Colorado Playgrounds: Boulder's Scenic Open Spaces and Parks

Imagine lush greenery, open fields, and sweeping views of Boulder, Colorado's iconic Flatirons all while you run, bike, picnic and play. Such are the open-spaces and parks of this famous Front Range town. Some sit along the Boulder Creek Path while others are tucked away in the foothills, but all have one thing in common: Their spectacular beauty. 

Topping our list is well-known and beloved Chautauqua Park, where visitors flock during the summer months and locals play year-round. Hiking, rock-climbing, and (during the winter months) sledding and cross-country skiing are staples of the outdoor paradise. Go for a picnic or take part in one of the many outdoor yoga classes that are organized independently and take places near the park's ranger station. 

Looking for something more relaxed with fewer people, North Boulder Park and Scott Carpenter Park are perfect for sunbathing, a same of bocce ball, or letting the kids romp on swing sets and slides. Both offer stellar views of the Flatirons, parking is simple, and are walkable from many of the downtown hotels. 

If your looking to test your outdoor limits, Eldorado Canyon State Park and Rocky Mountain National Park offer camping, rock-climbing, scenic drives, and a rugged, untamed wilderness experience the likes of which you have never known. 

In Colorado, we go big on everything and our parks are no exception. 

Harlow Platts Park
Photo courtesy of © 2014 City of Boulder Parks & Recreation


Harlow Platts Park sits in laid-back South Boulder away from the traffic and bustle of downtown. Several charcoal grills line a small lake around which picnic tables and open grassy areas can be found. A large gathering shelter is situated near...  Read More



At Gateway Fun Park, your kiddos can enjoy a wide variety of exciting entertainments, including a stellar arcade where tickets are won and prizes are redeemed, a large putt-putt golf course, and batting cages. The big draw here are the go-carts,...  Read More

Foothills Community Park
Photo courtesy of © 2014 City of Boulder Parks & Recreation


Foothills Community Park is the perfect place to kick around a soccer ball, pack a picnic, let the kiddos play on some one-of-kind playground equipment that includes a rock climbing wall, and all in the shadow of the rolling Boulder Foothills....  Read More

Scott Carpenter Park
Photo courtesy of © 2014 City of Boulder Parks & Recreation


Boasting one of the largest grassy knolls and located in the heart of Boulder, Scott Carpenter Park is perfect for adults and children alike. The Scott Carpenter pool sits next door and is perfect for those hot Front Range days. Kites flying...  Read More

Airport - Wbu


Park your car and enjoy a peaceful, scenic stroll or bike ride through the heart of Boulder. The path stretches for seven miles and provides access to numerous parks, ponds, historical markers, gardens, rock-climbing opportunities, botanical...  Read More

Central Park


Located in the heart of downtown Boulder, this lovely park features a historic passenger train, grassy picnic areas, and a band shell for musical performances. Boulder's popular Farmers' Market is set up adjacent to the park on Wednesdays and...  Read More



With Longs Peak towering over this spectacular state park and plenty of backcountry skiing in the winter, along with hiking and climbing galore, RMNP is Colorado's iconic destination. The highlight of the 415-square mile park is the Trail Ridge...  Read More



"Eldo", as it's lovingly referred to by locals, typically doesn't draw the crowds that Rocky Mountain National Park does and offers a more "tucked away" feeling. With more than 1,000 acres of land, this park is a favorite site for hiking and...  Read More

North Boulder Park


Soccer, cross country skiing, baseball, and picnicking are just a few of the activities that North Boulder Park has to offer. Children can play on the state-of-the-art playground equipment set to the backdrop of the jutting Flatirons. Picnicking...  Read More

Chautauqua Park
Photo courtesy of © 2014 City of Boulder Parks & Recreation


The definitive "park" with ample open-space for relaxing, photography, and painting in peace. This meadow-like foothills park is ideal for a lazy afternoon with a book, a family picnic, bird watching, or a vigorous hike on numerous trails that...  Read More


Meet Hope Gately

Hope Gately should have a bumper sticker proclaiming "Not a Native...But I Got Here as Fast as I Could!" A transplant from the Midwest, Hope has fallen in love with Colorado's mountains playing...  More About Hope