Passes & Permits

Passes, Fees, Permits and Recreational Residence Guidelines

Most national forest system lands are open, free of charge for your use and enjoyment. Some National Forest recreation sites, however require the purchase of a local Forest Pass. Passes purchased for use of recreation facilities may not cover additional fees, such as those charged in concession or forest service operated campgrounds. Read all signs, or call the Ranger District office with jurisdiction over the recreational site you plan to visit.  



CNF Annual Pass 2014


Coronado Passes can be purchased at:

All the district offices along with the

  • Palisades Ranger Station
    Located at Milepost 19.6 on Mt. Lemmon Highway
    Open May 1st - Oct 31st Thur. - Mon. 8:00-4:30
  • Santa Rita Lodge
    1218 S. Madera Canyon Road
    Madera Canyon, AZ 85614
    (520) 625-8746
    (Coronado Recreation Passes only)

National Passes

Annual Pass Senior Pass Access Pass

These interagency passes and Coronado Recreation Passes are accepted at day use fee sites at signed locations throughout the Coronado National Forest.

For more detailed information on these passes click here.

US military and their dependents qualify for a FREE Annual Pass. Learn More.


The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA) passed into law on December 8, 2004, as part of the 2005 Consolidated Appropriation Act (Public Law 108-477).  REA authorizes the USDA Forest Service and four Department of the Interior agencies ---Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service --- to retain recreation fee revenues to supplement appropriations and other funding sources to repair, improve, operate, and maintain recreation sites and areas to quality standards (including elimination of recreation deferred maintenance), and to enhance the delivery of recreation services to high quality standards.  This Fee authority is critical to the sustainability of high quality Forest Service recreation programs.

Standard Fees

Examples:  Picnic areas, developed trailheads, destination visitor centers, high impact recreation areas (HIRAs).

Explanation: Typically standard amenity fees are day use fees, often covered by a day or annual pass.  High impact recreation areas are contiguous areas that support concentrate recreation use.  Each site or area must contain six "amenities," which are picnic tables, trash receptacles, toilet, parking, interpretive signing and security.

Transportation Vehicle Fees

Examples:  Private or commercial vehicles transporting groups of people only, no guiding, fee is based on size.

Explanation:         15 seats or less = $5

                              16 to 30 seats = $35

                              31 seats or more = $75

Expanded Fees

Examples: Campgrounds, highly developed boat launches and swimming areas, cabin or lookout rentals.  Services like hookups, dump stations, special tours, transportation systems and reservation services.

Explanation:  Provides direct benefits to individuals or groups.

Fee Changes

The Coronado National Forest seeks input and changes to the fee program.  For more information on the Fee Program Strategy and Business Plan click here

National Changes

The Forest Service collects recreation fees as authorized in the Federal Lands Recreation Act (REA) for campgrounds, day use sites, special recreation permits, and recreation areas that contain the required amenities and services. In June 2011 the Forest Service conducted a review of the 97 large standard amenity recreation fee sites on National Forest System lands containing multiple recreation sites or complexes. As a result, the Forest Service is proposing to eliminate fee area designations for 73 locations and reduce the boundaries for the rest. These proposed actions will result in the elimination of recreation fees from many recreation sites and areas nationwide.

Coronado National Forest Changes

Mount Lemmon

In aligning with National program changes, day use fee changes have been proposed that will reduce the area and number of sites where recreation fees will be charged.

For a map and more information on Sky Islands Scenic Byway and Mt. Lemmon Recreation Sites and Recreation Pass click here.

Madera Canyon and Sabino Canyon

In alignment with the National program the High Impact Recreation Area (HIRA) designation has been removed from Sabino and Madera cCanyons. Display of passes are required where posted.


Federal law requires a permit for "special uses," which includes most commercial or group activities on National Forests. MORE

Architectural Guidlines for Recreation Residences