Recreation Passes & Permits


America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes are a suite of annual and lifetime passes that provides an affordable and convenient way to access Federal recreational lands across multiple agencies. Up to 100% of the pass program's proceeds are used to improve and enhance visitor recreation services. Passes can be purchased at our offices or online. See which pass is right for you.

View Passes

Three spelunkers stand in silhouette at a cave entrance.


Caving Permits

The Guadalupe Ranger District of the Lincoln National Forest offers many recreation opportunities including the chance to explore caves.

Permits are required for all caving activities on the forest.

Caving permits may be obtained by contacting Jennifer Foote by email or 575-885-4181 at the Guadalupe Ranger District in Carlsbad, NM. Please allow 2-3 week for caving permit processing. 

Caving on the Lincoln National Forest: A Decline of Bat Populations Due to White-Nose Syndrome

Caves provide an excellent hibernation and roost site for bat populations because temperatures remain stable and the area is generally undisturbed. Unfortunately, a disease known as White-Nose Syndrome (WNS), considered one of the worst wildlife diseases in modern times, has killed millions of bats across North America as they hibernate in caves and mines. The disease is caused by a fungus known as Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd). In 2018, tests indicate the possible presense of the Pd fungus on the Guadalupe Ranger District.

To be proactive, the Lincoln National Forest has been taking precautions since 2010 to prevent the spread of the disease. Spores in the fungus can attach to people’s hair, clothing, skin, and caving equipment.  If decontamination procedures are not followed when entering and exiting a cave, the fungus can easily spread to other locations.

WNS Mitigation measures includes:

  • Requiring permits for cave entry.
  • Monitoring caves for the fungus and disease.
  • Anyone entering a cave is required to follow decontamination protocols of clothing and gear before and after entry.

UAS Permits

You do not need a permit to fly your UAS/Drone on the Lincoln National Forest for recreational or non-commercial purposes. Please follow all FAA regulations. You are NOT allowed to 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.)

NO NOT FLY YOUR UAS/DRONE NEAR A WILDFIRE. (This will ground our Air Operations and hinder our ability to put out the fire)

If you plan to use the footage or data you collect with your UAS/Drone for commercial purposes (aka to make money in some way) you will need a permit. Please see the Events/Commercial Permit page.