Permits & Reservations
Any activity in a Jeffco Open Space park that conflicts with the Park Regulations requires a permit. Such activities include hosting an event, organized activity, or commercial activity. See below to determine the category into which the activity will fall. View the Jeffco Open Space System Map to ensure accurate park location for the activity. Due to a high volume of applications and staffing capabilities, please allow up to 10 business days for processing and response.
A Park Permit may be obtained from Jeffco Open Space to authorize companies or individuals to conduct business within Jeffco Open Space managed lands. A Park Permit provides a group with a non-exclusive license to offer services to park visitors.
An organization is considered a business if it provides goods, services, or activities to the public using Jeffco Open Space managed lands. If an individual receives any form of compensation for what they are providing they are considered to be conducting a business or commercial activity.
Permitted activities must be appropriate to the mission of Jeffco Open Space; complement resource protection, visitor protection and interpretation goals; and not pose any potential for derogation of values or purposes for which Jeffco Open Space was established.
Currently, the following commercial activities may be permitted by Jeffco Open Space:
- Guided Rock/Ice Climbing
- Guided River trips including; Rafting, Kayaking, SUP, etc.
- Guided Mountain Biking
- Commercial Tours
- Guided Hiking
- Product Demos
- Commercial Dog Walking Services
- Commercial Filming and Photography
All school groups regardless of group size or activity must have a valid Park Permit, including all athletic teams, clubs, field trips, or other organized activities. School groups of more than 60 total people will not be permitted and issuance of a permit is based on time, location, and capacity limits of each park.
A valid certificate of insurance which lists Jefferson County Open Space as a certificate holder is required for all school groups.
Research and Collections
A Park Permit is required to conduct research activities or to collect any biological resource elements from Jeffco Open Space managed land.
Criteria for a Research and Collections Permit:
- Collection of plants, wildlife, invertebrates, soil, water, or other biological resource elements
- Entering a closed area
- Conducting research, in the form of ecological studies, visitor surveys, or similar activities
- Research that conflicts with any Park Regulation
Criteria for a General Use Permit:
- Any activity or gathering which provides a benefit to an individual, group, or organization, rather than the public at large
- Groups of 15 or more
- Groups conducting the same event more than once in a 3-month period if the activity has the potential to impact resources or other visitors’ experience as determined by Jeffco Open Space
- Groups requesting the use of a site not designed for concentrated group use
- Any activity which may conflict with Park Regulations or the mission of Jeffco Open Space
Applications for Special Activities are accepted and reviewed once per year; application deadline for special activities in 2019 is October 8, 2018 and responses will be delivered no later than December 1, 2018.
Events such as tours, races, rides, walks, festivals, etc. require a special activity permit and will fall into one of two categories:
Category 1 - Events that exceed 200 people and/or require exclusive use of JCOS managed trails or park. A maximum of five total Category 1 special events may be permitted per calendar year and are limited to a maximum of one event per visitor group: hiking/running, equestrian, mountain biking, the arts, etc. Category 1 events must be administered by a public or non-profit organization to benefit a charitable cause and the organization must be the applicant for the permit.
Category 2 - Events that are less than 200 people and do not require exclusive use of a park, trail or other area.
All events will be considered on a case-by-case basis and those that align with or support the mission of JCOS will be given preference. Further, in recent years JCOS parks have seen a significant increase in visitation with estimated annual visits being approximately 6.9 million. This volume of visitation places a challenge on trails, facilities, and parking areas. Applications that take this into consideration and demonstrate measures to minimize impacts on trails, park facilities, parking areas, and park visitors will be given preference. Events that take place during peak times, primarily weekends and evenings, should plan to stage all non-trail related activities off-site and explain this plan in their application.
Events that fall on holidays or holiday weekends will not be considered. In addition, JCOS may limit the number and timing of events in certain locations to reduce the impact and inconvenience for park visitors, neighbors and park and natural resources. Currently, the following dates will not be considered for Special Activities in 2019:
- January 1
- January 19 to January 21
- April 21
- May 12
- May 24 to May 27
- June 1 to June 2
- June 16
- June 22
- July 4 to July 8
- August 31 to September 2
- September 15
- October 12 to October 14
- November 9 to November 11
- November 28 to December 1
- December 25
All approved applications are subject to a cost recovery fee, typically $5.00 per participant. Exceptions and reductions may be made on a case-by-case basis for governmental and non-profit organizations that directly benefit the people of Jefferson County. Justification for an exception or reduction should be reflected in your application. Additionally, all events require a damage deposit which is due no later than thirty days prior to the event. Damage deposits are typically $200.00 and refundable, but may be higher depending on scope of event.
Permit Documentation may include, but is not limited to:
- Certificate of Insurance
- Post Use or Predicted Use Report
- Release of Liability
- Site Plan
- Parking Management Plan
- Course Map
- Emergency Management Plan
Shelter Reservations are available at Pine Valley Ranch Park and Hiwan Heritage Park. Reserving a shelter guarantees exclusive use for an event.
Rentals are offered five-hour blocks between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. April through September, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. October through March.
Fees are payable in full at the time of rental confirmation. All fees are non-refundable. Damage deposits are refundable in whole or part contingent upon the condition of the shelter after the event. Loading and unloading of vehicles must be done from designated areas. Driving beyond the parking areas is strictly prohibited.