Rules & Regulations


Open Space rules and regulations are in place for the protection of wildlife, the natural environment and all users of open space. Rules and regulations may vary depending on the open space property. Please check all rules and regulations posted on the kiosk at the entrance, parking areas or trailheads.  

• In an emergency such as a fire, injury or any situation requiring immediate attention, call 911
• For unlawful activity, call Sheriff dispatch at 303-441-4444

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Complete Listing

Resolution No. 2011-59 contains a complete listing of Boulder County Parks and Open Space rules and regulations.

Rules & Regulations Summary

Parking Rules

  • Open space is open from sunrise to sunset, unattended vehicles left after dark will be ticketed or towed.
  • Vehicles must be parked in designated areas only.
  • Only cars with a disabled license plate or placard may park in the disabled parking spaces.
  • Unauthorized motorized vehicles are not permitted beyond parking lots.
    • This includes cars, trucks, motorcycles, minibikes, snowmobiles, four-wheel drives, or any other motorized recreational vehicle.


  • Except for emergency landings, landing and taking off with any motorized aircraft is prohibited on open space property.
    • This includes airplanes, helicopters, ultralights, gliders, sailplanes and hot air balloons.


  • Camping is prohibited in all parks and open space. The designated campground at Boulder County Fairgrounds Park in Longmont is the only exception.


  • With the exception of Hall Ranch, Heil Valley Ranch, Caribou Ranch and Dodd Lake, dogs are permitted on trails.
  • All pets must be on a leash and under the physical control of its owner or guardian at all times.
  • Off-leash dog open space properties include Twin Lakes Trail and Reynolds Ranch.
  • Any owner/guardian accompanying a dog in an off-leash area must have the ability to restrain his or her dog when requested by POS staff.
  • Please remember to pick up, carry out, and properly dispose of all dog excrement.


  • Mountain biking is permitted only on officially designated trails. Bicycle riders must yield the right-of-way to other trail users.
  • Downhill riders must yield to uphill riders.


  • Geocaching is permitted.
  • Leaving objects on open space lands for the purposes of geocaching is unlawful unless the person placing or searching for the cache complies with all Rules and Regulations and the person placing the cache registers it with the Department.
  • Please see geocaching rules, conditions and registration for more information.


  • Horses are permitted on open space lands, however, they must be under physical control.
  • Equestrians are strongly encouraged to stay on designated trails.
  • Horses must be on a lead and may not be tied and left unattended.
  • All trail users must yield to equestrians.

Wildlife Treatment

  • Do not feed, disturb, molest, or kill wildlife.
  • Hunting and trapping are not allowed.
  • Relocating or releasing animals onto open space properties is not allowed.


  • Discharging or carrying firearms, crossbows, fireworks, explosives or projectile weapons of any kind are not permitted except as expressly mandated by Article 12 of Title 18 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, as amended.
    • This includes paintball, BB, pellet, air, paint ball, and blow guns; rockets, crossbows, longbows and slingshots ($300 fine).


  • Do not collect, remove, destroy or deface any natural or manmade object within any park or open space area including trees, down timber, branches, shrubbery, plants, flowers, fences, signs, kiosks, restrooms, cultural resources or shelters.


  • State law prohibits the possession or consumption of any beverage having alcohol content greater than 3.2% in any public place.

Open Space Manipulation

  • Do not install or replace rock bolts, plant trees or other landscaping, or construct trails or other structures in the parks.

Glass Containers

  • Outside of an enclosed vehicle, glass containers and bottles are not permitted on open space.


  • Do not build ground fires or collect firewood on open space ($300). Fires are only permitted in grills and fireplaces provided at picnic shelters and picnic areas.


  • Swimming and ice fishing are not permitted on any Boulder County Open Space property.
  • Wading, boating, and ice skating (only Mud Lake) are permitted only where posted. 


  • Obey all fishing regulations at the specific open space property.
  • A valid Colorado fishing license is required for all persons 16 years of age or older whenever fishing in ponds, lakes, creeks and rivers.


  • Group Use Permits are required for all groups larger than 25 people.
  • Commercial use of open space is not allowed.


  • It is prohibited to deposit any object or dispose of trash, garbage or hazardous material, or clean vehicles or livestock trailers on any open space property.
  • Leaving objects on open space lands for the purposes of geocaching is unlawful and considered littering unless the person placing or searching for the cache complies with all Rules and Regulations and the person placing the cache registers it with the Department.


  • Posting advertisements or brochures on open space, in the parking lot or on vehicles is not permitted.


  • Other prohibited activities include: polluting land, water or air; golfing, hang-gliding, paragliding, parapenting, parachuting, para-sailing, remote-controlled land, water or air devices, mountain skateboards, ski bikes, off-road roller blades and similar devices.
  • Special Use Permit are required for any activity that does not fall under the generally accepted definition of passive use, regardless of number of people. Examples of passive use are hiking, biking, birding, and fishing.

Users are responsible for knowing and obeying all Boulder County Parks and Open Space Regulations. Violations are punishable by fines of up to $300. Boating, where allowed, must be in compliance with all state laws.


Parks & Open Space
Bevin Carithers