Climbing Rules & Regulations in Western Colorado

BLM | Forest Service

The rules and regulations regarding climbing and fixed anchors often vary by land manager and by area. Here are some specific designations you should be aware of. If you have any question about the land you are on, it’s best to call the respective agency, as that may be the only way to get up-to-date information.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

In general, BLM land is climber friendly with very few rules and regulations. Here are the areas to watch out for:

ACEC – An area of critical environmental concern. This designation is given to unique areas that fall within a specific criteria. Most likely bolting is not allowed on this land, be sure to check with the BLM first about any specific restrictions. Here's a list of the ACEC's in Colorado.

VRM – Visual Resource Management – These areas are deemed to have outstanding scenic value and changes to the visual landscape may be prohibited. Again, check with the BLM on a case by case basis.

WSA – Wilderness Study Area – These parcels are being considered for designation as wilderness. As such, no motorized vehicles or mechanical devices may be used here. This includes power drills. Also, generally speaking bolting of any kind is not allowed.

BLM Glenwood Springs Office - 970-947-2800

Forest Service

Wilderness Areas – Power drills are not allowed in wilderness areas. Bolts are generally allowed via hand drilling.
The local wilderness areas are :

Maroon Bells-Snowmass | Hunter-Fryingpan | Collegiate Peaks | Raggeds
Proposed/Recommended Wilderness Areas – Power drills are not allowed, hand drilling is ok.
The local recommended wilderness areas are:
Assignation Ridge
North Independence Pass
Red Table Mountain

For more information, contact the

White River National Forest - 970-945-2521

As always, if you are unsure, please contact the appropriate land manager.