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City Urges the Community to Be Safe This Memorial Day

The City of Boulder would like to remind the community to recreate responsibly, be safe and adhere to state and local orders while celebrating Memorial Day weekend. 

Key safety measures include wearing facial coverings and maintaining six feet of distance from those in other households.  

The city is currently operating under several orders designed to protect the health and safety of our community during the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. These orders include: 

  • The State of Colorado’s Safer at Home order. Under the state’s order and local public health guidance, everyone is still encouraged to stay at home. The Safer at Home order limits recreational travel to within 10 miles of a person’s home and prohibits public and private gatherings of 10 or more people. 
  • Boulder County’s order on facial coverings, which requires community members to wear a face covering when in public anywhere in Boulder County where social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained. This applies to all parks, city paths and open space trails and trailheads. 
  • A city order approved by Boulder City Council that requires individuals to wear a face covering inside businesses that operate any public accommodation.  

While police and open space rangers continue to prioritize education of public health orders, they can issue citations for dangerous behavior, which could result in fines and penalties. Boulder County Public Health will use an education first approach to enforcement. However, authority from this order comes from Colorado Revised Statutes (“C.R.S.”) §§ 25-1-506, 508, 509, and 516. Penalties are outlined in Colorado Revised Statues C.R.S. §§ 25-1-114 and 25-1-516, including a fine of up to $5000 and imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year.

With these guidelines in mind, several Memorial Day opportunities are available with safety modifications. These include: 

  • The Park-to-Park shuttle, which will begin its service to Chautauqua on May 23, 2020. This program provides satellite parking and free shuttle service to and from Chautauqua Park to help reduce vehicular and parking impacts on the area’s neighborhoods and natural and cultural resources. This year, the shuttle has implemented safety measures to help prevent the community spread of COVID-19. Visitors can also use Lyft codes for free or discounted rides to Chautauqua. Visit Park-to-Park for more information. 
  • The Boulder Creek Festival® will be hosting a virtual marketplace over Memorial Day weekend, May 22-25. 
  • The Boulder County Farmers Market opens on Saturday, May 23, 2020. Shoppers are encouraged to read through the market’s COVID-19 response for changes, safety measures and requirements. At this time, market visitors may pre-reserve a 20-minute shopping time, ensuring access to the market. There will be limited opportunities for walk-up customers.  
  • Boulder Reservoir will be open on a very limited basis only to boat and small watercraft permit holders, and those with existing reservations at Rocky Mountain Paddle Board (RMPB).
    • As of Friday, May 22, there is no other activity available on the South shore managed recreation area. Swimming in the reservoir is not allowed; and gathering places in the managed recreation areas of the South shore, including the beach, lawns and picnic areas are closed. Dogs are not allowed in the park May 15 through Labor Day. 
    • Each boat permit holder is allowed entry for the permit holder and no more than nine people for boating only. In accordance with Safer at Home policies, if recreating with members outside the household, boaters must adhere to physical distancing and face coverings guidelines.  
    • Each small craft permit holder is allowed entry for the permit holder and one additional person.
    • RMPB visitors will be required to show confirmation of their reservation at the gate.
    • Daily entrance fees apply to all entering the facility who do not have a current Boulder Reservoir entry pass.
    • While the North Shore remains open for passive recreation (e.g., walking, running, cycling), the parking lots at the Coot Lake and the 55th Street trailhead will be closed to address illegal parking, illegal boat launching, and violation of wildlife closures while also limiting the potential for group gatherings.
  • Flatirons Golf Course will be open, but the practice range remains closed. Players must have a tee time and must pre-pay online or over the phone before arriving at the course. For more information about new protocols, visit Flatirons Golf.
  • Boulder’s city parks – with the exception of the area near Eben G. Fine Park, which is closed per an emergency order –are open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Currently, sports courts, disc golf courses and Valmont Bike Park are open and will remain so as long as visitors follow Safer at Home guidelines posted onsite and at the Boulder Parks-Rec web page. Playgrounds, picnic areas and shelters are closed under the Safer at Home order. 
  • The City of Boulder and Boulder County continue to stress that parking at Flagstaff Mountain and the Hessie Trailhead near Nederland remains extremely limited due to the high number of visitors. People who choose to recreate in those areas over Memorial Day weekend should not expect to find a parking spot – which can diminish their intended outdoor experiences – and should consider recreating as close to home as possible. The City of Boulder advises visitors that Flagstaff Mountain Summit Road is currently closed. 

If visiting one of Boulder’s parks, trails and outdoor public spaces, including Barker Reservoir, please remember to:

  • Bring a facial covering when you leave home,
  • Adhere to physical distancing requirements of at least 6 feet
  • Wear your facial covering when 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained.
  • Follow other regulations, including no open containers, smoking or fires. Please pick up dog waste and place litter/trash in appropriate bins; if bins are full, pack trash out with you. 

The city, in partnership with health officials, will continue to monitor and provide updates on COVID-19. Visit for the latest information. 

Published: May 21, 2020 


Media Contacts: 


Shannon Aulabaugh, Media Relations, 720-484-9903 

Denise White, Parks and Recreation, 303-413-7258 

Phillip Yates, Open Space and Mountain Parks, 303-349-2438