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Permits and Passes

The unique and diverse natural landscapes and world-class visitor facilities on BLM-managed lands are among America’s greatest treasures, and most of these lands and waters are open for recreational use.  

Through the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA), the BLM and other Federal agencies -- including U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service -- collect recreation fees to maintain and improve the quality of visitor services and amenities.  Visitors may purchase recreation passes that cover many recreation fees.

REA authorizes the following fee categories:
Standard Amenity Fees. For picnic areas, developed trailheads, and destination visitor or interpretation centers. Each standard amenity fee site must contain at least the following six "amenities" -- picnic tables, trash receptacle, toilet facility, parking, interpretive signing, and security services.
Expanded Amenity Fees. For campgrounds, highly developed boat launches and swimming areas, cabin or lookout rentals. Services like hookups, dump stations, special tours, transportation systems and reservation services. Expanded amenity fees provide direct benefits to individuals or groups from specific or specialized facilities, equipment, or services.
Special Recreation Permits. For certain special areas, such as off-highway vehicle areas, shooting ranges, and specialized trail systems.  These include authorizations for commercial use, competitive events, group activities, and recreation events.  These permits are issued when extra measures are required for natural and cultural resource protection, or to provide for the health and safety of visitors. They may also be used to disperse recreation use or help ensure that the number of visitors does not exceed the capacity of the land.  

Learn more about special recreation permits.

Access our lottery and online permit systems.


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A women stands near her tent and admires the milky way in New Mexico. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

Find additional reservable campsites and more on

2017 Fee Free Days

On fee free days, recreation standard amenity and day use fees on Federal lands are waived. 

  • January 16
  • February 20 
  • September 30
  • November 11-12