Funding will help maintain and improve one of Boulder’s most popular trail areas

The City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Department recently received a $1.1 million grant toconduct significant trail repairs on Mount Sanitas and construct two new, short trails to help the community enjoy the area. The department also will leverage the grant to improve climbing experiences in the area and sustain natural areas on the mountain by closing and restoring undesignated trails that can harm vegetation and wildlife.

Trails in the Mount Sanitas area are among Open Space and Mountain Parks’ “legacy trails.” These trails provide unique outdoor Boulder experiences but are steep and prone to erosion, requiring extensive and ongoing trail maintenance. The 678-acre Mount Sanitas area on the western edge of Boulder is one of the city’s most popular open space areas, receiving more than 375,000 visits yearly.

“We are dedicated to helping our community enjoy and protect open space and thank the state and the federal government for their support in helping us with that mission,” said Dan Burke, director of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks. “We look forward to using this grant to improve, maintain and preserve an iconic Boulder area for our community and future generations.”

Grant funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, administered by Colorado Parks and Wildlife for the National Parks Service, will help OSMP to:

  • Conduct significant repairs to the approach to the summit of Mount Sanitas, on both the Mount Sanitas and East Ridge trails.
  • Design and construct a new trail to connect neighborhoods located northeast of Mount Sanitas to the OSMP trail network.
  • Design and construct a new trail to provide access to historically significant rock quarries on the mountain.
  • Add infrastructure around the eight bouldering formations on the Mount Sanitas trail, including adding gathering space in bouldering areas, steps, fencing and signage.
  • Close and restore undesignated trails, which can reduce the size of natural areas that wildlife and plants need to thrive.

Planned trail and ecological restoration work supported by the grant – which the department anticipates beginning in 2025 and completing in 2027 – will help ongoing OSMP fulfill past planning processes, including the OSMP Master Plan and its West Trail Study Area Plan.

More durable trail infrastructure on Mount Sanitas will also help OSMP generate annual maintenance savings, allowing the department to conduct additional repair and maintenance work in other areas of OSMP’s 155-mile trail system.

OSMP will partner with the Boulder Open Space Conservancy – the department’s official philanthropic partner – to leverage additional fundraising opportunities to support grant-funded trail improvements and ecological restoration work on Mount Sanitas. Learn more about the Boulder Open Space Conservancy.

“For the past three years, BOSC has focused on increasing awareness for how special Mount Sanitas is, fostering volunteer group opportunities to support the Mount Sanitas Trail and raising more than $100,000 to support area trail and ecological restoration,” said Alyson Duffey, BOSC executive director. “This grant is a major boost for our partnership with Open Space and Mountain Parks, and we will continue to inspire the community and visitors to join the collective stewardship of one of Boulder's most beloved, iconic areas.”