
- Enhance recreation opportunities by funding trail maintenance, upgrades, safety features, clean facilities and new developments
To learn more about recreation fees, the legislation that enables these fees, and types of fees, visit the National Forest Service Passes page.
Recreation Pass Information
Digital Day Use Pass
You can now purchase a digital pass for most developed day use fee sites through our partner, Recreation.gov in just a few simple steps. This pass can be used for all sites that charge a day use fee on Sandia Ranger District, and at Lake McClellan on Black Kettle Ranger District. Purchase your pass at the link above ahead of time, or purchase directly at the site when you visit (requires mobile connectivity); your license plate will be used to verify your purchase. The Digital Day Use Pass covers Day Use fees (not overnight fees) charged at select sites.
- East Bluff #1 Campground
- Fishermans Point
- Lake McClellan Boating Site
- Lake McClellan Campground
- Lake McClellan Picnic Site
- McDowell Campground
- McDowell Fishing
- Balsam Glade Nature Trail
- Balsam Glade Picnic Site
- Capulin Snowplay Area
- Capulin Spring Picnic Site
- Cienega Canyon Picnic Site
- Cienega Canyon Trail 148
- Cienega Equestrian Day Use Site
- Crest Nature Trails
- Doc Long Picnic Site
- Juan Tabo Picnic Site
- La Cueva Trail Head
- Las Huertas Picnic Site
- La Luz Trailhead
- Tree Spring
- Sandia Crest Recreation Complex
- Sulphur Canyon
The Sandia Annual Amenity Pass
The Sandia Annual Amenity Pass is only valid for fee sites on the Sandia Ranger District. The cost of this pass is $30.00 per year. It is valid for a full year from the date of purchase, and expires the end of the month, in which it was purchased. For instance: for a pass purchased on April 2, 2023, the amenity pass is valid until the end of April 2024.
For more information contact the Sandia Ranger District at 505.281.3304.
America the Beautiful Interagency Recreation Passes
Frequent visitors of multiple federal agency lands may save money by buying an Interagency Annual Pass. The pass is available to anyone and is valid for 12 months from the month of purchase. The Interagency Annual Pass has two signature lines and any two individuals may sign the pass. Both are considered pass holders.
The Senior Pass is available to US Citizens 62 years of age or older and is valid for the pass holder's lifetime. Passholders receive a 50% discount on some expanded amenity fees like campgrounds (does not include hookups), highly developed boat launches and swimming sites and for specialized interpretive services.
Free annual pass if you are active military. Includes dependents.
Free lifetime pass for Gold Star Families with a valid Gold Star Family Voucher or US military veterans with a valid, veteran ID.
People who are living with disabilities can request this $10 lifetime pass. It can be used at many different federal lands across the nation.
This free pass is available to 4th Graders, 4th Grade Teachers, home school and free-choice learners 10 years of age. Good from Sept. to Aug. of your 4th Grade school year.
The Volunteer Pass annual pass is awarded to those individuals who volunteer 250 hours at one or more recreation sites managed by five Federal agencies as a way to say "thank you!"