Open Space and Mountain Parks Frequently Asked Questions
Open Space and Mountain Parks manages 155 miles of trails and receives millions of visits each year. Answers to common questions from visitors are below. You may also Contact OSMP through Inquire Boulder if you have further questions.
How can I tell which trails are difficult/easy to help plan a visit to Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP)?
Check out the Trail Difficulty and Access Information Interactive Map. It shows trails classified by difficulty rating and has information on trail grade, cross-slope, width and shade cover, plus a photo of each trail.
Dress in layers and be prepared with rain gear, lots of water and sun protection. Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are important to protect your skin and eyes at high altitude. During fall, winter and spring, you may encounter icy sections of trail, especially in shaded, steep areas, so you may want to bring traction devices for your shoes/boots. And don’t forget about your dog! Dogs can suffer from heat exhaustion, pad injuries and dehydration, just like humans. If you’re bringing your dog with you, be sure to bring enough water for them to drink and a portable water bowl.
Information about Voice and Sight Tags can be found at VoiceandSight.org.
Please check the interactive trail map. It is updated when the trails are re-opened, even on weekends. Sometimes, it can take several days of sunny, dry weather for muddy trails to dry out.
Please submit a request through Inquire Boulder. Be sure to include a specific location, photo, or map with the location marked. This helps staff respond in a timely manner.
Many different activities on OSMP lands require a permit. Detailed information about permits is available at OSMPPermits.org. Unsure of which permit you might need? Answer a few questions in the guide to find out if you need a Commercial Use, Special Use and/or Film Permit.
Most OSMP trailheads are closed to vehicles between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. The exceptions are: the Halfway House and Panorama Point parking areas on Flagstaff Mountain, which are closed 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. and Chapman Drive Trailhead which is closed dusk to dawn.
The vehicle length limit for Flagstaff Road is 30 feet. The road has several hairpin turns and it is not recommended for larger vehicles.
No camping is allowed on Open Space and Mountain Parks, with the exception of: Fourth of July Trailhead and a small associated campground, which are located approximately 30 miles west of Boulder at an elevation of approximately 10,100 feet. Learn more about the campground.
For non-emergencies please contact City of Boulder dispatch at (303)-441-3333 and request an OSMP City Ranger, or contact our main office at (303)-441-3440 Monday-Friday 8am-5pm.
Teachers, scout troops and community groups can request free individual programs from Open Space and Mountain Parks naturalists. Visit the Request an Environmental Education Program page to learn more.