One of the greatest appeals of the American West has always been that sense of unbridled freedom and room to roam.

In the crowded world we live in today, it might be hard to picture that solitude and deep connection with nature, but for the modern-day pioneer, it is still within reach in a place called Nevada.
While it may be just the seventh largest state, Nevada is the king of public lands in the contiguous U.S. More than 48 million acres of Nevada is public land.

As the largest public land manager in Nevada, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages national monuments and national conservation areas, national scenic and historic trails, and more than 50 wilderness areas.

Only Alaska has more public land, but as the BLM’s Nevada Recreation Program Lead Miles Gurtler points out, Nevada still has an advantage.“A lot of Nevada areas, you can drive to,” he notes. “In Alaska they're much harder to reach.
When faced with a BLM (or Fish and Wildlife Service, or Forest Service) sign, many believe that means the area is federally owned land, therefore off-limits to any recreational pursuits.

Wrong, says Gurtler. He says he hears the flip side, too, where people believe if it’s BLM land, you can do whatever you want. Wrong again.

The easiest type of land to understand is private. Any privately owned lands are likely well signed and likely even gated, giving plenty of warning to anyone hoping to wander freely.
But speaking of gates, many areas in Nevada’s miles and miles of space have fences, for a handful of reasons.

The most obvious is to denote the boundaries of a privately owned section of land, but there is also a lot of fencing that exists to restrict grazing animals from accessing roadways.
Other fences are more historic in nature and don’t reflect actual legal boundaries. Whatever the reason for the fence is, there are many roads that traverse the public lands in Nevada.

If met with a gate that has no locking mechanism or signage, it’s an indicator that land can be accessed by the public.

The most important consideration is to leave the gate as you found it; if it was open, leave it open, and if it was closed, well you weren’t born in a barn, so close it.
Wilderness areas, historic and scenic trails, national monuments, and more await on Nevada’s public lands.
Some of these areas require serious trekking to access, but others are close to (or even on) paved roads.

“People want to use public land for all kinds of different purposes,” Gurtler says. “Our goal is to try and meet people where they are. For instance, around Reno, a big chunk of the eastern side of the Truckee Meadows is BLM land. It’s basically in people’s back yard.”
BLM Nevada is excited for the launch of the NV Trail Finder Website.