Boulder County Parks & Open Space July 2014 Hikes and Events

Wildflowers of Caribou Ranch. Saturday, July 5; 9a.m.-noon. Caribou Ranch Open Space; two miles north of Nederland on County Road 126. Volunteer naturalists will be available along the 4.2 miles (roundtrip) of easy-moderate trails to help you identify and learn about the wildflowers as you explore the beautiful montane forest, meadows, and wetland landscape. Be prepared to hike at an elevation of about 8,500 feet and bring rain gear.

Let’s Talk Chickens. Saturday, July 9; 1-3 p.m. Agricultural Heritage Center, 8348 Ute Hwy 66, Longmont. Join volunteer Barb Kirchner as she shares lessons learned from raising her own chickens.  Learn why chickens have been popular as pets and how they are suited to your backyard today.  Kids (and adults) can learn how to walk, talk, and act like a chicken!

Geology and Landforms of Hall Ranch. Wednesday, July 9; 6:30-9:00 p.m. Hall Ranch Open Space; one mile west of Lyons on Highway 7; meet at the group picnic shelter near the upper parking lot. Join volunteer naturalists Dick Pratt and Roger Myers to learn about the dramatic geology and landscape of Hall Ranch. This moderately strenuous two-mile hike (roundtrip) will cover over 1.7 billion years of geologic history. This hike is geared to adults.

Anne U White Trail Hiking Tour. Friday, July 11; 9-11 a.m. Meeting location will be given to registered participants. Join Parks and Open Space staff for a guided tour of Anne U. White Trail which is closed due to damage from the September 2013 flood. Be prepared for a difficult hike since the trail no longer exists. You will need to climb over and under fallen trees. Please bring walking poles if you have them. Minimum age is 10 years old, with accompanying adult. Register at

Old-Fashioned Carpenter Tools: Their Ways & Workings. Saturday, July 12; 1-2:30 p.m. Meeting location provided to registered participants. Join historic preservationist Don Burd as he shares the mysteries of how pioneer settlers got carpenter tools to work without batteries or electricity. Hands-on activities include how to use a woodworking plane, a ‘post hole’ drill or how to sharpen ‘edge’ tools with a ‘whet’ stone. Bring work gloves. Register at or call 303-776-8848.

Meet Search & Rescue Dogs. Sunday, July 13, 1-2:30 p.m. Walker Ranch. When park visitors become lost, rangers and sheriff’s deputies use search and rescue dogs to find them. These special dogs are trained to sniff out the track of a lost person. Not only do they save lives, but they are also super cute! Registration required.

Night Hike at Walker Ranch. Tuesday, July 15; 8-10 p.m. Walker Ranch; approximately seven miles west of Boulder on Flagstaff Road; meet at the Meyers Homestead Trailhead. Join volunteer naturalists for an evening of exploring Walker. We’ll hike about two miles round-trip on an easy trail, enjoying the starlight, listening for night sounds, and learning nocturnal habits of the critters that live here. Bring a flashlight!

Pella Crossing Walking Tour. Friday, July 18; 2-4 p.m. Meeting location will be given to registered participants
Join Parks and Open Space staff for a guided tour of Pella Crossing that is closed due to damage from the September 2013 flood. We’ll walk on the eastern side (east of 75th Street) of the property to see the flood’s impact on this beloved open space. Minimum age is 10 years old, with accompanying adult. Register at

Fabulous Flora and Fauna of the Montane Wetlands and Forests. Saturday, July 19; 10 a.m.-noon.
Mud Lake Open Space; two miles north of Nederland on County Road 126; meet at the parking lot/trailhead
Escape the heat and join volunteer naturalists Therese Pieper, Roger Myers, and Leslie Larson to enjoy a moderate two-mile hike through scenic open space while learning about the plants, trees and critters. We’ll discuss how the animals survive, identify trees, shrubs, and wildflowers, and learn about the geology of the area. We’ll end our hike at a spectacular site for a picnic! Bring rain gear and binoculars if you have them.

Summer Heritage Evening at the Walker Ranch Homestead. Saturday, July 19; 5-7:30 p.m.
Walker Ranch Homestead; 8999 Flagstaff Mountain Road, approximately seven miles west of Boulder
Bring your family and a picnic supper (please bring a blanket if you plan to picnic since there are no tables at the homestead). Visit with costumed volunteers as they demonstrate late 1800s rural games and chores such as doing laundry the old-fashioned way, woodworking, meal preparation, and blacksmithing. All visitors can also participate in chores and games!

A Butterfly’s Life. Wednesday, July 30; 7-8:30 p.m. George Reynolds Branch, Boulder Public Library, 3595 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder. Join volunteer naturalists for a beginner’s guide to Boulder County butterflies. This program will review the life cycle of butterflies, information on behavior, host plants, identification tips, and the monarch migration. We’ll also talk about when and where to look for those “flying flowers.”
Hike for Seniors. Thursday, July 31; 10 a.m.-noon; Caribou Ranch Open Space. Enjoy  a nature hike for seniors at a county park.  Programs include information about an area’s history, wildlife and current resource management projects, unless specified otherwise. NO REGISTRATION IS NECESSARY. For more information and directions to open space properties, please call 303-678-6214.
Boulder County Sunset Hikes. Volunteer naturalists will interpret each park’s history, geology, ecosystems, wildlife, and plants. Hikes start at 6:30 p.m. and end at sunset. Sunset hikes are easy-moderate hiking and suitable for all ages.

Wednesday, July 2, Betasso Preserve (meet at group picnic shelter)

Thursday, July 10, Mud Lake Open Space

Friday, July 18, Bald Mountain Scenic Area

Monday, July 21, Hall Ranch Open Space (meet at group picnic shelter near the upper parking lot)

Tuesday, July 29, Caribou Ranch Open Space

Junior Rangers Summer. Challenge Begins! Hey kids! Become a Nomad, an Explorer, an Adventurer and a
Champion by completing fun outdoor challenges. Challenges range in difficulty from planning a “no technology day” at home to learning outdoor safety and survival skills with the  rangers. Who’s It For? The Junior Ranger Adventures Summer Challenge is perfect for kids aged 5-12, but the whole family is welcome to  participate. Dates: Complete challenges from May 31 to September 1, 2014. How does it work? Create an account using only an email address. Why do we need your email? If you want, you can track your progress as a family using one account. Track your progress throughout the summer. If you earn 1,000 points, we will send you an invitation to the celebration ceremony.

Prizes & lunch with the rangers Earn 1,000 points and you’ll be invited to celebrate your success at the Junior Ranger Graduation. At the graduation you’ll earn a Junior Ranger badge and have the chance to win awesome prizes. The graduation will be held on September 13. Sign up or learn more: Visit: or contact Ranger Erin Hartnett at