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What is a State Wildlife Area?

State Wildlife Areas (SWAs) are state- or privately-owned lands that offer wildlife-related recreation to the public. While most activities focus on hunting and fishing, each SWA has different allowed activities, based on location and available resources. These parcels of SWA land are paid for by sportspeople and managed under state law by Colorado Parks and Wildlife employees for the benefit of wildlife. Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages about 350 SWA lands around the state. For more information, please see the Colorado State Recreation Lands brochure (Folleto de tierras recreativas del estado de Colorado).

A valid hunting or fishing license OR SWA pass is required for everyone 16 or older accessing most state wildlife areas. For more information, read the frequently asked questions.

These can be purchased through CPW authorized sales agents, by phone (1-800-244-5613) or online at CPWShop.

State Wildlife Area Restrictions Have Been Updated

Changes have been made to regulations that standardize and clarify language for permissible activities on many state wildlife areas. These went into effect August 1, 2023. Please review the listed restrictions for SWAs and for the SWA you plan to visit as access and allowances may have changed. See pages 3–30 of the Colorado State Recreation Lands brochure​ (En Español)​. 

Map Key

active alert Red dot indicates a state wildlife area that has an active alert.

no active alert Blue dot indicates a state wildlife area that is operating under normal conditions.

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