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Access to Public Lands

How do I know where private land boundaries are?

Keep in mind when enjoying recreational opportunities in the back country there is often private land intermingled with the public lands.   In the state of Colorado, private land owners are not required to post or fence their property boundaries.  BLM public land boundaries for the most part are not fenced or signed either.  It is your responsibility to know where you are and avoid being in trespass.  The GJFO has maps available for purchase that will provide you with land ownership information (private, BLM, Forest Service, state lands)

Can I pass through an already open gate or open a closed gate and go through it within GJFO management area?

You will often encounter gates within the GJFO management area.  With the exception of seasonally closed gates and private property gates,  you may pass through an already open, as well as closed gate.  Just be sure to leave the gate the way you found it. 

Can someone who is leasing BLM lands for the purpose of grazing, recreational outfitting or for mining claims deny the general public access to, or use of  BLM leased lands?  Can they charge the general public for use of BLM leased lands?

BLM leased lands are open for use to the general public the same as non-leased BLM lands.  BLM permit holders cannot charge the general public for access to, or for use of BLM leased lands.  There are BLM recreational permittees who charge their clients for their services, however, they are not allowed to charge the general public for use of those same BLM public lands they use for their services. 

If you feel someone has wrongfully denied you access to public lands or is trying to charge you for use of public lands within the GJFO management area contact our office at (970) 244-3000 or the Mesa County Sheriffs Department at (970) 242-6707.

Can a private land owner keep the public from crossing their land to access BLM public lands located beyond his property?

BLM lands are often fragmented, and access to them can be difficult.  There is often no legal access to isolated public lands located beyond private land boundaries.  Legal access across private land only exists if the road you are traveling on is a state or federal highway, county road or a BLM or Forest Service access road.  All other roads should be considered private and to travel on such roads would require permission from the private land owner.   Private land ownership information can be obtained from the local County Assessors Office.

Why are there travel restrictions in certain areas?

Motorized travel restrictions may be imposed in certain areas or on specific roads or trails for the purpose of protecting sensitive or critical resources, for public safety, or to meet special management needs.   Restricted areas/roads and trails will be posted.  Closed roads are not posted.  Please respect the travel restriction and travel only on open roads and trails.

Seasonal Road Closures?

See below for a list of seasonal motorized road closures within the GJFO area.  See map at the top of the page.  Seasonal road closures are necessary due to wildlife habitat.  These road closures apply to motorized travel only, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding are allowed year round.       


              Black Ridge Access Road    

                 Rattlesnake Arches/
               Mee Canyon trailheads

Upper Road open 4/15 - 8/15
Lower Road open 8/15 - 2/15
Both roads closed 2/15 - 4/15


Coal Canyon

Little Book Cliffs Wildhorse Area

Closed 12/1 -  5/31

Closed 12/1  - 4/30

Big Salt Wash
Coal Gulch
Blue Mesa
Chalk Mtn


Lands End