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OSMP Projects

The City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Department will highlight large projects for 2020 on this page. 

Boulder Star closure to remain in effect

Oct. 20, 2020: Open Space and Mountain Parks will continue an existing closure around the Boulder Star area on Flagstaff Mountain and will replace temporary fencing with reinforced wood fencing in the area. These actions seek to help restore vegetative growth in the mostly barren Boulder Star area and come amid ongoing safety and ecological concerns, along with COVID-19 precautions to discourage large group gatherings.

No designated trail currently leads to the Boulder Star area, which sees large gatherings during the winter. The star is located on steep terrain that has sustained significant plant and erosion damage because of increasing visitation – leading to numerous wildlife habitat disturbances. Learn more about the Boulder Star closure.

Continuing Xcel transmission infrastructure project will lead to long-term & intermittent trail closures

Effective Oct. 25, the section of the Mesa Trail between Mallory Cave and Fern Canyon, and the NCAR-Bear Canyon Trail are closed while Xcel addresses a public safety issue. 

Xcel Energy is continuing its multi-phased project to replace and reconstruct most of its electric transmission infrastructure southwest of Boulder and is anticipated to begin the next phase of its work on the National Center of Atmospheric Research (NCAR) property and city open space next week. If you have a question or comment regarding this work, please send an email to [email protected] or call 303-571-7089. For more information, please visit Xcel Energy's webpage.

This electric transmission work will occur on the company's right-of-way and permitted access routes on federal and city open space lands and will require a long-term closure of the NCAR-Bear Connector Trail on federal lands. Visitors along the NCAR-Bear Canyon, Bear Canyon and Mesa trails may also see intermittent full-day closures and one-hour closures while work is underway. OSMP highly encourages visitors and climbers interested in accessing Bear Canyon and trails on the NCAR property to visit OSMP’s interactive web map.

Visitors may see heavy construction equipment while this utility work is occurring and this project will include the use of helicopters. Influenced by several factors – including the transmission line’s location, electrical service requirements, weather and raptor nesting closures – Xcel Energy anticipates that elements of this phase of the project may last through December 31, 2020.

Community Ditch Trail reroute work occurring in September, 2020

A portion of the Community Ditch Trail, from the junction with Cowdrey Draw downhill toward Marshall Valley, will be rerouted during the month of September. This project aims to improve trail sustainability and restore a wetland that the trail currently bisects. The existing trail will remain open while the reroute is built. 

Anemone Hill Trail Construction

Trail Closures - updated July 9, 2020

Why are trail closures needed?

Mechanized equipment, rock blasting, rockfall, and other construction hazards necessitate closure of Anemone Hill trails during construction hours.

Anemone Hill trails are expected to be open evenings and weekends.

Nearby trails, especially around the Centennial and Settlers Park Trailheads and the Red Rocks Area, will have short-term closures when heavy equipment and helicopters are operating in the area to support the Anemone Hill project.

July update: A section of Red Rocks Trail heading south out of Centennial Trailhead will be closed beginning July 14, 2020 because of heavy equipment operating on-site. This section of trail will be closed 5am-5pm each day Mon-Fri for an estimated 2-3 weeks. A detour is available. 

View a map of the additional trail closures effective July 14 pdf.

View a map of trail closures during construction pdf.

PLEASE DO NOT ENTER CLOSURE AREAS OR REMOVE CLOSURE FENCES AND SIGNS  – doing so puts yourself and other visitors at risk, slows down construction, and increases project costs. No trespassing in closure areas. Violators will be ticketed and fined up to $1000 and/or 90 days in jail.

Anemone Hill project update, June 4, 2020 

Trail construction has started! The crew has mobilized equipment to the site, and begun work on a large stone retaining wall and stone stairs. Here, the crew is preparing a stone that has been drilled and split to be moved by cable to the project site.

Trail construction work



Anemone Hill

Project Overview

What work is being done?

OSMP is constructing a new three-mile loop trail – this new route will bring people to many of the existing popular locations on Anemone Hill, and some new areas. Additionally, existing undesignated trails in the area that are in poor condition and which negatively impact habitat will be closed and re-vegetated to reduce impacts to the environment.

View a map of the planned project pdf.

What can I expect to see during the project?

  • Mechanized equipment is being used for this project. Helicopters are expected to be used for mobilizing materials for some aspects of the work.Trail work with machine
  • Rockfall control fencing will be installed on the eastern part of Anemone Hill – this is needed to prevent rockfall over Boulder Canyon during construction. This barrier will be removed before project completion.

When is this project occurring?

The project will start as early as Thursday, May 14, 2020 and is expected to take approximately two years to complete.

Why is this project being done? 

The new trail will replace existing trails, which have significant erosion and widening issues. These issues are negative impacts to the surrounding environment and are impossible for OSMP to adequately maintain. OSMP trail staff and ecologists have collaborated on the trail design with the goal of providing a fantastic recreational opportunity for trail users while minimizing negative impacts to the environment and habitat.

The Anemone Hill project is part of the OSMP West Trail Study Area (WTSA) pdf management plan, which was approved by OSMP’s Board of Trustees and Boulder’s City Council and involved significant public input. 


Trails 2020: A Public Open House

Volunteers working on a trail

OSMP held a community open house on Thursday, Feb. 27, to inform community members of upcoming trail projects and maintenance efforts that OSMP will conduct in 2020.

View posters from the open house pdf.

This in-person learning experience informed community members of trail building, repair and maintenance efforts and featured information on:

  • Planned construction that will extend the Anemone Trail into a 3-mile trail loop west of Boulder.
  • Upcoming work along the Cottontail Trail northeast of Boulder, which will help OSMP to complete major maintenance work along the important commuter path.
  • Continuing trail projects along popular paths, including the Mount Sanitas Trail, Tenderfoot Trail, 1st-2nd Flatiron Trail, and the junction area of Fern Canyon and Mesa Trails.
  • Information on how OSMP completes full-sweeps of its 155-mile trail system to prioritize trail repairs, and volunteering on trail projects will also be available.
  • The new Boulder Area Trail App, which provides information on OSMP trails along with paths managed by 11 other Boulder-area agencies. OSMP also will highlight its interactive trail map and an online tool that shows which OSMP trails that receive the most AND least visits.