Permits and Fees

Permits & Fees

Camping, Day-use, and Reservation Fees

Fees are charged for camping and day-use at all of our facilities. Pricing is posted on our Online Reservations System - but here's some additional information regarding payments, add-ons and reservation transfers. 

Day-Use Parking Fees: A $3/vehicle fee is charged for parking at most of our parks unless otherwise noted. Annual Parking Passes are available by contacting the County Parks Reservations Center at (858) 565-3600.

Camping Fees: All fees for Reserved Individual Sites and Reserved Group-Youth/Caravan Areas are collected in advance by the County Parks Reservation Desk. Any sites that have been deemed unreserved or available on a first-come, first-served basis may be booked with staff at the park. Fees must be paid prior to each night's stay. 

Reservation Fee: A $5 fee will be applied per site to all reservations. This fee is non-refundable. 

Additional Fees: Additional fees may be collected by the park ranger for pets, extra vehicles and boating or fishing (see Lake Morena).

Pet Fees: There is a $1/night charge for dogs (at all camping parks, please adhere to leash laws) and a $2/night charge for horses (at Sweetwater Summit, Tijuana River Valley, and Vallecito County Park, only). Fees are collected upon check-in. See Frequently Asked Questions for additional pet regulations.

Extra Vehicles: The Park Supervising Ranger will determine each campsite's capacity for extra vehicles and permit usage as space allows. Extra vehicles will be charged an extra vehicle fee of $4/vehicle. An extra vehicle is considered a second motorized vehicle that is not towing or being towed by the main camping unit.

Reservation Transfers - Camping: A $5 transfer or change fee is charged per site for a reservation rescheduled within a three-month period of the date of the original reservation. One transfer per reservation is allowed. Transfer must be made at least one business day in advance of check-in time. The cancellation policy applies to the reservation based upon the original scheduled arrival date and therefore once transferred, may not be cancelled without forfeiture of all fees paid. Transfer fees are non-refundable.

Reservation Transfers - Day-Use: There is a $5 fee to change a reservation more than 30 days in advance. Reservations may be rescheduled one time up to one year from the original date and in the same park only. Transfers must be made at least 30 days in advance of check-in time. Transfer fees are non-refundable.

Cancellations: To cancel a reservation, call (858) 565-3600 or (877) 565-3600, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Please note the following:

  • If a reservation is cancelled more than 72 hours prior to the original arrival date, the camping fee will be refunded minus a $5 non-refundable reservation fee and a $5 cancellation fee (total $10).
  • Reservations that have been transferred may be cancelled as long as they are cancelled more than 72 hours prior to the original arrival date.  Cancellations less than 72 hours prior to the original arrival date and after will result in forfeiture of all fees paid.
  • Reserved sites will be held until 1 p.m. on the day after the scheduled arrival date. The site will then be offered to other interested campers on a first-come, first-served basis until the next scheduled reservation for that site. 

Commercial Recreational Activity Permits

A Commercial Recreational Activity Permit is required for all organizations/instructors offering programs or classes at a San Diego County Park when not reserving an area. Programs or classes that require a permit include any outdoor recreation, fitness or athletic program in which fees are charged for the services provided, professional instruction or coaching is being provided or using equipment for a program that has the potential to cause damage to the park (weights, medicine balls, tires, etc). Remember, this permit does not reserve space in the park, but gives authorization to conduct the activity.

In order to apply, please complete and sign the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR)  Commercial Recreational Activity Permit Application and email it to

Once your activity has been approved by DPR, you will be directed to complete the County of San Diego's criminal background check procedures and obtain clearance to proceed.  Once you receive this clearance, please submit the following final documents to along with your contact information: 

Final Document Submittal Requirements:

  • Insurance Certificate naming County of San Diego as Certificate Holder
  • Indemnity and Save Harmless Agreement (Release of Liability)
  • Certification (if applicable)

Upon review by DPR Staff, we will contact you to complete final payment and confirm your Commercial Recreational Activity Permit. All permit fees shall be paid through the DPR reservation system prior to conducting the program. The required proof of insurance, clearance of criminal background check and any other required documentation shall be submitted to DPR prior to processing payment for the permit fees.

For additional information, please call (858) 565-3600.

Film and Photography Permits and Fees

The San Diego County Parks and Recreation Department maintains and operates more than 50,000 acres of beautiful and unique locations and settings. Many of these are desirable for still photography and film backdrops. Most locations are available by reservation, and in many places, park staff can be on hand to assist with, and monitor, activities. 

Small photo shoots, like those for engagements, weddings and family photos, DO NOT need a permit. However, a photographer may be asked to move from an area that has been reserved, or if they interfere with recreational activities. For this reason, the Department recommends getting a permit for peace of mind, and to secure a preferred space.

Any large photo or film shoots that are commercial in nature, meaning, they are being produced specifically for post-shoot sales (big productions like commercials, TV shows and movies), MUST be permitted. 

Reservation procedures and fees for commercial photography in County parks are outlined below.

  • Requests for photo/film permits may be made by  completing an application and e-mailing or faxing it to the County Parks Reservation Desk at (858) 495-5841. Please allow a minimum of 72 hours processing time, prior to the scheduled film/photo shoot.
  • Any special requests/needs will be handled on an individual basis at the time of the application.
  • The Department does not charge for still or video shoots that will not be published or used for marketing or commercial purposes.
  • Most parks are open from 9:30 a.m. until sunset. Requests for early entry or late stay will result in additional charges. 
  • Requests for drone use may be made by completing an application and e-mailing or faxing it to the County Parks Reservation Desk at (858) 495-5841.  Please allow four business days of processing time for commercial drone use.  For recreational/hobbyist, please allow one business day of processing time.  
  • For commercial film, photo and drone applications, a $50 non-refundable application fee is due upon submittal.  If the commercial film application is approved, the $50.00 application fee will be applied to the total permit cost.
  • If the film/photo shoot application is approved, a refundable security deposit for a film/photo crew of 10 or less persons is required to furnish $300.00 (cash, credit card, cashiers check) prior to filming to ensure cleanup and restoration of the site. The security deposit may be increased at the discretion of DPR if it requires a larger production crew of 10 or more persons. 

Published Print
Still, catalog, print media, etc.

  • $50/hour
  • $150/half day (4 hours)
  • $300/whole day

Commercial Film
Film, video, commercials, etc.

  • $100/hour
  • $300/half day (4 hours)
  • $600/whole day

Production Area
Using park as a production base, reserving a designated area of the park for production use, etc.

A standard area reservation fee may apply if day-use areas are used. Other fees such as catering, early/late entry, etc. may also be applicable.

Total payment for the permit is due prior to the shoot. For additional information or questions please call (858) 565-3600.

Right of Entry (ROE) Permit

A Right of Entry (ROE) Permit is required for all individuals and organizations interested in conducting research, business and other non-recreational activities on County Parks property.   The ROE Permit is a temporary permit intended for non-impactful activities that will ensure County Parks and preserves are protected and remain undisturbed. ROE Permits will not be issued for other uses, such as, recreational activities, mitigation, temporary or permanent construction, or other activities that are not consistent with the intent of the ROE permit. All ROEs are subject to environmental review and CEQA. Any possible impacts, temporary or permanent, will need to be mitigated. In some cases, County Parks may require a different permit, agreement, easement or other approval depending on the requested activity. If ROE Permit request includes use of a drone, please go to the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Drone Application.

County Parks works to preserve regionally significant natural and cultural resources. When reviewing requests for ROE permits, we balance those requests with existing and future habitat restoration and preservation efforts. County Parks reserves the right to deny ROE Permit requested based on the potential impact to the resources, park or preserve.


Requests for a ROE permit must be made by filling out the Application Form. Carefully review the “Standard Conditions for Right of Entry Permit” before signing and emailing your completed application with the following additions, to


  • Proof of Insurance ($1,000,000 minimum limit)
  • Any other local, state or federal permit(s) required for the proposed activities
  • Previous ROE Permits with the County, in good standing

Please allow four to six weeks for processing for a standard ROE and additional processing time in cases where there are multiple activities or access to multiple County Parks properties are being requested. An estimated processing time will be provided once a completed application form is submitted. Incomplete forms, or those lacking the required attachments, will not be processed and requestor will have to provide updated information prior to processing. 


A ROE Permit fee will be required in 2022. The fee schedule will be posted on this website and all permittees will be notified in advance of the fee being collected. Fee must be paid prior to issuance of the ROE permit.


ROE Permits are typically issued for one year. ROE can be issued up to two years at the approval of County Parks Director. At the Director’s discretion, a one-time extension may be allowed if there is no change to the scope of work or location of work when request is submitted before the original permit expires. After two years of work, a new ROE will be required and subject to ROE Permit fee and processing. Extensions will also be subject to the ROE Permit fee in 2022.


In addition to the ROE Permit Fee, an additional revenue off-set fee will be required for events, classes, trainings, or programs with paid participant registration. 


Fees may be waived at the discretion of the County Parks Director. Some parks and preserves are more popular than others. For this reason, a request could be denied based on existing ROEs at that location. Failure to obtain ROEs to conduct research or other business or continuing to access land after an ROE permit has expired, is considered a violation of the County Code of Regulatory Ordinances and may result in criminal prosecution and civil penalties up to $2,500 per day. In addition, failure to follow ROE permit terms and conditions may result in immediate revocation and could jeopardize future permit requests. For more information see:  County Code of Regulatory Ordinances , DIVISION 1. PARKS AND RECREATION, ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS, SEC. 41.107. VIOLATIONS; ARTICLE 2. PRESERVATION OF COUNTY PARK FEATURES AND PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFTEY, SEC. 41.111 – SEC 41.113.

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