Show/Hide

The City of Boulder welcomes your feedback. Use our Inquire Boulder customer service tool to tell us what’s on your mind.

  • OSMP Trails & Recreation
  • OSMP Visitor Info
  • OSMP Get Involved
  • OSMP Nature & Restoration
  • OSMP - About
  • OSMP Kids & Families
  • OSMP Plans & Reports
  • OSMP en Español

Nature Hikes and Programs

Nature Hikes and Programs

Natural Selections is our ongoing series of educational nature programs on topics including ecology, wildlife, local history, night hikes, field workshops with local artists, star-gazing, children’s programs, plus many more. All programs are free and open to the public. Please do not bring dogs except for special dog-guardian hikes.

Do you want Natural Selections sent to you by email?  Follow this link to join our mailing list! Select "Natural Selections" from the drop down list. You will receive a weekly notice about upcoming programs. We will not share your email address or send you spam!

Teachers, scout troops and community groups can obtain free individual programs from Open Space and Mountain Parks naturalists, visit the  Request an Environmental Education Program page to learn more.

Upcoming Nature Hikes & Programs

KIDS: After School Adventures

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 | 03:30 PM | South Mesa

Join OSMP for an afternoon of exploring, climbing, splashing, and observing wildlife. After School Adventures is an opportunity for the whole family to connect with nature. Enjoy using your imagination to build, discover, and observe the natural w...

Sign Up

KIDS: Storytime Hike- Magnification

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 | 09:30 AM | Wonderland Lake

Join OSMP for an outdoor story time followed by a kid-friendly hike. This program is designed for ages 3-6, but all are welcome. Please dress for the weather and bring water, sunscreen, and a snack if you’d like. Please meet at the trailhead. Thi...

Sign Up

KIDS: Nature Play

Thursday, September 19, 2019 | 10:00 AM | Sawhill Ponds

Join OSMP for a morning of exploring, climbing, splashing, and observing wildlife. Nature play is an opportunity for the whole family to connect with nature. Enjoy using your imagination to build, discover, and observe the natural world. A great w...

Sign Up

Fall Colors on Shanahan Ridge

Thursday, September 19, 2019 | 05:30 PM |

Fall colors aren’t just for trees! The grasses of the tallgrass prairie turn lovely shades of tan, fawn, russet, wine, and maroon. Fall wildflowers add to the blaze of glory. Explore the botanical fireworks in a rare stand of tallgrass prairie wit...

Sign Up

Watercolor Workshop with Molly Davis

Friday, September 20, 2019 | 10:00 AM |

Join Boulder's master painter Molly Davis on a morning hike in the beautiful southern part of the Open Space system. Molly is an experienced plein aire and watercolorist from Boulder. She authored the book "Weekend Watercolor Workshop" and also "P...

Sign Up

Sunrise Yoga on Flagstaff Mountain

Saturday, September 21, 2019 | 08:00 AM | Flagstaff Sunrise Amphitheater

Join local certified yoga teacher Maddie Tyo for a free Vinyasa Yoga session, where we'll harmonize movement and breath to flow from one pose to the next in one of the best sunrise spots in Boulder. This all levels class will utilize the power of ...

Sign Up

Fall Colors on Shanahan Ridge - PROGRAM FULL

Saturday, September 21, 2019 | 10:00 AM |

Fall colors aren’t just for trees! The grasses of the tallgrass prairie turn lovely shades of tan, fawn, russet, wine, and maroon. Fall wildflowers add to the blaze of glory. Explore the botanical fireworks in a rare stand of tallgrass prairie wit...

Sign Up

6th Annual “Celebrating Bird Migration” Festival in Lafayette

Sunday, September 22, 2019 | 01:00 PM | Other Off-OSMP Location

Waneka Lake, Lafayette Explore the wonderful world of birds in a beautiful place! See a live Golden Eagle and other birds of prey up close and view birds in the wild through spotting scopes and binoculars. Learn about migration, marshes and the ...

Sign Up

KIDS: Crayons by the Creek!

Monday, September 23, 2019 | 10:00 AM | Bobolink

Welcome Autumn with crayons and stories by Bobolink Creek. Join naturalist Ellen Orleans for picture books, after which we’ll walk along the creek bank and settle in for coloring. Color matching, tracing leaves, or freeform drawing: there’s someth...

Sign Up

Sunset Yoga on Flagstaff Mountain

Monday, September 23, 2019 | 06:00 PM | Flagstaff Sunrise Amphitheater

Join local certified yoga teacher Rebekah Boatrite for a free Vinyasa Yoga session celebrating the unity of the autumnal equinox. This all levels class will utilize the power of nature to connect to ourselves and the natural world. Please bring yo...

Sign Up

Passionate about Prairie? Jewel Mountain Tour

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 | 09:00 AM |

Journey through the prairie landscape of Jewel Mountain, one of OSMP’s more remote, diverse and resilient prairies, normally closed to the public except on staff-led hikes. Plant ecologist Lynn Riedel and naturalist Lynne Sullivan will guide you t...

Sign Up

KIDS: After School Adventures

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 | 03:30 PM | Enchanted Mesa

Join OSMP for an afternoon of exploring, climbing, splashing, and observing wildlife along the Lower McClintock Trail. After School Adventures is an opportunity for the whole family to connect with nature. Enjoy using your imagination to build, di...

Sign Up

KIDS: Storytime Hike- Nature Detectives

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 | 09:30 AM | Wonderland Lake

Join OSMP for an outdoor story time followed by a kid-friendly hike. This program is designed for ages 3-6, but all are welcome. Please dress for the weather and bring water, sunscreen, and a snack if you’d like. Please meet at the trailhead. Thi...

Sign Up

Community Seed Collection Project

Thursday, September 26, 2019 | 08:30 AM | Other Off-OSMP Location

--- Project Site: TBD Parking/Registration: TBD Project Contact: TBD Project Volunteers will join staff in collecting native seed for future restoration projects. More detail will be shared once the collection date nears. Please know th...

Sign Up

KIDS: Nature Play

Thursday, September 26, 2019 | 10:00 AM | Flagstaff Summit West

Join OSMP for a morning of exploring, climbing and observing wildlife. Nature play is an opportunity for the whole family to connect with nature. Enjoy using your imagination to build, discover, and observe the natural world. A great way for child...

Sign Up

KIDS: White Rocks Wonderland

Saturday, September 28, 2019 | 09:00 AM |

Enjoy a gentle kid-friendly 2-mile hike to see the White Rocks, an area so fragile and precious that it is ordinarily closed to visitation. This two-hour amble with hands-on games and activities will include a geology story as seen in the rocks, ...

Sign Up

Cuentos de la Naturaleza

Saturday, September 28, 2019 | 10:00 AM | Wonderland Lake

Cuarto Sábado del mes (Mayo – Octubre) Los Naturalistas de OSMP estarán leyendo cuentos en español para niños pequeños y sus padres. Vengan a aprender del mundo natural y a descubrir lo que está pasando en cada estación por los senderos. Prepáren...

Sign Up

Little Town on the Prairie: Ranger Paula’s Wild Adventures

Sunday, September 29, 2019 | 09:30 AM | South Boulder Creek Access

Join OSMP naturalists Dave Sutherland and Jenny Natapow on a wild adventure as we explore Boulder’s vibrant tall grass prairie ecosystem, at the peak of its fall brilliance. Our prairie explorations will include a special excursion through a blac...

Sign Up

White Rocks with a Wildlife Focus

Tuesday, October 01, 2019 | 08:30 AM |

67 million years ago a river delta and beach at the edge of a shallow sea made possible today’s amazing White Rocks landscapes. This is one of the most unique places in Boulder, rich in local history, housing plants and animals of exceptional loca...

Sign Up

Forestry Project - Project CANCELLED

Thursday, October 03, 2019 | 09:00 AM | Other OSMP Location

Update: PROJECT CANCELLED due to project change for the OSMP forestry team. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Sign Up

Homestead History Hike

Saturday, October 05, 2019 | 08:30 AM | South Mesa

Join naturalist Debbie Cushman for an adventure back in time and discover the history of the homesteaders in the South Boulder foothills area. We will explore the remains of historic cabins and hear tales of old on our journey: the deadly feud bet...

Sign Up

The Music of Landscapes: Gritty & Pretty

Sunday, October 06, 2019 | 02:00 PM | Shanahan Ridge / Lehigh

Rich with meaning and memories, our favorite landscapes speak to us in many ways: joy, beauty, nostalgia, awe, even dissonance. How do composers capture the essence of the land in music? At its next concert, the Boulder Philharmonic will explore b...

Sign Up

Community Seed Collection Project

Thursday, October 10, 2019 | 09:00 AM | Other Off-OSMP Location

--- Project Site: TBD Parking/Registration: TBD Project Contact: TBD Project Volunteers will join staff in collecting native seed for future restoration projects. More detail will be shared once the collection date nears. Please know th...

Sign Up

Escape to White Rocks!

Saturday, October 12, 2019 | 09:30 AM | White Rocks/Weiser

Enjoy an easy 2-mile hike to see the White Rocks, an area so fragile and precious that it is ordinarily closed to visitation. This three-hour- hike will include a geology story as seen in the rocks, an exploration of several microhabitats and a s...

Sign Up

The Music of Landscapes: Gritty & Pretty

Saturday, October 12, 2019 | 10:00 AM | Shanahan Ridge / Lehigh

Rich with meaning and memories, our favorite landscapes speak to us in many ways: joy, beauty, nostalgia, awe, even dissonance. How do composers capture the essence of the land in music? At its next concert, the Boulder Philharmonic will explore b...

Sign Up

KIDS: Going Batty!

Saturday, October 12, 2019 | 05:00 PM |

Goblins, ghosts, rats and BATS - it's that time of year when thoughts turn to creatures of the night. Join OSMP naturalists Big-Eared Betty and Batty Chica for an easy hike where you will learn the truth about vampires and hear all about how bats ...

Sign Up

OSMP from A to Z: Explore Your Open Space!

Sunday, October 13, 2019 | 10:00 AM | Flagstaff Nature Center

Whether you’re new to Boulder, a long-time resident, or a visitor just passing through, this moderate hike will teach you why OSMP is such a special place. We’ll sample a smattering of OSMP’s history, geology, flora and fauna. You’ll gain a new ap...

Sign Up

October Moonshine

Sunday, October 13, 2019 | 07:00 PM |

Ohhh, what a little moonlight can do! Experience nature by night while walking under the silvery light of the full Hunter’s Moon with naturalist Dave Sutherland. We’ll share legends, stories and hard science about our nearest celestial neighbor. C...

Sign Up

Homestead History Hike

Friday, October 18, 2019 | 08:30 AM | South Mesa

Join naturalist Debbie Cushman for an adventure back in time and discover the history of the homesteaders in the South Boulder foothills area. We will explore the remains of historic cabins and hear tales of old on our journey: the deadly feud bet...

Sign Up

Passionate about Prairie? Jewel Mountain Tour

Saturday, October 19, 2019 | 09:00 AM |

Journey through the prairie landscape of Jewel Mountain, one of OSMP’s more remote, diverse and resilient prairies, normally closed to the public except on staff-led hikes. Naturalists Lynne Sullivan and Dave Sutherland will guide you through an i...

Sign Up

Community Seed Collection Project

Thursday, November 14, 2019 | 09:30 AM | Other Off-OSMP Location

--- Project Site: TBD Parking/Registration: TBD Project Contact: TBD Project Volunteers will join staff in collecting native seed for future restoration projects. More detail will be shared once the collection date nears. Please know th...

Sign Up