County roads passing through private lands?

Ghillieman

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This may be a stupud question but i see all kinds of excellent hunting locations but the county roads to get there pass through private lands. The entry points im looking at are public lands once through. You can certaintainly travel these roads correct?
 

ElkFever2

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If it’s a county road it’s a public road…but make sure it’s truly a county-maintained road. Sometimes very tiny sections of road, like <12 ft, are moved to private maintenance and are then legally gated. Check the county maintenance maps, and if not available, talk to the county road maintenance dept
 
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When a road has been graded on BLM land and the grading continues onto private land can you travel on it legally. Another words, if the government has graded the trail on the private land, does that not imply the public has a right to cross it…. I have seen this in multiple locations around the Charles Russel Wildlife Refuge and the surrounding BLM land.
 

OutdoorEdventure

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If Colorado they’ve been very helpful on the phone if you give specific road questions. Call local office in the area. Hopefully others PW are as helpful.
 

Derek44

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Ran into a situation in WY where the map showed county road running into and dead ending inside private. Signs all over at the junction that were insinuating private road and stay out. Game Warden informed me that the road was public and there was actual public parking on the private at an access point to trail. About 1 mile hike through private on public access trail and you were in NF. Any of the above dept. should be able to give you answers if you’re specific. County roads/game wardens/sheriffs depts.
 

JM77

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If it’s a county road it’s a public road…but make sure it’s truly a county-maintained road. Sometimes very tiny sections of road, like <12 ft, are moved to private maintenance and are then legally gated. Check the county maintenance maps, and if not available, talk to the county road maintenance dept
There are many county roads in Wyoming that the county does not maintain. They are still public roads.
 

Cornell Cowboy

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Laramie, WY
When a road has been graded on BLM land and the grading continues onto private land can you travel on it legally. Another words, if the government has graded the trail on the private land, does that not imply the public has a right to cross it…. I have seen this in multiple locations around the Charles Russel Wildlife Refuge and the surrounding BLM land.
Grading the road has nothing to do with public access or not. Some public roads are not graded (or at least haven't been in many years). I have a private road through public land that I personally pay to have graded, and NO you cannot travel on it.
 
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Good to know.. Just noticed a freshly graded road on BLM that led through a private property road that was graded at the same time, no doubt by the same county grader. Just to let you know I would never tresspass on someone else’s private property….. Have a good day……..
 
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Cornell Cowboy

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Good to know.. Just noticed a freshly graded road on BLM that led through a private property road that was graded at the same time, no doubt by the same county grader. Just to let you know I would never tresspass on someone else’s private property….. Have a good day……..
It really comes down to whether or not it's a county or BLM road vs a private road through public property.
 

ammo

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Denver
Caltopo has a good Motor Vehicles layer that can easily answer this question
 

Cornell Cowboy

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Laramie, WY
A road on public land is not a private road. And I have a notion what you will reply.
It depends -- a road on public land be be either public or private. It depends on what the easement states -- anything thing else you think you know about it is irrelevant. In my case, the easement explicitly states that no public or quasi-public access can be granted and that it is in fact MY private road, which I have to maintain. Other roads may have different restrictions, but that's what mine has. Between easements, attorney fees, surveyor fees, and the building of the actual road I have more that $70k into it, so I think I have enough skin in the game to say with confidence that some roads across public land are in fact private -- at least as far as vehicular access is concerned.
 

ElkFever2

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There are many county roads in Wyoming that the county does not maintain. They are still public roads.
Yep, I drove on one in MT today. Perhaps just a semantics game? If the road is on private and privately maintained, in my mind it’s a “private” road. If the LO does not gate, post, or otherwise restrict traffic on their road, it’s a “private” road with perpetual public access.
 

JM77

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It depends -- a road on public land be be either public or private. It depends on what the easement states -- anything thing else you think you know about it is irrelevant. In my case, the easement explicitly states that no public or quasi-public access can be granted and that it is in fact MY private road, which I have to maintain. Other roads may have different restrictions, but that's what mine has. Between easements, attorney fees, surveyor fees, and the building of the actual road I have more that $70k into it, so I think I have enough skin in the game to say with confidence that some roads across public land are in fact private -- at least as far as vehicular access is concerned.
Maybe so, but I'll bet you can land a plane on it.
 

JM77

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Casper, Wyoming
Yep, I drove on one in MT today. Perhaps just a semantics game? If the road is on private and privately maintained, in my mind it’s a “private” road. If the LO does not gate, post, or otherwise restrict traffic on their road, it’s a “private” road with perpetual public access.
Access cannot be restricted on a county road in Wyoming no matter who puts a blade on it.
 

Cornell Cowboy

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Yep, I drove on one in MT today. Perhaps just a semantics game? If the road is on private and privately maintained, in my mind it’s a “private” road. If the LO does not gate, post, or otherwise restrict traffic on their road, it’s a “private” road with perpetual public access.
Glad to know how it works "in your mind." I can't speak for MT, but that's not how it works in WY. I can guarantee you that the road is not a perpetual public access. But I get a lot of folks like that out here -- drive right by the "No Unauthorized Motorized Vehicle" signs and then play dumb.
 

Derek44

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North Central Washington
It depends -- a road on public land be be either public or private. It depends on what the easement states -- anything thing else you think you know about it is irrelevant. In my case, the easement explicitly states that no public or quasi-public access can be granted and that it is in fact MY private road, which I have to maintain. Other roads may have different restrictions, but that's what mine has. Between easements, attorney fees, surveyor fees, and the building of the actual road I have more that $70k into it, so I think I have enough skin in the game to say with confidence that some roads across public land are in fact private -- at least as far as vehicular access is concerned.
While I don’t disagree, I’d love to see that easement paperwork and I’d venture to guess that access can only be denied once that road hits your line. There are definitely nuances, but I’m pretty sure the public can be on that part of the road that crosses public ground.

Edited to say that purchased easements fall in that nuance. But I’d still love to see the papers.
 
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