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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.

What should I wear and bring when I visit OSMP?

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. 

Where can I get a Voice and Sight Tag for my dog?

Information about Voice and Sight Tags can be found at VoiceandSight.org.

  • City of Boulder residents that need to purchase a dog license and a voice and sight tag can do so either online or at the police department building, 1805 33rd St (by appointment only, call 720-564-2006 x. 4).
  • Non City of Boulder residents may purchase Voice and Sight Tags online or at the OSMP office, 2520 55th St (please check for regular office closures before visiting).

It’s been a few days since it rained/snowed, are the muddy trail closures still in effect?

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.

Who do I tell about a broken gate, downed tree, missing sign, etc. that I saw on my visit to OSMP?

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.

Do I need a permit? Which permit do I need?

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. 

Do I need a permit?

What hours are the trailheads open?

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. 

Can I drive my RV/camper up Flagstaff Road?

The vehicle length limit for Flagstaff Road is 30 feet. The road has several hairpin turns and it is not recommended for larger vehicles.

Where is the closest place to camp?

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.

What is the non-emergency dispatch phone number for the area?

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.