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Recreating Responsibly in Boulder's Open Space


Boulder's trail system boasts over 140 miles, engaging thousands of community members every day. In fact, Boulder regularly draws more visitors than many of the national parks in Colorado. With more and more people exploring Boulder's Open Space and Mountain Parks, it's important to know how to be safe to protect both you and Boulder's public lands.

Ask yourself the following questions before hitting the trail:

  • Do you have enough food and water? Staying hydrated is key. Everyone in your group - including your dogs - should have enough water for the entire trip.
  • Do you have the appropriate clothing and gear? This includes footwear, sunscreen and layers to protect against wind, rain or snow.
  • Do you know the weather? Check the forecast for your entire estimated trip time. If weather appears bad while you are on the trail, head back to your vehicle. Get to lower ground immediately if you see lighting.
  • Do you know where you are going? Research the trail beforehand and identify any closures. Bring an Open Space and Mountain Parks trail map. Stay on trail at all times to avoid wildlife encounters and maintain minimal human impact on the environment.
  • Do you have a friend you've left your plans with? Determine what time you should be back, and what time your friend should notify the authorities if you have not returned.
  • Do you have the right skills and experience to make safe choices? There is a line line between challenging yourself and making unsafe decisions. Know your limits.

If you need assistance on the trail, call 911 for help right away. Rescue agencies DO NOT charge for their rescue services.

Be prepared and create a plan before you head outdoors. Help our community enjoy and protect our public lands by recreating responsibly and leaving no trace. Visit to learn more.