Visitors using the recreational resources of the San Bernardino National Forest need to obtain a National Forest Adventure Pass to display on their vehicles. The pass is inexpensive ($5 a day or $30 for an annual pass) and the proceeds from each Adventure Pass help to support the high quality of services provided by the Forest Service. An Adventure Pass is good for all four forests (San Bernardino, Angeles, Cleveland, and Los Padres National Forests).
It’s easy to obtain an Adventure Pass and it helps the Forest.
Be sure you know who needs a pass. Also, some special days are free days.
The Pass Helps
Beginning in June 1997, the four Southern California National Forests began participating in the Adventure Pass program authorized by the United States Congress. Eighty percent of the fees collected are returned directly to our local forests to enable maintenance and improvement of recreation sites and facilities (things like restrooms, campgrounds, and trails) and to increase protection for the Forest habitat – particularly in heavily used areas.
Here’s how the San Bernardino National Forest has been allocating the extra financial resources made possible by the National Forest Adventure Pass:
- More Rangers: Eighteen uniformed Adventure Pass Field Rangers are now patrolling the recreation areas and providing information and assistance to thousands of visitors. Remember! We get more visitors to the San Bernardino National Forest than Yosemite and Yellowstone combined. The Adventure Pass Rangers also help on clean-up and resource protection projects. These extra rangers are in addition to the regular Forest Service law enforcement and maintenance staff.
- Maintaining Trails and Facilities: A crew in the Big Bear and Arrowhead area maintains over 175 miles of trails. Staff and volunteers at Lytle Creek clean up a landslide on a section of the Pacific Crest Trail. Bags of trash are removed from the backcountry. Restrooms are spruced up throughout the Forest and new staffing has made it possible to increase the frequency of cleaning.
- Better Visitor Information: Improving service is one of the major goals of the Adventure Pass program.
- A complete Visitor’s Guide is now available.
- Office hours at the Ranger Stations have been expanded to include Sundays in the summer.
- Additional staff have been hired at Big Bear and Sky Forest to help improve the quality and availability of service.
- Outdoor bulletin boards were installed at busy trailheads.
- Outdoor kiosks were installed at the Sky Forest Ranger Station and the Cottonwood Fire Station to provide information to visitors after hours.
You Have a Say
When you purchase your pass, you will receive a comment card. Please – We need your input. Share your ideas about how the moneys can best be spent. Also, let us know what Forest Area you are planning to visit. That way we can target improving services in your favorite locations.
Who Needs a Pass
All visitors are required to display the pass on their vehicles when they are parking in the Forest for recreational purposes (picnicking, hiking, snow-play, hunting, fishing, etc.). Holders of Golden Eagle Passes are required to purchase an Adventure Pass.
You don’t need a pass when you
- Drive through the Forest without stopping.
- Stop for Information at a Ranger Station, Visitor Center or other Forest Service office.
- Park at your own residence.
- Stay in an Organization Camp where there is a permitted parking area.
- Have a Special Use Permit for the area where you are parking.
- Park in a Fee Site where a site-specific fee is already being charged (such as ski resorts or fee campgrounds).
- Obtain an Administrative Pass available for volunteers and educational institutions.
- Visit on a Free Day.
- Park an off-highway vehicle that has the appropriate green sticker.
What Locations Do You Need a Pass For?
Big Bear North
Big Bear South
Getting the Pass
Daily Pass: $5.00
Annual Pass: $30.00 (good for one year from the month of purchase)
Golden Age (over 62 with a proof of age ID) and Golden Access(disabled visitors): 50% discount when Adventure Passes are purchased directly from the Forest Service (Independent vendors are not required to give you the discount so you are better off buying directly from the Forest Service.).
**Golden Eagle Passport holders are required to obtain an Adventure Pass. Golden Eagle Passes are entrance passes. The Adventure Pass is not an entrance pass.
Additional Vehicle Pass: You can obtain one additional vehicle pass Sticker for $5.00 (good for a second family car, motorcycle, jeep, etc.) Call ahead to your vendor to be sure there are secondary stickers available and bring the license number of the vehicle with you.
Where to Buy an Adventure Pass
- Big Bear Discovery Center: 909-866-3437
- Angeles National Forest: 626-574-5200
- Cleveland National Forest: 858-673-6180
- Los Padres: 805-683-6711
- San Bernardino National Forest 909-383-5588
- Adventure Passes can also be purchased from outside vendors:
- Vendors in your area (by city)
If you have a validated daily Adventure Pass for any of the dates below, you may exchange it for a new Pass at any Forest Service office. Campground and concessionaire fees still apply. The last Saturday of each month is a free Adventure Pass day.