There's a ton of open land in Arizona. Very nice, but it's not all free to visit. Many of the trails in southern Arizona are on State Trust land. If you want to do anything outside in Sedona, you probably need a Red Rock Permit. And the state parks and some national forests require fees to visit. Most are reasonable and well worth the money.
Please check the cost/fees portion of the adventure before you head out. Below are some links to information on some fees you might encounter while exploring Arizona.
- Arizona Trust Land is land managed by the State Land Department
- Trust Land is not public land!
- A recreation permit is required to camp, hike or travel on Trust Land that is designated as open for recreation
- A recreation permit is an agreement between you (the responsible casual user) and the Department, to allow limited recreational activities conditional on your continued responsible behavior (see terms and conditions)
- Individual Permits for 1 Year: $15.00
- Family Permits for 1 Year: $20.00
- Non-Competitive/ Non-Commercial Group Permit for Less than 20 people Less than 5 Days: $15.00
- Event Special Land Use Permit: See Special Use Fee Schedule
For more information, click on the link below:
Arizona State Land Department Permits
July 2012 Update: The Forest Service has been forced to change it's fee policy. It looks like the area where red rock passes are required has been reduced by about 93% (for now). Areas still needing the pass include Oak Creek Canyon area, along State Route 179 between Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek and seven individual sites. The rule of thumb is you will need the pass at any fully developed site (one that has picnic tables, permanent bathrooms, kiosks, grills, developed parking, etc), not for the roadside parking lots or trailheads.
From the Red Rock Country website:
The Red Rock Pass program is a conservation tool designed to protect, enhance, and maintain Sedona’s awe-inspiring red rock landscape for the American public today and into the future.
As a “high impact recreation area,” the level of care and maintenance required for the Red Rock landscape exceeds that needed in other National Forest areas. Revenue from the pass program “is making a difference” providing improved visitor information, environmental protection and lasting memorable experiences!
Enhanced recreation amenities include: outstanding urban and backcountry hiking; day use picnic areas, restroom facilities; informational and interpretive signing; maintained roads for breath-taking vistas and photo opportunities; and secure places for individual solitude and family recreation.
Conservation work funded behind the scene include hundreds of miles of maintained trails; hundreds of acres of vegetation and soil stabilization; thousands of pounds of trash being collected; and a safer National Forest for the American public.
Approximately $800,000 annually is collected from the Red Rock Pass program of which 95 percent is kept locally to provide for high quality recreation, natural resource protection and valuable visitor services.
When is a Red Rock Pass Required?
A Red Rock Pass (or America The Beautiful Interagency Pass, Golden Age or Golden Access) is required when recreating on National Forest land in Red Rock Country, a high-impact recreation area. The pass must be displayed in the windshield of the vehicle.
Vehicles parked on the National Forest in the red rock area that do not display a valid pass in the windshield are subject to receiving a citation.
A pass is not required for incidental stopping to take a photograph or to enjoy a scenic vista (approximately 15 minutes or less).
For more information, click on the link below:
Red Rock Country Pass Information
Arizona State parks have a wide variation of fees to visit. Please check before you visit.
Arizona State Parks Fees
July 2012 Update: In February of 2012, a federal judge ruled that charging access fees to Mt. Lemmon violated the USFS' own fee structure and at this time is no longer requiring a pass (fee) for general access to Mt. Lemmon. According to the Forest Service, a pass is still required for developed areas (ones that have more than 6 picnic tables, permanent bathrooms, grills, designated parking lots, etc). These include places like Marshall Gulch and Molino Basin).
Madera and Sabino Canyon still require passes for general access.
There are four recreation fee areas on the Coronado National Forest requiring the Coronado Recreation Fee Pass.
• Sabino Canyon Recreation Area (Santa Catalina Mountains)
• Mt. Lemmon (Santa Catalina Mountains)
• Madera Canyon (Santa Rita Mountains)
• South Fork-Cave Creek (Chiricahua Mountains)
Currently, fees are:
• Day Pass $5
• Week Pass $10
• Annual Pass $20
Coronado National Forest Fees