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May 21, 2020

Media Contact
Vivienne Jannatpour, (303) 678-6277

Parking near Boulder-area mountain open space locations is extremely limited

High visitation and parking congestion serve as reminders for people to recreate close to home.

Boulder County, Colo. - The City of Boulder and Boulder County continue to stress that parking at Flagstaff Mountain and Hessie Trailhead near Nederland remains extremely limited due to the high number of visitors. People who choose to recreate in those areas over Memorial Day weekend should not expect to find a parking spot – which can diminish their intended outdoor experiences – and should consider recreating as close to home as possible.

While the city and county recognize the value of outdoor recreation in supporting community members emotional and physical health, they continue to remind visitors of the state Safer at Home order that:

  • Limits recreational travel to no further than 10 miles from their residence.
  • Prohibits public gatherings of 10 or more people in public spaces.

In recent weeks, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) and Boulder County Parks & Open Space (BCPOS) have observed increasing parking congestion on Flagstaff Road near Walker Ranch and Fourth of July Road at the Hessie Trailhead near Nederland. More than 225 cars have been turned away on each weekend day at Hessie when parking was full. It should be noted that two roads remain close in these areas: the Fourth of July Road from the Hessie Trailhead to the Fourth of July Trailhead and Flagstaff Mountain Summit Road.

Visitors who ignore “no parking” signs, block emergency access gates or have any part of their tires touching the white lines on county roads may be ticketed and their cars towed. City of Boulder and Boulder County open space rangers continue to prioritize education of public health orders; however, they will issue citations for behavior that endangers the public.

Boulder County and City of Boulder continue to remind people to:

  • Honor the fire restrictions currently in place in western unincorporated Boulder County. This include restrictions on recreational sports shooting.
  • Always bring face coverings when visiting open space. Anyone over 12 years old is required to wear face coverings anytime they cannot maintain six feet of distance at OSMP and BCPOS trailheads and when passing others on trails.
  • Visit open space areas in groups of four or fewer people because larger groups can impede traffic on trails and make it difficult for people to maintain social distance. OSMP and BCPOS also request that visitors not gather at open space parks. Picnic tables and shelters are closed.
  • Stay on trail if no one else is around. If visitors need to maintain physical distance on narrow trails, they should step onto a rock or a bare spot – if possible – to let others pass, then step back on the trail.
  • Adhere to dog regulations for specific trails, pick up after their dogs, and remove their trash.
  • Stay out of wildlife closure areas and other areas closed to the public.
  • Know their limits and not take any risks to help protect first responders.
  • Be considerate of others.

Hessie line of cars

Vehicles line up looking for parking near Hessie Trailhead