Tonto National Forest announces fee-free dates for 2018

Tonto National Forest joins other federal agencies in waiving fees at day-use sites on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 15, the first of seven days the forest will provide people an easier way to experience national forests and grasslands, according to a press release.

The fee-waiver program is in cooperation with other federal land management agencies under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. Day-use fees will be waived at all standard amenity fee sites operated by the forest for these listed dates.  Camping and campground fees are not waived.  Concessionaire-operated sites may be included in the waiver if the permit holder wishes to participate.

The 2018 fee-free days honored by the Tonto National Forest are:

  • Jan. 15, Martin Luther King, Jr Day
  • Feb. 19, President’s Day
  • June 9, National Get Outdoors Day
  • Sept. 22, National Public Lands Day
  • Nov. 10-11, Veterans Day
  • Nov. 23, Opt Outside Day

In January, fees will be waived at the following recreation sites on the Tonto National Forest:

  • Apache Lake – Burnt Corral Boating
  • Apache Lake – Crabtree Wash
  • Apache Lake – Davis Wash
  • Apache Lake – Lower Burnt Corral
  • Apache Lake – Three Mile Wash
  • Bartlett Lake – Rattlesnake
  • Bartlett Lake – Jojoba
  • Bartlett Lake – Yellow Cliffs
  • Bartlett Lake – Bartlett Flat
  • Bartlett Lake – SB Cove
  • Canyon Lake – Acacia
  • Canyon Lake – Boulder
  • Canyon Lake – Palo Verde
  • Canyon Lake – Laguna Boating
  • Canyon Lake – Palo Verde Boating
  • Roosevelt Lake – Cholla Boating
  • Roosevelt Lake – Grapevine Boating
  • Roosevelt Lake – Schoolhouse Boating
  • Roosevelt Lake – Windy Hill Boating
  • Roosevelt Lake – Grapevine Bay
  • Saguaro Lake – Saguaro Del Norte Boating
  • Saguaro Lake – Butcher Jones
  • Saguaro Lake – Saguaro Del Norte
  • Salt River – Blue Point
  • Salt River – Coon Bluff
  • Salt River – Goldfield
  • Salt River – Granite Reef
  • Salt River – Pebble Beach
  • Salt River – Phon D. Sutton
  • Salt River – Water Users
  • Verde River – Box Bar
  • Verde River – Needle Rock

The other federal agencies – Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers – determine their fee-free schedules.

Forest officials hope these fee-free days allow people to enjoy their national forests.  The Tonto Pass is usually required at these sites and can be purchased at more than 200 vendor locations around the valley, at fee machines across the forest, through the Viply mobile app for select locations on the Cave Creek District or at Tonto National Forest Offices.  Additional information can be found at, or by calling the Tonto National Forest at 602-225-5200 during business hours.

Fees are not charged at any time on 98 percent of national forests and grasslands, and approximately two-thirds of developed recreation sites in national forests and grasslands can be used for free.  This includes opportunities such as dispersed camping and picnicking.

National forests and grasslands are working lands that provide a multitude of benefits to the American public, including contributing more than $30 billion annually to the American economy and supporting nearly 360,000 jobs.  Recreation alone accounts for more than $9 billion in annual visitor spending.

Visitors are encouraged to visit their national forests and grasslands and join the year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System Act and the National Trails System Act.  Both were signed into law in October 1963 and called for designation of certain rivers and trails for their outstanding values.

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