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Drive about an hour east of Los Angeles or San Diego and you will find thousands of acres of top notch scenery, epic offroad trails and nicely maintained campgrounds. But before you head out you may need to pick up an Adventure Pass.
Recently there have been some changes to the Adventure Pass Program. In the past you picked up the pass before entering the Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres or San Bernardino National Forests. But as of September 2016 the pass is only required if you park in a developed area with all of the following:
If you do not park in a designated area or just hike/bicycle in and don't use any of the amenities, then a pass is not required.
As of January 1, 2019 the cost is $5/day or $30/year. The daily pass is good for 24 hours, which means you can bring the camper and ride the trails. The annual pass is valid for 12 consecutive months and covers one vehicle and up to four individuals. The pass can be purchased at ranger stations, local vendors, over the phone or through the mail.
By California standards, the passes are dirt cheap, and as riders we know all too well the cost of getting some seat time in. Most motocross tracks charge anywhere from $25-$40 for a few hours practice, and many private campgrounds want $50 or more for an RV site. For just $5 bucks you can have good day of riding and a nice campsite at spots like Corral Canyon or Lake Arrowhead.
The Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres and San Bernardino National Forests are some of the most heavily visited forests in the country, which means the day use areas, campgrounds and OHV trails get used a lot. Someone has to take out the trash, clean the restrooms, stock the kiosks, maintain the trails, etc. So don't be a scrooge and pitch in.