Two people stand on a grassy hillside in the King Range Wilderness, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
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California Poppies Headwaters Forest Reserve Kayaker enjoying the California Coastal National Monument Headwaters Forest Reserve King Range National Conservation Area
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Arcata Field Office

King Range National Conservation Area: Permits 


WHAT PERMIT DO WE NEED TO USE THE KING RANGE NCA?

All organized groups accessing the King Range NCA need a BLM Special Recreation Permit (SRP).  SRPs are intended to provide a fair return to the government for your opportunity to make a profit for using Federal resources. The information below will help you determine if you need an SRP, and whether you need a commercial or organized group permit. Group sizes are no more than 15 persons. Please note that any fees you pay will go directly back to the King Range NCA to maintain trails and facilities, and to provide other visitor services in support of the area.  

COMPLETED SPECIAL RECREATION PERMIT APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE KING RANGE OFFICE AT LEAST 30 DAYS BEFORE THE DATE OF YOUR ARRIVAL.  APPLICATIONS REQUESTED OR RECEIVED LESS THAN 30 DAYS BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL WILL NO LONGER BE PROCESSED, NOR PERMITS AUTHORIZED.  PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY.

No Commercial or Organized Group Permits will be issued for Memorial Day, Independence Day or Labor Day weekends due to heavy holiday use and congestion at many campsites.

COMMERCIAL PERMIT: Under BLM policy, if any person, organization or company makes or attempts to make a profit, salary, increase their business or financial standing, or supports in any part, other programs or activities from amounts rendered to participants, the use will be considered commercial and subject to commercial permit fees. The minimum fee for any commercial group is $105 plus any fees due in excess of the minimum fee are based on a percentage of the adjusted gross revenue derived from use authorized under the SRP. Commercial groups will require proof of insurance. Examples of commercial uses include:

  • Outfitter charges to lead guided hikes along the Lost Coast Trail
  • Horse packer charges fee to haul supplies/gear into the backcountry
  • A for-credit University sponsored field trip where tuition is paid by participants and one or more paid instructors accompany the group
  • A University Outdoor Center takes students on a Spring Break hike, with their fees covering the costs of the trip as well as leader salaries and some of the operation expenses of the Center
  • A non-profit organization sponsors a hiking trip for a fundraising effort, or to help sponsor other programs

ORGANIZED GROUP PERMIT: A permit is required with a minimum $105 permit fee plus any fees due in excess of the minimum fee are based on the total number of person/days derived from use authorized under the SRP. No insurance required for certain organized groups.  Examples include:

  • An organized group (i.e. Boy Scouts or local Sierra Club) trip where charges are limited to sharing of group expenses.  No paid staff accompany the group, and fees do not offset other costs of running the organization.

NO SPECIAL RECREATION PERMIT REQUIRED: Individual or family use, as well as non-organized group use does not require a special recreation permit.  Groups are considered non-organized when no formal advertising of the trip occurs, no fees are charged, and the group is not affiliated with any established organization.  Examples include:

  • If a group of 10 college friends set up a reunion hike along the Lost Coast Trail and pitched in to cover food expenses, they would be considered non-organized
  • If the hike was officially sanctioned by their fraternity and published in the annual newsletter, they would need an Organized Group permit
  • If the fraternity trip required a donation to fund a college charity, they would be considered commercial and required to obtain a Commercial Permit

ALL INDIVIDUALS AND NON-ORGANIZED GROUPS NEED AN OVERNIGHT BACKCOUNTRY USE PERMIT: These FREE permits, which also serve as California fire permits for the King Range, are available at self-service boxes at King Range NCA trailheads, at the King Range office in Whitethorn and at the Arcata Field Office in Arcata.

COMMERCIAL FILMING PERMIT: Special recreation permits are required for all commercial filming on public lands. Commercial filming activities are prohibited in wilderness areas with limited exceptions. For more information, visit BLM's Filming on Public Lands website.

NOTE: If you have any questions as to your group's status, or to request a SRP application packet, please contact the King Range Project Office at 707-986-5400.