Public land is a national treasure. Whether you like to go backpacking, camping, day-tripping, exploring, hunting or just experiencing the great outdoors in your own way, public spaces are vitally important to the enjoyment of nature. However, public land in Texas is a disjointed patchwork that is challenging to find and access. There are many federal, state, regional, county and city agencies that manage public land for recreational us for you and I.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is prolific when it comes to the access of American public land – in fact, the BLM manages 1 in every 10 acres in the United States of America. But what about in the Lone Star State…

Is There BLM land in Texas?

Yes, there is BLM land in Texas. The Cross Bar Special Recreation Management Area is a huge public land area in the Texas Panhandle north of the city of Amarillo.

The Cross Bar is 11,883 acres of public land near Lake Meredith, and borders the Canadian River. As a Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA), it is a recreation-focused property that is great for the following activities:

  • Camping
  • Environmental Education
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Photography
  • Wildlife Viewing

How much BLM land is in Texas?

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages 11,883 acres of land in Texas. That equates to .0069% of BLM land out of all of land in the entire state of Texas. All of this acreage is in one property, the Cross Bar Management Area.

BLM Land Texas Map

Map of BLM Land in Texas

Here are the exact directions to the Cross Bar as given by the BLM website:

From downtown Amarillo, head north on Fillmore Street/Dumas Hwy/87. Drive for approximately 18 miles to the intersection of the Canadian River and HWY 87. Walk or drive west through the River for 1.5 miles to the railroad trestle. The Cross Bar property boundary is begins at the fence line south of the river bottom and immediately west of the railroad trestle.

Can I shoot on BLM land in Texas?

Yes, you can shoot on BLM land in Texas. Each property has it’s own firearm rules and regulations, but the only BLM property in Texas is the Cross Bar SRMA and shooting is allowed. You can target shoot, and you can also hunt with firearms on the Cross Bar.

Hunting on BLM land in Texas

You can hunt on BLM land in Texas at the Cross Bar SRMA north of Amarillo. Texas state seasons and regulations apply to this land, which sits in Potter County, Texas. You can find all legal species, seasons and means of take on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Potter County page. You can also hunt the nearby Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, which is rife with migratory birds, deer, turkey and more.

Camping on BLM land in Texas

You can camp on Texas BLM land at the Cross Bar SRMA in the Texas Panhandle. Expect rural camping, meaning that there are zero amenities or improvements. In camping parlance, you are “boondocking” or “dry camping” when camping on BLM land in Texas. You will need to bring everything you need including water, and make sure to pack a shovel (if you know what I mean).

Simon Trask
Author: Simon Trask

Simon loves Texas and the Great Outdoors. From East Texas pines to West Texas mountains, he calls North Texas home but is always ready to float a river in Hill Country or go fishing on the Gulf Coast. Simon loves camping and road trips as well, whether it's cruising Highway 287, 82, 69 or 281, that's the true way to see what Texas is all about!

Join the Texas Outside newsletter