Current Phase

Project Overview

Starting as early as Monday, March 4, the City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Department will start construction of the Vesper Trail, a new 1.5-mile trail section that will be built on Gunbarrel Hill near the intersection of 75th Street and Lookout Road.

The new trail aims to provide improved visitor experiences in the area to support a variety of uses, protect bird nesting habitat, provide visitors views of the Front Range and the Continental Divide, and allow the public to observe ground-nesting birds in the area – including the Vesper Sparrow.

The new Vesper Trail will be built on Gunbarrel Hill northeast of Boulder and will be accessible from the East Boulder - Gunbarrel Trail


OSMP highly encourages Gunbarrel-area residents to visit to see trail closures along the East Boulder - Gunbarrel Trail that will be implemented to construct the new trail and make trail repairs in the area. The department will also place signs with closure maps and information along the East Boulder - Gunbarrel Trail to inform visitors of trail closures, which will occur between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday beginning March 11. OSMP anticipates completing the new Vesper Trail in late June 2024.

Ecological Habitat Restoration and Recreation Improvements

As part of this new trail construction project, OSMP also will:

  • Close and restore undesignated trails near the Vesper Trail that impact habitat conditions for grassland songbirds and help protect 165 acres of grasslands that support vesper sparrows, grasshopper sparrows and other ground-nesting birds.
  • Seed grassland areas with native vegetation to help improve habitat for ground-nesting birds and other wildlife species.
  • Surface the new Vesper Trail with road base to minimize erosion and reduce muddy trail conditions in the area.
  • Conduct significant trail repairs along the entire length of the East Boulder – Gunbarrel Trail from the access point at Boulderado and Cambridge Streets to 95th Street.
  • Update the access point at the intersection of Boulderado and Cambridge Streets to standardize visitor infrastructure and create a more welcoming and functional layout. This will include new waste receptacles, bike racks, interpretive signage and seating.

The construction of the new Vesper Trail is the first Gunbarrel Hill Integrated Site Plan recommendation OSMP plans to implement. Other ecological and recreational recommendations – including additional trail construction efforts – were identified in the Integrated Site Plan (ISP) process, which the City of Boulder Open Space Board of Trustees approved in 2020. The objectives of the plan include enhanced opportunities for access and enjoyment, restore and conserve the high-quality habitats on Gunbarrel Hill and partnering with the community in planning, design and stewardship efforts.