Methodological approaches to the economic evaluation of the recreational ecosystem services are discussed, and results of calculations exemplified by a separate region are presented. A brief overview of research in the field of economic assessment of natural resources is provided. It is emphasized that after the de-linkage of the ecological-economic and geographical approaches in 1990s the development of methodological approaches to the economic assessment of natural resources in geographical science was not adequately addressed. It is shown that an intensification of research in this area contributed to change in the content of existing concepts and to emergence of new ones. In particular, the notions of “natural capital” and the “ecosystem services” were introduced in the conceptual and terminological system. This permitted a broader interpretation of the “natural resources” category by considering not only their resource functions but also ecosystem services. Classifications of ecosystem services are considered, and it is substantiated that separation of ecosystem services into a special group will be most appropriate. The method of transport and travel costs is suggested for assessing recreational ecosystem services. Based on actual economic indicators, it permits reliable results to be obtained. This method was used to make an economic assessment of recreational ecosystem services for the Republic of Buryatia and a ranking in separate districts using their cost. It is concluded that recreational ecosystem services of the republic have an importance significance and that there is a need to improve the assessment methods.Keywords: economic assessment of natural resources, natural capital, recreational ecosystem services, method of transport and travel costs.