Renting Picnic Shelters and Facilities

Open Space & Mountain Parks has several picnic shelters and facilities available to rent. Please read this information thoroughly to help answer questions and to understand the rules and regulations.

Reserving a Facility

Should you choose to rent a facility, completing the online registration acknowledges that you understand and accept all the information included here and on the facility use permit.

How to rent a picnic shelter or facility

Choose a Facility to Reserve

Review the Facility Descriptions below to ensure the facility you choose can accommodate your event. It is recommended that you visit the facility of your choice before making a reservation to ensure it will accommodate your event needs.

Review the Rules & Regulations

OSMP is grateful to provide several shelters and facilities to accommodate group gatherings that also foster appreciation and use that sustain the natural values of the land for current and future generations. Reservation holders must understand and agree to abide by the rules and regulations before starting the online reservation process to ensure your planned event can take place while allowing us to preserve and protect the natural environment and land resources that characterize Boulder.

Reserve Online

Our self-service reservation calendar shows all reservation time blocks available to reserve. We regret we are unable to manage a wait list for time blocks that have already been reserved (will not show as available to book).

Facility Descriptions

Facilities are not reserved on the following holidays: Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, or New Year's Day.

There is NO ELECTRICITY OR WATER available at any of the facilities. Latrine toilets are cleaned once a week on Fridays. There is no janitorial service on weekends, and no OSMP staff will be available on site for reservations. There are no other structures (changing rooms) available for event parties to use in preparation for events.

Although fires are permitted in the permanent grills and fireplaces available across OSMP unless otherwise posted, no firewood is available and collecting firewood is prohibited.

The picnic shelter located by the Chautauqua Auditorium is managed by the Boulder Chautauqua Association. Call 303-442-3282 for more information and reservations.

The grassy lawn at Chautauqua Park is managed by City of Boulder Parks and Recreation and can be reserved by calling 303-413-7200.

Aerial Map of Flagstaff Summit

NOTE: Due to safety and fire code regulations, the OSMP department cannot allow more people present than the capacities listed below or the maximum available during booking.

Facility Capacity Bathrooms Parking Picnic Tables Grills Fireplaces

Sunrise Amphitheater

100

Latrine

Yes

0

0

0

Stone Shelter

100 total, ~25 under covered shelter

Latrine

Yes

2 inside, 28 outside

3

2

Wood Shelter

100 total, ~50 under covered shelter

Latrine

Yes

2 inside, 7 outside, 1 long serving table without seating

1

0

Halfway House

49

Latrine

Yes

4 inside, 3 outside

1

1

Green Mountain Lodge

49

No

No

3 inside, 2 outside

1

2

Bluebell Shelter

50

Latrine

No

2-3 outside

0

1

Summit Facilities (closed seasonally from Oct. 31 - April 30)

Summit Facilities capacity/road limit

Maximum attendance is 100 people in any one time block for all Summit Facilities combined, and the reservation calendar availability will account for combined facility limits.

Reservations at Stone Shelter, Wood Shelter, and Sunrise Amphitheater are not available Oct. 31 through April 30 every year, and the Flagstaff Summit Road is closed to vehicles during this time.

The vehicle length limit for Flagstaff Road is 30 feet.

Sunrise Amphitheater

The Sunrise Amphitheater on the summit of Flagstaff Mountain is a popular location for weddings between May and October. Constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933-34, the Amphitheater is a rustic outdoor facility made from local stone. It features a large circular area, a small stage, tiered stone amphitheater seating, and magnificent views.

The Sunrise Amphitheater is located at the east end of the Flagstaff summit area beneath the large flagpole.

Wheelchair accessible to seating area; the 6’ wide crusher fines path is about 200’ long with a grade of 7-8% the whole way. (For wheelchair accessibility to the stage, please notify the OSMP Administration Office 303-441-3440 for a ramp.)

Stone Shelter

Originally known as the Flagstaff Shelter House, this facility was constructed by the Boulder Lions Club in 1933. It is a roofed moss rock structure with two fireplaces and open-air windows, and a covered area for about 25 people (dimensions 33' X 21').

Wood (Jaycee) Shelter

This facility is located on the summit of Flagstaff Mountain across from the Stone Shelter. It is a covered, open-air wooden facility for approximately 50 people, with nearby uncovered picnic tables that is available for group picnics and other events. The shelter is wheelchair accessible from the same parking lot and path access as the Ute/Sensory Trail along a dirt/pine needle path that is about 140’ long with a grade of 4-6%.

Other Open Space and Mountain Parks Facilities (Available year-round)

Halfway House

The Halfway House is an enclosed stone facility that is available by reservation for groups of up to 49 people. Originally known as the Panorama Park Shelter House, the facility was rebuilt in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, replacing a structure that was originally built by the Lions Club in 1919. The Halfway House is a popular location for weddings and picnics and has a lovely stone patio that affords magnificent views of the Boulder Valley. The inside has covered seating for approximately 40 people (dimensions: 43' X 26').

The patio is wheelchair accessible via a short trail from the parking area; the structure itself and the latrines (150 yards south) are not. The Halfway House is located across from the Flagstaff Restaurant, about 1.2 miles up Flagstaff Road on the east side.

PARKING LIMITED, CAR POOLING STRONGLY RECOMMENDED (only eight parking spaces)

(Facility key needs to be picked up from our administrative operations building during business hours prior to reservation. This facility has a $100 fee if the key isn’t returned within 3 business days of the reservation.)

Indoors of facilities are cleaned once per week. Users are expected to clean and pack out all trash and debris from the facility at the end of their reservation. Cleaning staff will not sanitize surfaces between reservations, but users are welcome to sanitize the space upon arrival.

Green Mountain Lodge – hike in only

1/4 mile south of Realization Point on Ranger Trail (hike in only). Historic Green Mountain Lodge was built in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to be enjoyed by the people of Boulder for special events, camps, programs and parties. It is a historical landmark and is an element of the Boulder County Flagstaff Mountain Cultural Landscape District. The building features two operational fireplaces with fireplace tools and an outdoor patio.

NOTE: NO RESTROOM OR TRASH RECEPTACLES. Trash generated must be packed out with group, and nearest restrooms are ~1 mile hike to Flagstaff Summit East. No overnight camping is allowed.

(Facility key needs to be picked up from our administrative operations building during business hours prior to reservation. This facility has a $100 fee if the key isn’t returned within 3 business days of the reservation.)

Indoors of facilities are cleaned once per week. Users are expected to clean and pack out all trash and debris from the facility at the end of their reservation. Cleaning staff will not sanitize surfaces between reservations, but users are welcome to sanitize the space upon arrival.

Bluebell Shelter – hike in only

3/4 mile south of Chautauqua Trailhead on Bluebell Road (hike in only). The Bluebell Shelter is a covered, open-air stone facility available for group picnics and other activities. It was constructed by the Lions Club in 1921. It is located at the end of Bluebell Road, a closed emergency access road that originates at the entrance to Chautauqua Park. The shelter has covered seating for approximately 15 people (dimensions - shelter and patio - 46' X 26') and features a small outdoor amphitheater. The nearest latrines to the shelter are 100 yards downhill.

Small Facilities

There are a number of picnic tables and charcoal grills throughout Open Space and Mountain Parks that are available for public use. These do not require reservations and may be used on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Facility Rental Rules, Regulations and Terms

OSMP facilities are patrolled by local law enforcement agencies. All applicable rules and regulations, including state statutes and city ordinances, are enforced. Maximum capacities by shelter or facility can be found under Shelter & Facility Descriptions.

  • A facility reservation permit only permits for commercial photography within the designated facility. Commercial photographers for events that have OSMP facility reservations must follow all separate Commercial Use Permit terms and conditions regarding photography taking place on OSMP lands outside the designated facility permit reservation area.
  • Tents, shade tents, nets, barrels, freestanding arches, and structures of any kind are prohibited. Arches used in religious ceremonies will need to be held by participants for the entire duration of their use.
  • Posting any type of sign on OSMP property is prohibited. Under no circumstances are signs, balloons, or any other items to be nailed, pinned, stapled, or otherwise attached to any tree, park sign, facility, and/or placed along the roadways.
  • No flower petals, rice, confetti, birdseed, straw, glitter, or other unsecured materials shall be used at events; doing so is constituted as littering.
  • No releasing of animals (wildlife or domestic) or balloons (helium or other) is allowed.
  • Drone use (launching, landing, and operating of drones) is prohibited on all OSMP properties for hobby, recreational, or commercial purposes.
  • Be prepared to pack out all trash. Groups must remove their trash when trash receptacles are full.
  • Glass containers are prohibited in any areas of OSMP (wine glasses, champagne bottles and vases included). The use and breaking of glass for religious ceremonies will be permitted only if done on a sturdy tarp and all glass is contained and removed.
  • Fires, open flames, ignition sources or smoke-producing devices of any kind are prohibited unless confined within a fireplace or grill permanently erected by the city for such purpose. All firewood and charcoal to be used in a permanent fireplace or grill on site must be furnished by the person(s) reserving the facility. Collecting wood or creating ground fires is strictly prohibited. Fireplaces and associated grills must be left in a clean condition, and fires must be fully extinguished and cold before leaving the area. Fuel containers used to heat warming/chafing dishes, fuel powered generators, and fuel powered lanterns are also not permitted.
  • Please note: Fire bans may be in effect at any time that prohibit fires or ignition sources of any type, including what has been allowed in a permit. Check the Boulder County Fire Restrictions page in advance of the event for any fire bans.
  • Destruction, damage, or removal of any vegetation or defacement of property is prohibited. Permit holders will be charged for the cost of repairs, and any violator of city regulations will be prosecuted.
  • The applicant is prohibited from raising funds, charging admission, or providing private training for pay unless combined with an OSMP Commercial Use Permit.
  • Use of live bands and amplification is restricted. If it is determined that noise is disturbing other visitors, the persons responsible will be asked to lower the noise and/or terminate the event and may be charged an additional fee for the services of the noise control officer(s) and will be responsible for any violations of city regulations.
  • All vehicles not registered in Boulder County must have a parking permit. Parking is permitted only in designated parking spots and roadside parking areas.
  • Food trucks and other large commercial vehicles are prohibited from parking or operating on Flagstaff Summit. There are no designated parking spaces for shuttle buses near the facilities/shelters and space for shuttle bus parking cannot be guaranteed along Flagstaff Road. Loading and unloading of vehicles must be done from designated parking lot areas and all vehicles are prohibited from idling.
  • Facilities must be left in a clean and orderly condition. Applicant will be required to pay for all damages, losses, and costs associated with excessive clean up. For enclosed facilities, windows and doors must be closed and locked, and tables and other equipment must be replaced in their original location.
  • City ordinance prohibits smoking on OSMP (including the use of electronic smoking devices).

No permit shall be issued except upon satisfactory assurance that the use of the facility will be under the direct supervision of an adult.

Applicant agrees to the following by reserving an OSMP shelter or facility:

  1. I/We certify that I/We have read and understand all of the above Regulations.
  2. I/We agree to comply with each of the Regulations.
  3. I/We agree to indemnify and hold harmless the City of Boulder, and all of its officers, employees, agents and representatives from any and all losses, claims, demands, judgments, costs and expenses, including attorney ‘s fees, arising out of any accident or occurrence causing injury to any person or property whomsoever or whatsoever due directly or indirectly to the event or maintenance of the facility during the term of the Permit. I/We further release and forever discharge the City of Boulder and all of its officers, employees, agents and representatives from all liability, claims and demands, actions and causes of action, damages, costs, payments and expense of any kind, nature or description, whether based in tort, contract, statutory or other theories of liability, arising out of the event or the Permit for the event.
  4. I/We agree to immediately reimburse the City of Boulder for any costs or repairs incurred as a result of the event.
  5. I/We acknowledge that a violation or an infraction could result in the issuance of a summons, fine, and/or revocation of the Permit and affect any eligibility to re-apply.

Facility Fees & Rental Time Blocks

Note: Resident refers to households that are located within the City of Boulder limits. Households located in Boulder County are considered non-residents.

*Green Mountain Lodge & Halfway House reservations have a $100 fee if the key isn't returned to the OSMP office within the timeframe stated in the reservation confirmation.

The three primary rental periods are three-hour time blocks, beginning at 10 a.m. and ending at 9 p.m. Time blocks are separated by a mandatory hour between reservations, which is not reservable and is designated for the coming and going of parties. There are also early morning, one-hour time blocks beginning at 6 a.m. and ending at 9 a.m. Early morning time blocks do not have the non-reservable hour in between reservations.

Timeframe Amphitheater Stone Shelter Wood Shelter Green Mountain Lodge* Halfway House* Bluebell Shelter

One Hour Slots:

6 a.m. –
7 a.m.

7 a.m. –
8 a.m.

8 a.m. –
9 a.m.

Resident: $100

Non-resident: $150

Resident: $50

Non-resident: $100

Resident: $50

Non-resident: $100

Resident: $50

Non-resident: $100

Resident: $50

Non-resident: $100

Resident: $50

Non-resident: $100

Three Hour Slots:

10 a.m. –
1 p.m.

2 p.m. –
5 p.m.

6 p.m. –
9 p.m.

Resident: $300

Non-resident: $400

Resident: $175

Non-resident: $275

Resident: $175

Non-resident: $275

Resident: $175

Non-resident: $275

Resident: $175

Non-resident: $275

Resident: $175

Non-resident: $275

Parking & Fees

Parking spaces are not included with nor guaranteed as part of facility reservations. Vehicles that are not registered in Boulder County are required to purchase and display a daily or annual parking permit. Daily parking permits are $5.00 each and can be purchased either day of through self-service fee stations or in advance online through the link provided in the reservation confirmation email. Purchasing permits online requires vehicle and plate information for all vehicles. Due to limited parking available and parking areas not exclusive to reservations, carpooling and shuttling is strongly encouraged.

The self-service stations only take cash (exact change) or check.

Parking spaces on Flagstaff Road and summit

  • Main Summit Lot: 28 regular, 1 ADA
  • Amphitheater: 10 regular, 3 ADA
  • Nature Center: 3 regular, 1 ADA
  • Stone Shelter/ Wood Shelter: 3 regular, 1 ADA
  • Sensory Trailhead: 3 regular, 1 ADA
  • Artist Point: 5 regular
  • Realization Point: 7 regular
  • Flagstaff Summit Road: 10 regular (about halfway up road)
  • Green Mountain Lodge: 8 regular (on road – across from Realization pt)
  • Crown Rock: 7 regular
  • Halfway House: 10 regular, 1 ADA
  • Panorama Point: 8 regular, 1 ADA
  • The vehicle length limit for Flagstaff Road is 30 feet. There are no designated parking spaces for shuttle buses near the facilities/shelters and space for shuttle bus parking cannot be guaranteed along Flagstaff Road.
  • Flagstaff Parking Map

City Alcohol Permits

City Alcohol permits are required at all Open Space and Mountain Parks shelters or facilities and are required for each reservation time block when alcohol is being consumed. Applicants must agree to abide by the requirements and conditions, procedures, and applicant statements before signing the alcohol application.

  1. Alcohol permits are required at all Open Space and Mountain Parks shelters or facilities when alcohol is being consumed.
  2. Alcohol permits will only be issued in connection with a confirmed Open Space and Mountain Parks shelter or facility use permit.
  3. The fee for obtaining a City Alcohol Permit is $25.
  4. City Alcohol Permits shall be issued for fermented malt and vinous beverages only (beer/wine).
  5. “Applicant” or “Event Organizer” applying for a City Alcohol Permit must be 21 years of age or older.
  6. All event participants must be 21 years of age or older or accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  7. City Alcohol Permits will be issued for use during park and facility hours of operation. City Alcohol Permit hours must correspond with the hours shown on the “Facility Use Application” and “Facility Use Permit.”
  8. The maximum number of participants for any single event may not exceed the capacity listed on the “Facility Use Application” and the “Facility Use Permit.”
  9. All glass bottles and containers are prohibited on Open Space and Mountain Parks property.
  10. All beer and wine shall be served and consumed within the approved facility permit area for which the City Alcohol Permit was issued. Participants shall not leave the approved facility location with opened beer or wine containers except to transport the container(s) to a vehicle directly and without delay, and the container(s) must at all times during transport be capped, corked, or otherwise reclosed with a firmly affixed waterproof lid.
  11. The city manager may revoke the permit and evict participants from the event premises for unruly, drunken, or other behavior which creates a public disturbance or for violation of the rules or any condition of the City Alcohol Permit.
  12. The “City Alcohol Permit” as well as the “Facility Use Permit” must be in possession of the Applicant/Permit Holder at all times during the event hours.

*Note: City Alcohol Permits are issued pursuant to chapter 5-7, B.R.C. and city manager rule 5-7-5.A(21) and all permit holders must comply with all City of Boulder, state and local alcohol laws and all OSMP rules and regulations.

Applicants must agree to the following statements before signing the alcohol application:

Applicant:

  1. I certify that I have read and understand all of the above Requirements and Conditions.
  2. I agree to comply with each of these Requirements and Conditions.
  3. I certify that I am over the age of 21.
  4. I certify that any participant attending the event who is under the age of 21 will be supervised by a parent or guardian.
  5. I agree to indemnify and hold harmless the City of Boulder, and all City of Boulder officers, employees, agents and representatives from any and all claims, demands, judgments costs and expenses, including attorney’s fees, arising out of any accident or occurrence causing injury to any persons or property whomsoever or whatsoever due directly or indirectly to the event or maintenance of the facility during the term of the Permit.
  6. I agree to immediately reimburse the City of Boulder for any costs, including staff time, or repairs resulting from damage incurred as a result of the event or a violation of these Guidelines.
  7. I acknowledge that a violation may result in the issuance of a summons that may result in a fine, and/or revocation of the Permit and affect eligibility to re-apply.

Important Facility Information and Tips

Signs

Posting any type of sign on OSMP property is prohibited. The regulation states, "Under no circumstances are signs, balloons, or any other items to be nailed, pinned, stapled or otherwise attached to any tree, park sign, facility, and/or along the roadways." Signs will be removed by OSMP personnel. OSMP suggests the following:

  • Provide guests with a good map when mailing the invitations.
  • Post members of the party at critical junctions in the road to direct incoming guests.

Dogs

Dogs are allowed at the facilities as long as they are in compliance with the current dog regulations. The Stone and Wood Shelters require dogs to be on leash at all times. The Green Mountain Lodge, Halfway House, Sunrise Amphitheater, and Bluebell Shelter allow dogs as long as they are on leash or if guardians are participants of the Voice and Sight Control Program.

Fire Bans

It is the responsibility of all permit holders to check in advance of their event for any fire bans. Fire bans may be in effect at any time that prohibit fires or ignition sources of any type, including what has been allowed in a permit.

Decorating

If there are no reservations before the scheduled event, permit holders may use the facility on a first-come, first-served basis to decorate. The hour between time blocks is meant for the coming and going of parties. Be aware that there may be overlap between parties. Under no circumstances are signs, balloons or any other items to be nailed, pinned, stapled, or otherwise attached to any tree, park sign, facility and/or placed along the roadways. No flower petals, rice, confetti, birdseed, straw, glitter, or other unsecured materials shall be used at events. Doing so is considered littering. Glass and open flames are prohibited, including unity candles. Tents, shade tents, nets, barrels, freestanding arches, and structures of any kind are prohibited. Arches used in religious ceremonies will need to be held by participants.

Restrooms / Facilities

Please be aware that the only restrooms available are pit latrines. There are no other structures (changing rooms) available for event parties to use in preparation for events.

Advance Facility Rentals

You can reserve a shelter or facility up to two years in advance of the event date.

Music / Amplification

You may bring a battery-operated portable player or have acoustic music. Use of live bands and amplification is restricted. Applicants must comply with noise ordinance as defined in Chapter 5-9, B.R.C. 1981 and section 8-3-13, B.R.C 1981. There is no electricity at any of the facilities. Tents, shade tents, nets and canopies are prohibited, so please advise musicians to plan accordingly.

Event Support

No event support is offered by the City of Boulder. Volunteers at the Flagstaff Nature Center are not available for event support.

Facility Photos

Changes, Cancellations, Modifications

Cancel a Reservation

Cancellation policy - Any applicable refund will be processed in two to four weeks. All refunds will be issued to the original payee.

  • 60 days or more before scheduled rental date = the cost of the facility reservation, minus a potential $25 administrative fee will be refunded.
  • 15 days or more before scheduled rental date = one half (50 percent) minus a potential $25 administrative fee will be refunded.
  • 14 days or fewer before scheduled rental date = no refund will be issued.

To change, modify or cancel a permit, please email Megan Grunewald.

Change a Reservation

Change policy: Changes can be made at no additional charge up to 15 days before the scheduled event. No changes can be made to reservations that are 14 or fewer days prior to the scheduled event.

To change, modify or cancel a permit, please email Megan Grunewald.

Refunds

Refunds: There are no refunds for alcohol or parking permits. There are no refunds for cancellations due to inclement weather or conditions, including but not limited to: rain, strong winds or wildfires. Check in advance for any [add link to temp closures pg - fire bans]. There is no guarantee that fires of any kind will be allowed at OSMP facilities.

To change, modify or cancel a permit, please email Megan Grunewald.