Update on implementation of Coronado National Forest fee proposal

TUCSON, AZ – November 18, 2019Kiosks and signage are now being installed in recreation sites to move the process of fee implementation forward. Fee changes will begin the week of the week of December 9 with fee increases on the Safford and Santa Catalina Ranger Districts. The other three ranger districts (Douglas, Nogales and Sierra Vista) are expected to implement fee changes early in 2020.

The new fees for Annual Passes will go into effect December 9, 2019. Persons wishing to purchase Annual Passes at the existing price should do so before December 9.

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 Forest reviewed issues and concerns and adjusted the proposal further. The proposal was approved by the Recreation Resources Advisory Committee in December 2018.

“We appreciate the continued support from our stakeholders and users in helping us to shape a more sustainable developed recreation program,” said Forest Supervisor Kerwin S. Dewberry. “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, Cunningham, Herb Martyr, Hospital Flat, Noon Creek, Peppersauce, Ramsey Vista, Reef Townsite, 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 (Timing of fee changes for the two trailheads has not been scheduled.)
  • Group Sites: Gordon Hirabayashi Group Site (horse camp)

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 including Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents Day, National Get Outdoors Day, National Public Lands Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • 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, as well as other locations.

With the upcoming changes on the Safford and Santa Catalina Ranger Districts, the updated fees will be posted on bulletin boards at recreation sites when they go into effect.

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