Passes & Permits

The Lincoln National Forest offers many activities such as hiking, biking, camping, birding, driving for pleasure, harvesting plants and gathering firewood. Many of these activities, facilities and services are free. However, some do require fees, permits or both to help maintain, manage and improve the amenities you enjoy.

  • Christmas Tree Permits

    father and child walking through forest to select Christmas tree

    Soon, Christmas tree permits for the Lincoln National Forest can be purchased on a first-come, first-serve basis at, or in our offices, (excluding Guadalupe District Office). Permits are $10. A processing fee will be applied to online transactions. 

  • Firewood Permits

    closeup of firewood

    Firewood cutting permits allow you to cut or collect firewood year-round in designated cutting areas on the Lincoln National Forest. These designated areas often change, so always check with your local ranger district before going out. 

    Buy a firewood permit at any of our offices.

  • Recreation Passes

    photo of the annual rec pass card

    Recreation passes provide access to 2,000 recreation areas managed by the Forest Service, the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Army Corp of Engineers. You may use the pass at sites where entrance or fees are charged (i.e., campgrounds, picnic areas etc.)  Passes can be purchased at our offices or online. See which pass is right for you.

    (Some exclusions apply.)

  • Special Use Permits

    photo of filmmaker with a clapperboard

    Permits are necessary for any activity requiring the forest to be altered in any way. A special-use permit allows you to use the National Forest in certain ways outlined in the permit. There are over 100 special-use types, however the most common special-use permits include:

    • Outfitter and Guiding
    • Commercial Photography/Filming
    • Easements
    • Events/Group Use of +75 People (i.e. Gatherings, Weddings, Parties.)
  • Drone Use

    white drone with camera flying in place

    You do not need a permit to fly your UAS/Drone on the Lincoln National Forest for recreational or non-commercial purposes. Follow all FAA regulations. Do not take off or land in designated wilderness areas (i.e. the Capitan Wilderness Area, White Mountain Wilderness Area or the Guadalupe Proposed Wilderness Study Area.) DO NOT FLY YOUR DRONE/UAS NEAR A WILDFIRE.

  • Caving Permits

    man in cave with hardhat looking up at ice formations

    Permits are required for all caving activities on the forest.

    The Lincoln National Forest has many recreation and scientific opportunities in the hundreds of caves located in the forest.

Other Forest Products

There are a variety of other products that can be gathered on the Lincoln National Forest. Please check with your local district office for information on permits for items like mistletoepine nuts and poles/latillas.