National Grasslands

Southern Plains National Grasslands *

When SPLT started in southeast Colorado, we were intentional about our location. We were conscious of the need to safeguard not only private lands, but public lands as well, and this area contains the largest block of publicly accessible federal lands in the Southern Plains: the Comanche National Grasslands.

Nearby, in western Kansas, are the Cimarron National Grasslands. To the south are the Kiowa National Grasslands of eastern New Mexico, and the Rita Blanca National Grasslands in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. Together, these federal lands total approximately 775,000 acres, with the Comanche leading the way, at 435,000 acres.

These are your public lands, and you should explore them. Find out more at Forest Service websites for each:

Some of the best experiences we’ve had on these grasslands include lesser prairie-chicken viewing on the Cimarron National Grasslands in southwestern Kansas; hiking to the dinosaur tracks along the Purgatoire River in Picketwire Canyon on the Comanche National Grasslands (Timpas Unit) in southeastern Colorado; observing ancient rock art in Picture Canyon on the Comanche (Carrizo Unit); and exploring the rugged and beautiful Mills Canyon on the Kiowa National Grassland in northeastern New Mexico.

SPLT encourages the U.S. Forest Service to manage public lands for native biodiversity and nature-based recreation. You can help by yourself exploring these areas and letting the Forest Service know what you enjoyed most about these remote places: was it the wildlife you spotted? The quiet and solitude? The naturalness of the terrain? The more this agency hears from a broader spectrum of the public, the better.

Contact us if you have further tips for exploring the National Grasslands in the Southern Plains. Email us at splt@southernplains.org or 720-841-1757.