University of Vermont AAHS

Utah Recreational Use Statute


57-14-1. Legislative purpose

The purpose of this act is to encourage public and private owners of land to make land and water areas available to the public for recreational purposes by limiting the owners' liability toward persons entering the land and water areas for those purposes.

57-14-2. Definitions

As used in this chapter:

(1) "Land" means any land within the territorial limits of the state of Utah and includes roads, water, water courses, private ways and buildings, structures, and machinery or equipment when attached to the realty.

(2) "Owner" includes the possessor of any interest in the land, whether public or private land, a tenant, a lessor or lessee, and an occupant or person in control of the premises.

(3) "Recreational purpose" includes, but is not limited to, any of the following or any combination thereof: hunting, fishing, swimming, skiing, snowshoeing, camping, picnicking, hiking, studying nature, waterskiing, engaging in water sports, using boats, mountain biking, using off-highway vehicles or recreational vehicles, and viewing or enjoying historical, archaeological, scenic, or scientific sites.

(4) "Charge" means the admission price or fee asked in return for permission to enter or go upon the land.

(5) "Person" includes any person, regardless of age, maturity, or experience, who enters upon or uses land for recreational purposes.

57-14-3. Owner owes no duty of care or to give warning -- Exceptions

Except as specifically provided in Subsections 57-14-6 (1) and (2), an owner of land owes no duty of care to keep the premises safe for entry or use by any person entering or using the premises for any recreational purpose, or to give any warning of a dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity on those premises to that person.

57-14-4. Owner's permitting another to use land without charge -- Effect

Except as specifically provided in Subsection 57-14-6 (1), an owner of land who either directly or indirectly invites or permits without charge or for a nominal fee of not more than $1 per year any person to use the land for any recreational purpose does not thereby:

(1) make any representation or extend any assurance that the premises are safe for any purpose;

(2) confer upon the person the legal status of an invitee or licensee to whom a duty of care is owed;

(3) assume responsibility for or incur liability for any injury to persons or property caused by an act or omission of the person or any other person who enters upon the land; or

(4) owe any duty to curtail his use of his land during its use for recreational purposes.

57-14-5. Land leased to state or political subdivision for recreational purposes

Unless otherwise agreed in writing, Sections 57-14-3 and 57-14-4 are applicable to the duties and liability of an owner of land leased to the state or any subdivision of the state for recreational purposes.

57-14-6. Liability not limited where willful or malicious conduct involved or admission fee charged

(1) Nothing in this act shall limit any liability which otherwise exists for:

(a) willful or malicious failure to guard or warn against a dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity;

(b) deliberate, willful, or malicious injury to persons or property; or

(c) an injury suffered where the owner of land charges a person to enter or go on the land or use the land for any recreational purpose, except if the land is leased to the state or a subdivision of the state, any consideration received by the owner for the lease is not a charge within the meaning of this section.

(2) Any person who hunts upon a cooperative wildife management unit, as authorized by Title 23, Chapter 23 Cooperative Wildlife Management Units, is not considered to have paid a fee within the meaning of this section.

(3) Owners of a dam or reservoir who allow recreational use of the dam or reservoir and its surrounding area and do not themselves charge a fee for that use, are considered not to have charged for that use within the meaning of Subsection (1)(c), even if the user pays a fee to the Division of Parks and Recreation for the use of the services and facilities at that dam or reservoir.


57-14-7. Person using land of another not relieved from duty to exercise care

This chapter may not be construed to relieve any person, using the land of another for recreational purposes, from any obligation which the person may have in the absence of this act to exercise care in use of the land and in activities thereon, or from the legal consequences of failure to employ care.


Amended in 1997.
Reviewed by AAHS in July 2001.

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