The principal use of Department of Defense (DOD) lands and waters is to support mission related activities; all other land uses are subordinate. Fort Carson lands and waters are available for non-military purposes in accordance with (IAW) Army Regulation 200-1 (Environmental Protection and Enhancement), Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP), Sikes Act, and Army directives and policies when compatible with the military mission, installation safety and security, ecosystem sustainability, natural resources management, and fiscal responsibility. 

Outdoor Recreation is broadly defined as hunting, scouting, fishing, photography, watching wildlife, botany, birding, collecting antler sheds, and similar activities. Activities such as collecting firewood also require a permit that can be purchased when you select "Purchase Permits". Possession of a State hunting or fishing license, a Federal Duck Stamp, or a Fort Carson recreation permit does not guarantee access to Fort Carson (FC) or the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site (PCMS). 


Purchase a Recreation Permit

A Directorate of Public Works (DPW) recreation permit is required for all outdoor recreation at FC and PCMS, except at Turkey Creek Ranch and Camp Falcon Recreation Areas. The permit is valid on both installations from 1 April or the date of purchase, through the following 31 March.

Downrange Safety Briefing

Taking the Range Control downrange safety briefing on iSportsman is required prior to obtaining a recreation permit and downrange pass.  Briefings are valid for the same period of the Recreation Permits, that is, they are valid until March 31. 

Instructions for YOUTH RECREATIONIST GOING DOWNRANGE:  There are changes for those desiring to bring youth, 11 years of age or younger, downrange with them, as follows:

  • Mentor/Parent/Guardian may bring children, 11 years of age and younger, with them when going down range and must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Children, 11 years old and younger are NOT REQUIRED to attend the annual Down Range Safety Brief.  But, the mentor/parent/guardian must attend the brief and are responsible for those children in their care while downrange, at all times.
  • Children, 11 years old and younger DO NOT need to get Down Range Passes.
  • Mentor/Parent/Guardian getting a Down Range Pass must accept the Acknowledgement Instructions when bringing children onto FC and/or PCMS.
  • Signing (checking box) the Hold Harmless Agreement when obtaining a Down Range Pass, also applies to all children you bring and are responsible for when down range.
  • Children, 11 years old and younger, must stay with mentor/parent/guardian at all times, when down range.
  • Mentor/Parent/Guardian must follow instructions given when obtaining Down Range Pass (i.e., write names of youth in your care on Down Range Pass).

Children 12 to 17 years of age going down range must follow all procedures for adults/mentors that go with them:

  • Children 12-17 years old must have mentor/parent/guardian with them when going downrange.
  • Mentor/Parent/Guardian must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Children 12-17 years old must complete all requirements to go downrange, to include
    • Purchase Annual Recreation Permit
    • If hunting, register weapon
    • Attend Annual Range Safety Brief
    • Get Down Range Pass when going downrange with Mentor/Parent/Guardian

Register Firearms 

Firearms, including muzzleloaders, rifles, shotguns, and handguns, must be registered with the Fort Carson Provost Marshal’s Office before transporting onto Fort Carson or PCMS. Firearms are registered by submitting a completed Fort Carson (FC) Form 66-E (Registration of Personal Firearms).  Firearm registration is done one time and may have multiple weapons listed on a single registration form.

Click button: FC Form 66-E to see and download the FC Form 66-E.  Go to "Firearms Registration/Information" under the "Access" dropdown tab for more information.

Obtain a Daily Downrange Pass 

A downrange pass is required to enter any training area for wildlife recreational purposes on Fort Carson and PCMS. A downrange pass is valid for a specific area or a combination of areas and for the date and time specified on the pass. When downrange, a printed-paper copy of the pass must be placed on the vehicle dashboard. A downrange pass is not required to fish Womack, Townsend, Haymes, and Northside reservoirs. Possession of a valid permit is required to obtain a downrange pass.

Recreationist must checkout at the kiosk by the required return time stated on the pass. Checkout is possible only at a kiosk. Failure to checkout by the required return time will result in your account being placed on administrative hold, which means you cannot get a downrange pass until the hold is removed.

Go to "Downrange Pass" under the "Access" dropdown tab for more information.

FC Form 2026-E (Hold Harmless) 

All permittees are required to sign this form. You will need to read and acknowledge the form when you buy a Recreation Permit and get a Downrange Pass. 

State and Federal Licenses

Recreationist are required to obtain and carry the appropriate State or Federal licenses for any activity requiring a license or permit. Current State and Federal requirements are available online.

Vehicle Entry 

  • All non-DoD ID card holders requesting unescorted access will be required to undergo a NCIC III (criminal history background) check prior to accessing the installation.
  • A new pass format will be implemented that is tied to the individual and contains a photo of the individual and a bar code.
  • Personnel who do not pass the NCIC III check will be denied access to the installation.

All non-DOD ID card holder personnel requesting access will need to report to the Visitor Control Center (VCC) located at Building 6012, with a valid state or federally issued photo ID (driver's license if driving), vehicle registration, and proof of insurance (if applicable). All personnel must have a valid reason for accessing the installation.

Re-occurring Access for Recreationist

If requesting re-occurring access, as most recreationists will be, you will need to follow the process below.

  1. Purchase Recreation Permit from this web site and Print out the permit. Go to Buy Permits tab above or click HERE.
  2. Take your printed Recreation Permit to the VCC. They will conduct an NCIC III background check and if approved will issue you a 120-day pass.
  3. Scan the 120-day pass at gate security scanner when passing through any gate that is operating the AIE system to recreate on Fort Carson.
  4. When your current 120-day pass expires you will have to go to the VCC and get a new 120-day pass issued.

NOTE: This new policy does not apply to PCMS visitors.

Questions may be directed to:

  • VCC at (719) 526-2332
  • Security & Access Control Office at (719) 526-5543.
  • Any other problems with the process, you may call (719) 526-8006.

Entering Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site

To enter PCMS, all recreationists must use the main gate, located on US 350, north of Model, CO and 32 miles northeast of Trinidad. Identification requirements are the same as at Fort Carson.

Crossing the Boundary 

Crossing the installation boundary and entering private or public lands adjacent to Fort Carson or PCMS is prohibited. Exception is recreationists possessing a permit and range pass may cross the eastern boundary of PCMS to enter Comanche Grassland, U.S. Forest Service property.