Recreation Passes & Permits

Deer looking onto a trailMost 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.

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.

America the Beautiful Interagency Recreation Passes

The Cibola honors all types of America the Beautiful passes. All passes are available for purchase at the Cibola Supervisor's Office and at all district offices.

The America the Beautiful Interagency Recreation passes are honored nationwide at all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging fees.  Passes admit pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle. At per-person fee areas,  all passes admit  holders and up to 3 persons. Persons 15 and younger are admitted free of charge.

image of the annual America the Beautiful passThe Annual Pass is available to anyone and is $80 annually. It is valid for 12 months from the month of purchase. Expires the last day of the month punched.  The Interagency Annual Pass has two signature lines and any two individuals may sign the pass. Both are considered pass holders.  Frequent visitors of multiple federal agency lands may save money by buying an Interagency Annual Pass.

Image of America The Beautiful Senior PassThe Senior Pass is available to US Citizens 62 years of age or older and is $20 annually or $80 for a lifetime pass.  The pass holder receives a 50% discount on some expanded amenity fees like campgrounds (does not include hookups for water/sewer/electricity), highly developed boat launches and swimming sites and for specialized interpretive services. 

Image of America The Beautiful Access PassThe Access Pass is available free of charge to US citizens with a medical determination and documentation of blindness or permanent disability.  This pass is valid for pass holder's lifetime.  The pass holder receives a 50% discount on some expanded amenity fees like campgrounds (does not include hookups for water/sewer/electricity), highly developed boat launches and swimming sites and for specialized interpretive services.

Image of America The Beautiful Volunteer PassThe Volunteer Pass can be issued free of charge through a participating agency to US citizen vounteers who contribute 250 or more volunteer hours.  It is valid for 12 months from the month of issue. The pass expires the last day of the month punched.

Photo of a Military PassThe Military Pass may be issued free of charge to any active duty US military member and their dependants.  With the similar benefits as the Annual Pass, It is valid for one year from the month issued.

The Sandia Annual Amenity Pass

Sandia Mountain Annual Parking 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, 2020, the amenity pass is valid until the end of April 2021.

For more information contact the Sandia Ranger District at 505.281.3304.

Every Kid Outdoors 4th Grade Pass

As part of the nation's commitment to ensure every American has the opportunity to visit and enjoy our wildlife, resources, and history, the Every Kid Outdoors initiative allows fourth graders nationwide to obtain a pass for free entry, for the fourth grader and their family, to more than 2,000 federally managed lands and waters, nationwide, for an entire year. The USDA Forest Service has expanded its Every Kid Outdoors program to offer fifth-grade students vouchers for the 2020-2021 school year. Vouchers are available for download now through August 31, 2021 on the Every Kid Outdoors website. Fifth-graders should click on the "Hey, fifth graders!" banner to download a voucher.

Visit Every Kid Outdoors to learn more!