Passes & Permits

Photo of Elk Lake.

Most National Forests and Grasslands are open, free of charge, for your use and enjoyment. Fees may be charged and permits required for some activities and locations. Business permittees, such as campground concessionaires and outfitter-guides, provide services to public-land users for a fee.



Recreation Passes - Interagency Recreation Passes are available for fee discounts at campgrounds and day use areas.

Christmas Trees can now be purchased on here:


Recreation Permits - There are currently no recreation permits required for public use of the San Juan National Forest.

Forest Products Permits - Forest Product permits include but not limited to firewood, rocks, mushrooms, post-and-pole and transplants

Commercial/Event/Special Use Permits - A commercial special use permit is required for any commercial use or activity on National Forest System lands when: 1) an applicant intends to charge an entry or participation fee, or 2) the primary purpose is the sale of a good or service, regardless of the intent to produce a profit. Types of uses/activities that may require a special use permit include, but are not limited to: 

  • Outfitter guides
  • Commercial film and photography
  • Commercial events (contests, fund raiser, eco-challenges, dog trials, club activities, adventure games, endurance races, jeep rallies, etc.)
  • Non-commercial Group Permits (i.e. weddings) 

Special use authorizaions and permits are issued by the local Ranger District office. Basic requirements for holding a permit include technical and financial capability, payment of a fee, and insurance listing the US Government as additionally insured.