Welcome to the Bureau of Reclamation's Recreation Homepage

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Jackson Lake

The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) has gravitated from development of single-purpose agricultural projects toward a multipurpose approach to water resource development that includes recreation. Today, Reclamation plays a major role in meeting the increasing public demands for water-based outdoor recreation facilities and opportunities.

The recreation areas developed as a result of Reclamation water projects are among the Nation's most popular for water-based outdoor recreation (see footnote below). Reclamation projects include approximately 6.5 million acres of land and water that is, for the most part, available for public outdoor recreation.

Navajo CampingIn addition to offering water-based outdoor recreation opportunities, these recreation areas often include important natural and cultural resources and provide unique educational and interpretive opportunities. Twelve (12) Reclamation water projects have been designated as National Recreation Areas that are managed by the National Park Service or the US Forest Service.

Reclamation projects have created a variety of recreation opportunities on the rivers downstream from the dams, including world class whitewater rafting and fishing opportunities. In other instances, Reclamation projects have created valuable national wildlife refuges and state wildlife management areas that offer recreation opportunities such as camping, hiking, hunting, photography, and wildlife viewing. Eleven (11) national wildlife refuges have been created as a result of a Reclamation Federal water project.

Provo RiverReclamation also assists local communities in attracting recreation-related investments and involves local citizens in the decisionmaking process. As a result, recreation developments meet public needs and expectations.

Use authorizations are not required for recreational use of recreation areas and facilities open to the public. Other uses of project lands may require proper authorizations from Reclamation. Refer to https://www.usbr.gov/lands/ for additional information about applying for specific uses that may require a use authorization from Reclamation.

For information about the many of Reclamation's recreational opportunities, please refer to Reclamation's Recreation Overview at the following link: https://www.usbr.gov/recreation/overview.html.

For information about the many recreational opportunities on all Federal lands throughout the United States visit http://www.recreation.gov/.

For more information on how you can participate in the Share the Experience Photo Contest, please visit the following website: https://www.sharetheexperience.org/.

Footnote: A recreation area can be considered a recreation complex consisting of, among other things, campgrounds, day use areas, parking areas, boat ramps, restrooms, road and trail systems, and visitor centers. It usually encompasses an entire reservoir area defined by an established boundary. A recreation area may have multiple recreation sites.
Last Updated: 10/19/17