Working with Private Landowners

Many great climbing areas across the United States are located on private lands. The landowners may allow unrestricted access, access with restrictions, or no public access. It is important to recognize that climbing on private land is a privilege, and we must work to establish and maintain a positive relationship with landowners.

Before checking out a new area, determine who owns the land you cross and climb at. It may be a matrix of private and public lands. Most county websites have online interactive maps that show property boundaries over aerial imagery and provide basic landowner information.

When approaching and working with private landowners, develop a good understanding of state laws, risk management tools, and potential concerns the landowner may have. Common concerns of private landowners include: liability, loss of control of their property, degradation of the land by disrespectful users or overuse, security, privacy, and the public developing rights to use the property, i.e., access through a prescriptive easement.

The Access Fund can work with you to establish positive partnerships with private landowners. Contact us at [email protected] or call 303.545.6772 to discuss opportunities.

Resource Center

State Recreational Use Statutes

Recreational Use Statutes are the first line of defense for landowners. Learn how to research your state's statute here.

Climbing On Your Land

Risk management and conservation support for private landowners.

Access Agreements

Access agreements are a great tool for reopening closed climbing areas or providing public access to new areas.

Climbing on Private Land

A guide to climbing on private land: ask first.

Choosing Your Conservation Strategy

There are many conservation strategies for obtaining climbing access on private land. The chart and definitions of conservation strategies will help get you pointed in the right direction.

Sample Property Sign

Warning signage is a useful risk management and climber education strategy to consider on private land. This is a sample sign used for an Access Fund property.

Recreational Leases

An overview providing the basics for setting up a recreational lease with a landowner or manager.

Insurance FAQ

General liability insurance can provide an additional layer of liability protection. Access Fund or local climbing organizations can provide additional insured status via access agreements, but it is important to understand what it does and does not cover.

Climbing Conservation Grant Program

A grant from the Climbing Conservation Grant Program can kick start acquisition, stewardship, policy, research, local support, and education projects.

Risk Management Strategies

There are multiple ways to manage risk. This document takes a look at how various private landowners apply risk management strategies to open up climbing on their land.

Risk Management Overview

The Risk Management Overview provides a general background on climbing risk management tools and strategies.