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

OSMP Ranger Naturalists

OSMP Ranger Naturalists

Open Space and Mountain Park Rangers work to protect the over 155 miles of trails and 45,000 acres of rich and diverse public landscapes here in Boulder that have been preserved. Wildlife habitat, unique geological features, greenways and tall grass prairies are all part of the scenery here. Every year, these varied lands see more than an estimated 5 million visits – that’s more than Rocky Mountain National Park! Rangers take pride in safeguarding the city’s natural and cultural resources, along with protecting the thousands of visitors who access Boulder’s public lands every day.

In order to provide the best service possible, all Rangers are required to maintain several certifications that allow them to respond and handle the variety of calls that occur every day. They are required to be state certified peace officers, emergency medical responders and red carded wildland fire fighters. They are also trained environmental educators, which enables them to serve as stewards of the land, helping to educate the public about Boulder’s rich wildlife habitats and its diverse ecosystems.

What do Rangers do?

Search and Rescue

Rangers, with the assistance of Rocky Mountain Rescue and Fire Fighters, assist with hundreds of search and rescue calls every year. These calls range in severity from a person stuck on a rock to serious falls and other medical emergencies. If you find yourself in need of assistance, do not hesitate to call for help. Agencies involved in the rescue response DO NOT charge fees for rescue services. There are NO COSTS associated with rescue unless your injuries require an ambulance ride to the hospital (you would be responsible for medical expense accrued during ambulance transport and while at the hospital).

Photo of a search and rescue

Wildland Fire Response

In addition to handling small grass fires and illegal campfires every year, Rangers have been among the first responders on every major wildland fire in Boulder County for the last 10 years. That includes the 2009 Old Stage Fire, the 2010 Dome Fire and the 2012 Flagstaff Fire. Most recently, Rangers helped to fight the Cold Springs fire in Nederland in 2016.

Photo of wildland fire

Law Enforcement

OSMP Rangers work closely with the Boulder Police Department and the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office to handle hundreds of law enforcement reports from municipal violations to warrant arrests. In addition, we are proud to have six Rangers that are instructors in the following disciplines: Firearms, Defensive Tactics, Driving, CPR and First Aid.

Photo of a Ranger on patrol

Environmental Education

Rangers work closely with the OSMP education and outreach team to provide natural selections programs and hikes for the public as well as schoolchildren in the area. Visit for more information and opportunities offered year round!

Photo of Ranger with visitors and a horse

Ecosystem Management

OSMP Rangers partner closely with local organizations and the OSMP volunteer program to organize and promote events that help keep Open Space and Mountain Parks pristine. Rangers routinely close social trails, restore heavily used areas in need of rehabilitation, clean up trash, camps, and rehab fire pits, as well as organizing forestry events and trail clean-up opportunities. Rangers clean up and dispose of anywhere from 500-1,000 pounds of trash from the OSMP system each month.

Homeless Outreach

Rangers routinely encounter individuals experiencing homelessness on the OSMP system. Whenever possible Rangers find opportunities to provide resources which provide food, clothing, shelter and medical services. We partner with the Boulder Homeless Shelter and Bridge House to find opportunities for individuals to find employment.

Need to contact a Ranger?

For non-emergencies call our Main Office at 303-441-3440 or contact Non-Emergency Dispatch at 303-441-3333 and request a Ranger. For emergencies, please call 911.

Video: OSMP Rangers: Pride and Duty to the Resource and the Community

District Rangering

Here at OSMP our Rangers have adopted a “District Rangering” model. This practice allows us to work cooperatively with the public to help facilitate proactive problem-solving techniques. By partnering with the public our goal is to empower a sense of community on and around OSMP and to find practical, efficient, and long lasting solutions to problems that users may encounter on or around their OSMP areas. 

What District am I a part of?

With our District Policing model, your community is entirely up to you. Do you enjoy biking at Marshall Mesa and would like to see more programs in that area? Do you walk your dog at Boulder Valley Ranch and want to share concerns about that area? Our community is broad, vast, and dynamic. Our goal is to promote interactive partnerships with OSMP users which allow everyone to take shared ownership and pride in this amazing resource we call OSMP. 

How do I get involved? How do I report or make a request?

When contacting OSMP we want to make sure you get the right resource at the right time.  Please make sure to read the below information carefully so that we may address your needs quickly and appropriately.

  • 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.
  • To contact a Ranger in your community select an area from the drop down menu below and select “Contact a Ranger” (please keep in mind, Ranger schedules vary and you may not receive a response for up to three days).

What kind of things can I contact my District Ranger about?

City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks is over 45,000 acres of public owned property and a resource we all share and take pride in. District Rangering is a philosophy which allows each Ranger the ability to take a full service approach to understanding the issues within their community. Each of our Rangers is assigned a specific district within OSMP, increasing their ability to understand and establish a unique approach for the needs of that community. We want to hear what you have to say. Some common requests include:

  • Education programs in your area
  • Increased patrols
  • Complaints or Concerns
  • Questions
  • Organize Ranger Meet Ups 
  • Report offenses (non-emergency)

Boulder Valley Ranch/Left Hand


Including: Chautauqua, Enchanted Mesa and McClintock area trails.

View Chautauqua/Enchanted Mesa area map

Contact a Ranger

Chautauqua Trailhead

Enchanted Mesa Trailhead

Doudy Draw/Flatirons Vista

Including: Goshawk Ridge, Springbrook Loop, Fowler, Community Ditch, Doudy Draw, and Flatirons Vista Trails.

View Doudy Draw/Flatirons Vista area map

Contact a Ranger

Doudy Draw Trailhead

Flatirons Vista Trailhead

East Boulder


Including: Trails and trailheads along Flagstaff Drive.

View Flagstaff area map

Contact a Ranger

Flagstaff Mountain Trailhead


Including: East Boulder - White Rocks, East Boulder - Gunbarrel.

View Gunbarrel/East Boulder area map

Contact a Ranger

White Rocks Trailhead

Marshall Mesa

Including: Marshall Valley, Community Ditch, Greenbelt Plateau and Cowdrey Draw Trails.

View Marshall Mesa area map

Contact a Ranger

Marshall Mesa Trailhead

National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and Shanahan

Including: NCAR Bear Canyon, NCAR, Mallory Cave, Bear Canyon, Bear Peak West Ridge and Fern Canyon Trails. Shanahan North Fork, Shanahan South Fork, Bluestem Connector and Greenbriar Connector Trails.

View NCAR/Bear Canyon area map

View Shanahan Ridge area map

Contact a Ranger

Geology Along the Trails West of NCAR pdf

NCAR Trailhead Information

South Boulder Creek West Trailhead

North Foothills

Including: Hogback Ridge, Old Kiln, N. Foothills and Joder Trails, and Buckingham Park.

View North Foothills area map

Contact a Ranger

Four Mile Creek Trailhead

Foothills Trailhead

Red Rocks/Settler's Park Area

Sanitas Area

Including: Sanitas, Lion's Lair and Dakota Ridge.

View Sanitas area map

Contact a Ranger

Mt. Sanitas Trailhead

Centennial Trailhead

South Mesa

Including: Homestead, Towhee, South Mesa, South Boulder Creek West, Upper Big Bluestem, Lower Big Bluestem and Shadow Canyon Trails.

View South Mesa area map

Contact a Ranger

South Mesa Trailhead

Wonderland Lake

Including: Wonderland Lake, Wonderland Hill and N. Foothills Trails.

View Wonderland Lake area map

Contact a Ranger

Wonderland Lake Trailhead

Other OSMP Areas

Don’t see your district? Please contact us with your concerns, comments, suggestions and a Ranger will respond

OSMP Maps & Data