Implementation of Forest Service fee proposal expected in summer or fall of 2019

TUCSON, AZ –  Coronado National Forest will begin making adjustments to the developed recreation fee program during the late summer or fall of 2019.

As part of the Restructuring Developed Recreation initiative to increase program sustainability, a draft fee proposal was developed by the Forest and shared extensively with the public in 2017 and 2018.  A majority of the public supported the proposal. Based on public input the CNF reviewed issues and concerns and adjusted the proposal further. The proposal was approved by the Recreation Resources Advisory Committee in December 2018.

“We have very much appreciated input from our stakeholders and users in helping us to shape a more sustainable developed recreation program,” said Forest Supervisor Kerwin S. Dewberry. “In previous efforts to that end we removed underutilized facilities, reduced the recreation program workforce, worked with partners and volunteers, applied for grants, increased fee compliance and installed lower-maintenance facilities. Implementation of the fee proposal will move us closer to where we need to be to provide the quality of experiences our visitors have come to expect.”

Changes to the fee system are as follows:

Current Fees Approved Fees
Day Use $5/day




Camping $10 2 tiers:15/$20 (see below)
Group Sites Varied $50, plus $10 per vehicle
Annual Pass $20 $40
Number of Fee Sites 78 98 (20 new sites, see below)
  • Changes do not affect cabins or campgrounds operated by concessionaires.
  • $20/night campgrounds (high use): Arcadia, Bog Springs, Cochise Stronghold, General Hitchcock, Gordon Hirabayashi, Idlewilde, Lakeview, Molino Basin, Riggs Flat, Soldier creek, Stewart, and Sunny Flat.
  • $15/night all other campgrounds (lower use): Camp Rucker, Columbine Corrals, Cypress Park, Cunningham, Herb Martyr, Hospital Flat, Noon Creek, Peppersauce, Ramsey Vista, Reef Townsite, Rucker Forest Camp, Rustler Park, Shannon, Stockton Pass, Sycamore, and White Rock.

Approved new fee sites are as follows:

Douglas Ranger District  (520) 364-3468

  • Campgrounds: Herb Martyr, Sycamore

Nogales Ranger District  (520) 281-2296

  • Day Use Sites: Pena Blanca Lake Fishing and Boating Site, Red Rock Picnic Area, Upper and Lower Thumb Rock Picnic Areas, Whipple Picnic Area and Nature Trail

Sierra Vista Ranger District  (520) 378-0311

  • Day Use Sites: Brown Canyon Ranch, Carr Canyon Picnic Area, Parker Canyon Lake Fishing and Boating Site and Nature Trail

Safford Ranger District  (928) 428-4150

  • Day Use Sites: Riggs Lake Fishing and Boating Site
  • Campgrounds: Noon Creek, Stockton Pass
  • Group Sites: Columbine Visitor Center Ramada, Stockton Pass, Treasure Park, Twilight, Upper Arcadia

Santa Catalina Ranger District  (520) 749-8700

  • Day Use Sites: Bigelow Trailhead, Butterfly Trailhead
  • Group Sites: Gordon Hirabayashi Group Site (horse camp)

The Forest is currently assessing infrastructure such as signage and fee collection devices, and is ordering materials needed to implement the fee proposal.

Ample opportunities to enjoy the Forest without paying fees will continue to be available to visitors.

  • No fees will be associated with use of over 99% of Coronado National Forest lands, including most trailheads and trails.
  • More than half of the developed recreation sites on the Forest will remain “free-use.”
  • Coronado National Forest offers a variety of “fee-free” days.
  • Volunteers on the Forest may earn free annual passes.
  • Fee-free undeveloped areas will be available at Parker Canyon Lake, Pena Blanca Lake and Riggs Lake.

For further information on recreation opportunities and fees at specific sites, please contact the appropriate ranger district.