Open Space and Mountain Parks
Boulder's Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) are a very special place. The open space lands teem with native plants and wildlife and are home to threatened and endangered species. They serve as a buffer between Boulder and nearby development. They sustain agriculture uses and add untold benefits to the natural environment - clean air, water, and earth.
The lands shape the urban mosaic of the Boulder Valley and provide residents with passive recreation opportunities. Trails are used by walkers, hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders, dog walkers and other passive recreational uses.
Always bring a face covering when you leave home and maintain 6 feet of distance
- You will need a face covering to visit Boulder’s open space trails and parks. Always bring one with you when you leave home.
- Place it over your nose and mouth when you can’t maintain 6 feet of distance from others.
- Wear it around your neck or wrist when no one else is around.
- Parents should help children older than 2 years old properly wear a face covering.
- Help protect vulnerable community members and each other.
Don’t forget: Keep the space in open space! Always stay at least 6 feet from others you don’t live with or haven’t agreed to have close contact with.
Please follow these other responsible recreation reminders:
- Visit OSMPTrails.org to see current trail closures, historical data that shows areas of high and low open space use and trails that are wider than 6 feet. See when trails are busiest through our Visitation Data Explorer.
- Protect first responders. Know your limits and don’t take unnecessary risks.
- Plan ahead and consider recreating closer to home as parking is extremely limited - especially on Flagstaff Mountain.
- Remember: Leave No Trace! Pick up trash and dog waste. Stay on trail and walk through mud. Step off if you need to maintain distance but quickly step back on trail.
- For more responsible recreation reminders, please visit the Covid-19 Recovery page.
- Settlers Park Trailhead closure: The trailhead will be closed on Wed. Aug. 12 for maintenance work. Trails will remain open.
- 1st/2nd Flatiron Trail closed: The trail will be closed 8 am-4:30 pm Mon-Thurs weekly, beginning Aug. 3.
- South Boulder Creek Trail section closed: The soft-surface trail south of Bobolink Trailhead is closed through Aug. 13.
- Xcel Energy work continuing near NCAR/Bear Canyon: Please visit OSMPProjects.org for details.
- Anemone Trail intermittent closures: Please visit OSMPProjects.org for project and closure details.
- Gregory Canyon restroom closed: The restroom is temporarily closed because of maintenance issues.
- Muddy trail closures: Please check the trail map or temporary closures page for any muddy trail closures.
COVID-19 closures and cancellations: Many OSMP community programs, such as nature hikes and education programs, have been suspended. City parks and OSMP trails will remain open. The city also has closed all city buildings and facilities to the public. Learn more about other city services through the city’s COVID19 (novel coronavirus) webpage. Here are current updates regarding OSMP programs:
- OSMP Hub at 2520 55th Street is closed. Most in-person services can be completed online.
- OSMP's Ranger Cottage and the Flagstaff Nature Center are currently closed.
- OSMP public programs, including in person Voice and Sight Tag Program education classes, nature hikes and education programs are currently canceled. Sign up for program communications at NatureHikes.org. The Voice and Sight Education Course is now available online. Visit VoiceandSight.org to learn more and to complete the education requirement
- One-day group volunteer events and projects have begun, visit VolunteerOSMP.org for registration.
- Picnic tables and shelters are open. The interior of the Halfway House and Green Mountain Lodge remain closed. If you are engaging in outdoor activities with people outside your household, limit group size to 10 or fewer, and make sure there is at least 6 feet of physical distance between all people at all times. If unable to maintain 6 feet of distance, visitors are required to wear a face covering.
OSMP permits can be obtained online:
- Voice and Sight Tags. Please note: Tags can only be obtained if you have completed program requirements, such as attending an education class.
- Parking Permits.
- Shelter & Facility Rentals. Please note: OSMP advises that bookings of OSMP facilities for weddings and other events may be subject to change. Facilities are currently closed through June 30.
- Woodlot Contracts/Firewood Program.
Learn more about OSMP's permit programs.
Prairie Dog public process: The City of Boulder has begun an expedited review of how it manages irrigated agricultural fields and prairie dogs later and is seeking input on ways it can foster healthy soils and promote sustainable agricultural land uses. Learn more.
Tall Oatgrass Management Program: Grazing and its associated livestock fencing are an important part of a continuing OSMP restoration project to help contain tall oatgrass – a highly invasive, non-native grass – in the area.
Purchase OSMP annual parking permits online: Visitors whose vehicles are registered outside of Boulder County can now purchase OSMP annual parking permits online. Learn more about parking permits.
Free, public Nature Hikes and Programs can be found at NatureHikes.org.
Featured Projects & Pages
The City of Boulder is completing an expedited review of how it manages irrigated agricultural fields and prairie dogs.
The City of Boulder and 11 other agencies created a mobile trails application that provides access to all trail information in and around Boulder County.
Information on how to register for the Voice and Sight Tag Program or renew your dogs' Voice and Sight Tags.
Learn about the science being conducted by OSMP and independent researchers.
OSMP's Visitation Data Explorer provides a dynamic interface for exploring current data from our fleet of long-term trail counters.
OSMP is developing Integrated Site Projects (ISPs) for several specific OSMP locations, including the Wonderland Lake area, Gebhard property and Gunbarrel Hill.
Interactive Trail Map