Travel Tip: Beginners Guide to BLM Land
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is public accessible land for recreational activity in the United States - perfect for mountain biking, hiking, climbing, fishing, camping, etc. These lands represent the largest acreage available for public recreation in America. It is quite amazing how many Americans still do not know these lands are available. Personally, we kinda like it that way - although we feel we have an obligation to educate you on it.
BLM land is often much quieter than the popular, high traffic areas such as National Parks. You will mostly come across locals, avid backpackers or climbers who are already familiar with BLM land. Some activities require special permits, but mostly you can access the land at your leisure. Be sure to pay close attention to your map and ensure the property you are accessing lies within the highlighted BLM area. There are also varying restrictions, such as no camping within 200 feet of a water source - do your research so you do not get a ticket.
We personally utilize this land for backcountry camping - quiet and remote. We typically drive out to BLM land and hike out to a spot that looks like it has been previously camped. You can tell if a spot has been disturbed if there are ashes from a campfire, rocks have been moved or there is a flat spot suitable for a tent. You always want to leave the land better than how you found it - one should hardly tell human activity was there.
When visiting popular areas like Colorado and Utah, most reserved campsites will be booked up - especially in the summertime. While you can also try wilderness camping (which requires a permit), camping on BLM land is free. Below are the states and locations with BLM land.
- Eastern States
- New Mexico