The terms ‘National Park’ and ‘National Forest’ are sometimes used interchangeably, so first, it’s important to note that they are not the same thing!
Because while drones are not allowed in National Parks, according to the United States Forest Service, there are no restrictions when it comes to flying a drone in a National Forest.
That said, localized exceptions may be in place, so we strongly recommend contacting the specific forestry office where you’re looking to fly and confirming the area is indeed a national forest and not a national park, and that there are no local restrictions.
If you’re told that there are, kindly ask to see them in written, published form.
Protecting visitors and the wilderness is a top priority for the Forest Service, which is why they have created Tips for Responsible Recreational Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) on National Forest Systems Lands. These tips provide guidance on general rules and what areas of a National Forest prohibit drone operations.
Of course, all drone operators must also adhere to the Federal Aviation Administration drone regulations as required when operating a drone anywhere within the U.S.