The Bureau of Land Management, which takes care of more than 245 million acres, is the nation’s biggest landowner. A whole lot of that terrain is adventure worthy, and it’s often overlooked in favor of sexier national parks. But, if you’re American, that’s your land. So you should go check it out. Here are some of the best, most exciting options.
Raft through Desolation and Gray Canyons, Utah
Eighty-four miles of untouched canyons, enough rapids to keep things interesting, sandy beaches, hidden petroglyphs. Utah’s Desolation and Gray canyons, which sit back to back along the Green River, just north of the town of the same name, are one of the best weeklong river trips in the country.
If you want to do a private trip, you’ll need a permit, available through the BLM’s lottery, or you can go with a commercial outfitter.
Fish the North Umpqua, Oregon
Fishing for steelhead in a wild and scenic river is a lot of anglers’ ideal experience. On Oregon’s beautiful North Umpqua, you can do just that. There are also waterfalls, hikes and rapids to paddle if you don’t have the patience for fly-fishing.
Mountain bike McCoy Flats, Utah
On the outskirts of Vernal, Utah’s oil and gas land, local riders have worked with the BLM to build up a network of bike trails. It’s desert riding on a level with Moab or Fruita, and no one is there. Plus, local artists have added their touch to a lot of the trail junctions. Don’t be surprised if you come around a corner into an art installation.
Backpack California’s Lost Coast Trail
There aren’t many stretches of accessible but untouched coastline left. Northern California’s 25-mile Lost Coast Trail gets you access to secluded beaches, sea lions, tide pools and more along the rugged shore.
Find solitude in The Wave, Arizona
The Wave, right on the Arizona/Utah border, is one of the most spectacular natural geologic formations in the country. It got so crowded that the BLM decided to limit foot traffic to 20 people a day. That means that if you score a hike-in permit, you’ll be basically alone in a so-beautiful-it-almost-feels-holy place.
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