Recreation Passes & Permits

The Forest Adventure Pass

National Forest Adventure Pass

The Recreation Fee Program, which includes the Adventure Pass, helps:

  • Conserve, protect, and restore natural and heritage resources
  • Enhance the visitor experiences by improving recreation opportunities and services

Wherever you live in Southern California, you're just a short drive away from a spectacular wildland adventure—recreating in the Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres, and San Bernardino National Forests! Here you will find mountains as high as 11,500 feet, canyons, vast forests, lakes, waterfalls, rivers and streams, and a wealth of recreation activities—all waiting for you.

In Los Padres National Forest you can enjoy hiking, camping, mountainbiking, off-highway vehicle travel, picnicking, winter snowplay, cross-country skiing and many other activities. Your national forest lands are a unique and precious resource, yours to enjoy and take care of so that they will always be there...for present and future generations.

  • Forest Adventure Pass Daily Pass—Costs $5 per day
  • Forest Adventure Pass Annual Pass—Costs $30 Annually

Many of the facilities and services in Los Padres National Forest are free. Some areas and facilities do require the Adventure Pass, Parks Management Day Use Pass other fees to help maintain, manage and improve the amenities that you enjoy. Learn more about the Adventure Pass program and other recreation passes that might meet your needs as you enjoy your public lands.

The Parks Management Company Annual Day Use Pass

Parks Management CompanyThere are some day use picnic areas and trailheads throughout the Los Padres that are now managed by the Parks Management Concession Company. These areas require a $10 fee for parking or you can purchase the Parks Management Company (PMC) Annual Day Use Pass for $50 to use at day use areas and trailheads. This is a day pass only. Not valid for camping. Passes can be purchased at the PMC managed day use areas and campgrounds on Paradise Rd in the Santa Barbara Ranger District or you can purchase directly through the Parks Management Company. Passes are NOT available at ranger stations or the Forest Headquarters office.

Wilderness/Backpacking Permit

You do not need a wilderness/backpacking permit for any of the wilderness areas in the Los Padres National Forest. Trail camps are on a first-come, first-serve basis. No reservations. Check with the ranger station closest to the trailhead you are leaving from for trail conditions/closures.

Campfire Permit

If you are backpacking and plan on using a small camp stove, a CA Campfire Permits is required.

You can help protect the National Forests from wildfires by knowing and following the rules for the safe use of fire. You must have a California Campfire Permit to use a stove or lantern outside a Developed Recreation Area or Campfire Use Site. The permit is your agreement to follow restrictions and regulations in effect.

California Campfire Permits are available for free download at: http://www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit/.

Your California Campfire Permit is valid until the end of the calendar year; it may be used in any National Forest in California.

During certain times of the year, it is necessary to impose restrictions on campfires and other open flame fires due to high fire danger. It is your responsibility to know what the current restrictions are for the area that you plan to visit.

  • Internal combustion engines may be operated only on roads or designated trails (this restriction is in effect year-round).
  • Spark arresters are required on all off-highway vehicles, chainsaws, and other internal combustion engines and equipment. (This restriction is in effect at all times of the year).
  • A permit is required for all welding, grinding, cutting, or use of explosives. (This restriction is in effect at all times of the year) The use of tracer ammunition is prohibited. (This restriction is in effect at all times of the year).
  • Fireworks are prohibited in Los Padres National Forest. (This restriction is in effect at all times of the year).

You can be held liable for the cost of supression and damages of a wildland fire that you cause.

National Recreation Passes

Interagency Annual Pass Every Kid in a Park 4th Grade Pass Interagency Annual Military Pass Interagency Senior Pass New Lifetime Senior Pass New Annual Senior Pass Interagency Access Pass Interagency Volunteer Pass
 

National passes are honored nationwide at Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging entrance or standard and expanded amenity fees.

There are several pass options to consider. To make the best choice on which pass to purchase, you should think about your recreation plans for the next year.

  • Your best value may be a single-day pass.
  • Or if you’re a frequent visitor to one or more sites, a multi-day pass or annual pass that covers a forest or region may be the best buy.
  • An Interagency Annual Pass may be your best value if you plan to visit many different federal lands across the nation that include lands managed by other federal agencies.
  • You may also qualify for one of the Interagency Lifetime Passes (Interagency Senior Pass or Interagency Access Pass).
  • The "Every Kid in a Park" pass gives fourth graders free access to 2,000-plus federal recreation sites. Detailed information about that pass is available on the Every Kid in a Park site.
  • Active military personnel and their dependents also qualify for an Interagency Annual Military Pass.

The USGS Store provides Frequently Asked Questions about Recreational Passes. For more information about permits and passes, see our national Recreation Fees and Passes website.

Features

Off-Highway Vehicle Use

Shaw Ridge Trail

In the State of California all motorized vehicles must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles before being operated on public lands.