Recreational Access to Trust Land
Recreational access to State Trust Land is facilitated through a permit system determined by the specific type of use. Please keep in mind that permission is required to legally access Trust Land. Some activities are Prohibited or restricted on State Trust Land. Travel on trust land is restricted to public highways and established roads; off road activities are not permitted. The disturbance, damaging, or removal or resources is strictly prohibited. Please see the following link for a complete list of prohibited activities. Additional information on the types of access permitted on Trust Land can be found below or by following these links: Hiking; Camping; Hunting; and Educational Access.
Recreational Access Permit
Recreational access for Hiking
and other purposes can be purchased from the Commercial Leasing Division at the cost of $35.00. These permits are valid for one year from the date issued and can be obtained by submitting the completed Recreational Access Permit Application
or in person at our main office in Santa Fe. Please read the packet to ensure that your intended use is covered by the permit. For more information, please contact our Commercial Leasing Division at (505) 827-5724.
A popular site on trust land is Mystery Stone, also referred to as Commandments Rock, Mystery Rock, and the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone. This site is located at the base of Hidden Mountain about 16 miles west of Los Lunas. It is a boulder of volcanic basalt weighing an estimated 80 to 100 tons and is about eight meters in length. Nine rows of 216 characters were chiseled at a 150 degree angle into the north face. The site was first documented in 1936, when visited by Anthropology Professor Frank Hibben, from the University of New Mexico.
You must purchase a Recreational Access Permit from the New Mexico State Land Office to be allowed access to the land where Mystery Stone is located.
Educational Access Permit
Educational access for school groups or other educational activities on trust land can be obtained from the Commercial Leasing Division by submitting the completed Educational Access Permit Application
or in person at our main office in Santa Fe. Please contact our Commercial Leasing Division at (505) 827-5724 for more information.
Camping is allowed on leased State Trust Land with the written permission of the surface lessee. To determine lessee and contact information, please contact our Field Operations Division at (505) 827-5851.
In the new 2016-2017 State Game Commission Easement, Commissioner Dunn agreed to allocate several pre-approved camping areas for hunters throughout the state, as well as ensuring that critical access points remain open and available to the hunters with clearly identified signs. Camping sites and access points are still being determined and will soon be available on the website for review.
Hunting on State Trust Lands
There are approximately 9 million state trust surface acres in New Mexico. In addition to U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, the State Game Commission has purchased an easement on state trust land for fishermen, hunters and trappers to use. Most are open to public hunting and other recreation; there are some lands withdrawn for hunting access. It is the individual’s responsibility to get all pertinent information from each agency and to know the regulations that each agency has on its managed lands. Much of New Mexico’s public land is mixed with privately owned property. The private landowner has the right to control the use of private land. Sportsmen must get written landowner permission to cross private land where no public access exists to get to the public land. It is unlawful to post or otherwise restrict lawful uses of public land.
State Trust Lands Unitization
To assure access and create larger, definable hunting areas, hunting and trapping privileges on some state trust lands have been exchanged for the same privileges on private land. These ranches are posted with signs advising that the private land has been unitized. Watch for these signs and contact the landowner if you have any question about the location of the land open to public use. See www.wildlife.state.nm.us
for additional information.If You Are Denied Access
(for hunting and fishing during the appropriate seasons) The right of entry to state trust land is assured if access is available by public road (defined in Section 67-2-1, NMSA 1978) or across other public lands or trails. If you are denied access, call the nearest State Land Office District Resource Manager
, giving complete details, including location, date, time and the name(s) of the person(s) denying access. The State Land Office number in Santa Fe is (505) 827-5760.
Other sites with hunting-related information
Outfitters and hunting guides are required to have a permit from the Land Office to guide hunts on Trust Land. This permit can be obtained from the Surface Resources Division by submitting the completed Outfitter/Guide Application
, or by contacting our Surface Resources Division at (505) 827-5842.