State Trust Lands in Colorado currently total nearly 3 million surface acres. The federal government endowed the lands to Colorado in 1876, the year the Centennial State officially joined the union.
The Public Access Program is a lease arrangement between the Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the State Land Board which began in 1993. The Public Access Program allows public access to specific State Trust Lands and has opened up to the public over half a million acres of lands which had no public access previously. Most recently, the State Land Board and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife entered a 7 year lease in 2006 to allow public use of approximately 550,000 acres of State Trust Lands with wildlife values for wildlife-related recreation.
Through this lease agreement, these lands are available to the public for a specified time during the year for hunting, fishing and other wildlife-related activities. The State Trust Lands leased for this program are not open year-round because they are also leased to other users during the year. The lands may have several lease activities occurring on them during the year which includes farming, livestock grazing, mining and logging.
Several tracts provide or improve access to adjacent State Wildlife Areas as well as Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands.
The public is reminded to respect the rights of other users and lessees on State Trust Lands and to abide by state rules so the lands can remain open for future wildlife recreation. State Trust Lands not leased for this program are not open for public access.
Most of these leased State Trust Lands are not accessible by motor vehicle, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) or snowmobiles, and there are restrictions on camping, parking and off-road driving. Hunters should consult the Recreational Lands Interactive Brochure for rules and property-specific information.
Parcels are open only from September 1 through the end of February, unless otherwise stated in the brochure.
State Land Board website