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Open Space and Mountain Parks

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.

OSMP Alerts

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Alerts: If you plan to visit Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP), strict adherence to six-feet of social distancing and compliance with open space rules and regulations are mandatory. Keep the "space" in "open space!" OSMP trails and restrooms remain open. Shelters and picnic areas are closed. View other OSMP closures and cancellations related to COVID-19.

Si usted planea visitar: Las actividades al aire libre están permitidas bajo la orden estatal de Quedarse en Casa, con estrictas medidas de acojerse a las reglas y regulaciones de los espacios abiertos y el distanciamiento social. Los refugios y áreas de picnic de OSMP permanecerán cerrados. Para más información. pdf 

Stay-up-to-date: Visit OSMP's interactive trails map to see historic data that shows areas of high and low use and OSMP trails that are wider than 6 feet.

OSMP would like to remind visitors of these other important guidelines:

  • Don't forget! Maintain a physical distance of at least six feet between anyone not of the same household.
  • Stay home if you are feeling sick.
  • Plan your visit carefully. Expect trailheads to be busy and usually full. Avoid crowds by arriving early.
  • Visit parks close to home. Minimize travel. Download the Boulder Area Trails App to view local trails. 
  • Keep first responders safe. Don't take risks. 
  • Be responsible and courteous. Pick up after your dog and “Leave No Trace.”
  • Stay on trail unless you need to step off to let others pass.
  • Muddy conditions exist across OSMP’s trail system. Please continue to walk through muddy areas. 

Please follow these important these hygienic practices before, during and after your visits: 

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or use hand sanitizer when hand-sinks are not available.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes into the sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Don't shake hands.
  • Disinfect equipment. 

Trail/Trailhead Closures

Please see the temporary closures page for more details on the trail closures below. OSMP's interactive trail map also shows these longer-term trail closures and restrictions: 

  • Gregory Canyon Trailhead 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.
  • Boulder Falls closure: Boulder Falls will be closed beginning 10/21 because of road construction in the area. 

Project Updates & Other Alerts

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. These OSMP closures and cancellations are effective through Thursday, April 30.

  • Parking and picnic tables at Lost Gulch and Cathedral Park on Flagstaff are closed to comply with a public health order and to limit public gatherings. 
  • City of Boulder issues emergency order prohibiting any person from organizing, promoting or staging an event or gathering of groups of 10 or more on publicly owned areas, including OSMP-managed lands, due to the coronavirus.
  • OSMP Hub at 2520 55th Street is closed. Most in-person services can be completed online. See below.
  • OSMP's Ranger Cottage is closed.
  • The Open Space Board of Trustees Monday, March 30 and Wednesday, April 8 meetings have been postponed.
  • All OSMP public programs, including Voice and Sight Tag Program education classes, nature hikes and education programs are canceled.
  • Wonderland Lake community engagement planned for late March and April (Engagement Window #3) has been postponed.
  • One-day group volunteer events and projects are also canceled. 
  • OSMP is not currently issuing new special-use permits for large groups on city-managed open space. It also advises that bookings of OSMP facilities for weddings and other events may be subject to change. Facilities are currently closed through Thursday, April 30.

OSMP permits can be obtained online:

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

Open Space and Mountain Parks Calendar

Free, public Nature Hikes and Programs can be found at NatureHikes.org.

Open Space Board of Trustees Meeting

@ 6 to 8 p.m.

The OSBT usually meets on the second Wednesday of every month. Please view the agenda for meeting information, including start time and location.

Open Space Board of Trustees Meeting

@ 6 to 8 p.m.

The OSBT usually meets on the second Wednesday of every month. Please view the agenda for meeting information, including start time and location.

Open Space Board of Trustees Meeting

@ 6 to 8 p.m.

The OSBT usually meets on the second Wednesday of every month. Please view the agenda for meeting information, including start time and location.

Open Space Board of Trustees Meeting

@ 6 to 8 p.m.

The OSBT usually meets on the second Wednesday of every month. Please view the agenda for meeting information, including start time and location.

National Night Out

OSMP Rangers will be participating in National Night Out in August, 2020.

View main city calendar for all upcoming city events, or for more events like this

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Featured Projects & Pages

Osprey with a fish it caught

Live Boulder Osprey Cam

View Boulder's live osprey camera. Get a glimpse into the lives of a pair of osprey nesting. Watch them begin nesting, feeding and raising their young.

Junior Rangers working on a trail

Junior Ranger Program

Summer jobs for teens! The Junior Ranger Program engages teens on OSMP to serve, discover and grow! All hiring is on hold because of COVID-19.

Dog on a trail wearing Voice and Sight Tag

Voice and Sight Tags

Information on how to register for the Voice and Sight Tag Program or renew your dogs' Voice and Sight Tags.

Boulder Area Trails App Logo

Boulder Area Trails App

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.

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The Boulder Trails Challenge

OSMP has designed a program to help visitors challenge themselves to hike all OSMP trails. Find tools to create your own personalized trail challenge!

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Interactive Trail Map