climbing on private land


Many great climbing areas are located on private lands. For a climber wanting to climb on private property, it is important to remember that access on private property is a privilege, not a right. It is also necessary to have a good understanding of the laws of the state in which the climbing is located. Most states require all recreational users to have permission from the landowner, or its lessee or agent before climbing on private property regardless of whether the land is posted or not. By definition, trespassing includes traveling to an area where you intend to climb. It is every climber's responsibility to know who owns the land on which he or she wants to climb, what access may be available to the crag, and whether there are any land use restrictions that may apply there.

Landowners are often reluctant to open their land to the public for a myriad of reasons. Typically, the land owner is concerned about liability, loss of control of his/her property, degradation of the property by disrespectful users or overuse, security, privacy and personal safety, and the public developing rights to the use of the property, i.e., access for the masses through a prescriptive easement.

The following information offers more details on risk management strategies and tools to offer landowners in partnership with Access Fund and your local climbing organization:

A Guide to Climbing on Private Land: Ask First

Risk Management & Landowner Support