Bureau of Land Management

Learn about camping and boondocking on BLM land

Can I Drive My RV Off-Road on BLM Land?

Can I Drive My RV Off-Road on BLM Land?

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Generally speaking, no you cannot drive your RV off-road on BLM land. You are required to remain on established roads and vehicle trails, except when pulling into a clearing or previously used campsite. This is true on all BLM lands, including open public lands, conservation lands, and developed recreation areas.

However, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) does operate off-highway vehicle areas where you can drive an RV, or any other vehicle, and just go willy-nilly across the landscape.

driving rv off-road on blm land
Camping on BLM Land in Colorado

Can I Drive My RV Off-Road on BLM Land?

Rules and regulations for BLM land generally do not permit vehicles of any kind to drive off of established roads and trails, with the exception of entering a campground or previously used campsite.

This rule is defined under BLM Rule § 8341.1 “Regulations governing use”…

(a) The operation of off-road vehicles is permitted on those areas and trails designated as open to off-road vehicle use. (c) The operation of off-road vehicles is prohibited on those areas and trails closed to off-road vehicle use.

BLM Rule § 8341.1

If you find a campsite with no established road or trail leading to it, you are not allowed to drive over plants, shrubs, animal habitats, or other natural features, to get there. Instead, you will have to park your RV elsewhere, and hike your camping equipment in.

This is not just a BLM rule either. Most states do not allow vehicles to drive off of established roads and trails, with few exceptions.

It Depends on the Field Office

Each BLM field office sets its own policies for off-road vehicle use. Some field offices permit off-road use throughout its jurisdiction, and some field offices restrict use to certain areas. Most field offices, however, generally do not allow it anywhere. The exception, however, is with OHV areas.

Each field office can be visited in person to obtain road maps of where vehicles can be driven. You can also call a field office on the phone and they can explain their policies.

Click here for a directory of field offices

Is My RV Considered an Off-Road Vehicle?

Yes it is.

The BLM has a pretty broad definition of what constitutes an “off-road vehicle”. BLM Rule § 8340.0-5 “Definitions” says that an off-road vehicle is not just limited to vehicles designed for off-road use, but also “capable of” travel over land or other natural terrain.

As long as your RV is capable of leaving an established road or trail, and driving over plants and mouse burrows, you effectively have an off-road vehicle.

Click here to read the full text of this rule.

OHV Areas

The BLM has designated numerous areas specifically for OHV use. Here, you can drive a vehicle pretty much anywhere. However, some OHV areas have signs posted restricting you to established OHV trails.

All OHV areas offer some kind of RV camping, either on a dispersed basis, or have developed campgrounds.

Read More About Off-Road Vehicle Use

Read Related Articles

Download Related Documents

Glade Run Recreation Area Camping Permit - BLM, Farmington Field Office

Camping and Occupancy Regulations - Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, 2020

Gooseberry Mesa Trail Map - BLM, St. George Field Office, 2017

Gooseberry Mesa Trail Brochure - BLM, St. George Field Office, 2014

Narrows Rim, El Malpais National Conservation Area - BLM, Rio Puerco Field Office, 2018

The Dittert Site, El Malpais National Conservation Area - BLM, Rio Puerco Field Office, 2018

West Malpais & Hole-in-the-Wall - BLM, Rio Puerco Field Office, 2018

El Malpais National Conservation Area Map - BLM, Rio Puerco Field Office, 2016

Smithsonian Butte National Backcountry Byway - BLM, St. George Field Office, 2013

BLM Utah: Dispersed Camping - BLM, Utah, 2023

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