Boulder Valley Ranch Trailhead
People enjoy open space for physical, emotional and mental health. Remember to always be courteous. Don't forget to:
- Plan visits ahead of time and don’t park illegally at full trailhead areas.
- Remember to “keep the space in open space.” Maintain 6 feet of distance from people not in your household.
- Leave No Trace. Stay on trail and walk through mud. If you step off trail to let others pass, immediately step back on trail.
- Protect first responders. Know your limits and don’t take unnecessary risks.
- 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.
One mile north of Boulder on Highway 36, then one mile east of Highway 36 on Longhorn Road (a dirt road). The turn-off from the highway onto Longhorn Road is marked with a sign for Boulder Valley Ranch Open Space.
Please check for Trail & Area Closures.
You are responsible for knowing and complying with all closures and OSMP rules & regulations.
Parking lot on south side of Longhorn Road.
Parking - Know the Facts
It is unsafe and illegal to park in a way that:
- Blocks emergency access gate or fire lane
- Blocks pedestrian gate or driveway
- Prevents horse trailer parking
- Along any highway or a roadway where prohibited by sign
All vehicles parked in a manner described above are subject to being ticketed/towed.
Never park in the roadway.
The roadway is defined as the space between the white (fog) line and the yellow (center) line. If ANY part of your vehicle (tire, mirror) is between the white and yellow lines, your vehicle is a hazard and can be ticketed/towed immediately.
Because parking is very limited and our trailheads are quite popular, please show up early to get a parking spot.
Please keep your car doors locked and your car windows rolled up at all times while leaving your vehicle parked at OSMP trailheads. Also consider leaving important valuables at home or take them with you while visiting open space. To report suspicious activity please call City of Boulder Dispatch 303-441-3333 or Boulder County Dispatch 303-441-4444. For crimes in progress, call 911 immediately.
The Eagle (2.6 mile from Mesa Reservoir to Eagle Trailhead) and Sage Trails (1.8 mile ) form a loop between this trailhead and the Eagle Trailhead. Heading southward on the Sage Trail you can either take this loop or head westward on the Cobalt Trail below an old smelter of 1930s to 1940s vintage and connect to the Eagle Trail as it heads toward the Foothills Trailhead. Another option is to pass the Cobalt Trail (0.9 mile) and take the Eagle Trail as it turns up toward the Mesa Reservoir (the reservoir is sometimes dry). A loop hike is available in the Mesa Reservoir area by following the Hidden Valley (1.0 mile) and Mesa Reservoir Trails (0.8 mile).
This area is identified as being popular with people using wheelchairs. See the Accessible Trails Page for details.
Located at the trailhead.
No picnic facilities.
Bicycles are allowed on the Eagle and Sage Trails. Bicycles may be ridden only on those trails that are posted with the international bicycle symbol. Other bike trails on OSMP.
Learn about bringing your dog to OSMP. All dogs must be leashed in the Trailhead Leash Area. Beyond the trailhead, dog control requirements vary from trail to trail, so carefully watch for dog regulation signs at trailheads and trail intersections. On most OSMP trails in this area, dogs must be on a hand-held leash at all times unless they meet the voice and sight control standard and display a City of Boulder Voice and Sight tag. Dog excrement removal is required by law.
Allowed on most trails. Off-trail riding is discouraged to protect rare plants and wildlife habitat. Learn more about riding your horse on OSMP.
There is an abundance of raptors: eagles, northern harriers, red-tailed hawks may be observed. Mule deer and coyotes are frequently sighted. Many snakes can be found in this area including rattlesnakes and bull snakes.
Boulder Valley Ranch is home to a fragile plant community on the black "Shale Barren" soils. Bell's Twinpod is a very rare plant that is unique to shale soils of Front Range Colorado.
- Present working and historic ranch.
- Remnants of a smelter on the south side of Longhorn Road.
- The 1990 Olde Stage fire burned in this area.
- Silverlake Ditch fed Mesa Reservoir until abandoned. Mesa Reservoir is now dry.