Limited trails open in Chautauqua

After historic rain and flooding that caused extensive damage to trails, trailheads and natural resources, the Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) is

announcing that it will open a limited number of trails in Chautauqua on Saturday, Sept. 21.

OSMP anticipates opening up more trails within the week. However, many trails in the system will require substantial rebuilding, and OSMP asks for the public’s patience as the department rebuilds and restores those trails.

 Chautauqua trails that will be opened on Saturday are:

  • A portion of Chautauqua trail.
  • Bluebell Road to the shelter.
  • Bluebell Spur
  • Bluebell Mesa.
  • A portion of the Ski Jump trail.


 Trails will be opened from dawn to dusk on-trail only because of existing safety risks. Trails will be closed at night because of hazards not visible in the dark. All other OSMP trails remained closed under an emergency order.

 “We have worked as hard as possible in the days after the storm to assess damage and safety dangers,” said Mike Patton, director of the City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks department. “We hope to re-open more trails in the next week.”

 There are some potential safety risks on trails slated to be re-opened. Current risks on the trails may include rocky and gullied terrain, as well as other potential hazards associated with a major flood event. OSMP stresses that re-opened trails will not be of the same quality residents have seen in the past.

 “We understand that the public is anxious to get out on the trails,” Patton said. “We know that OSMP is a place where visitors go to reduce stress. We want to express our deep appreciation for our visitors’ patience at this time.”

 Patton also wanted to express his gratitude for the outpouring of offers to help rebuild trails, and restore natural areas. OSMP staff is prioritizing volunteer projects. Volunteer opportunities will be posted at osmp.org as soon as projects are identified.

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