Trail Difficulty Ratings

Use this guide to understand trail difficulty within Jeffco Open Space parks. The ratings mimic ski resort ratings:

Black Diamond = Most Difficult. Trails have steeper grades and greater challenge.
Blue Square = More Difficult. Trails have various grades.
Green Circle = Least Difficult. Trails are less strenuous.

Trail Difficulty Ratings

Regional Trail Connections

Regional trails make critical connections across public lands and ease congestion in parks as they encourage leaving the car at home. Learn more about the following regional trails in Jefferson County that connect to the Jeffco Open Space system: Bear Creek Trail, Clear Creek Trail, Fairmount Trail, North Fork Trail, Peaks to Plains Trail, Pioneer Trail. 

View Regional Trail Connections

Trail Assessments

With over 56,000 acres of managed land, 251 miles of trail, 27 parks and high visitation, taking care of existing parks and trails is top priority for Jeffco Open Space. In order to do this job effectively and efficiently, an annual trails assessment was implemented. This assessment helps to develop work plans and priorities for trail maintenance, identify opportunities for volunteer stewardship projects by groups or as a special event, and communicate to visitors where maintenance will be occurring.

Jeffco Trails Plan

Jeffco Open Space is coordinating the creation of the Jeffco Trails Plan, the first countywide trails plan for Jefferson County. The intent of the plan is to create a comprehensive trail system that unites the people, places, and possibilities of Jefferson County. The Plan will assess trail and greenway needs throughout the county and establish priority areas and projects. Implementation of the priority projects will help to improve safety for trail visitors, increase and enhance healthy trail-related recreation opportunities, and allow more people to begin their outdoor experience from their homes. The final plan will serve as a guide for constructing trail improvements over time.

Jeffco Open Space completed a draft of the county-wide Jeffco Trails Plan that was open for public comment from July 1 - July 30, 2020. Comments received during that time are currently under review and will be incorporated into the final document which will be available to the public in October 2020.

Draft Jeffco Trails Plan (PDF)
Draft Jeffco Trails Plan Implementation Resources (PDF)
Jeffco Trail Plan presentation (YouTube)

Learn more about the Jeffco Trails Plan on the JTP website

Peaks to Plains Trail in Clear Creek Canyon Park
Jeffco Trails Plan
Draft Jeffco Trails Plan cover photo

Trails Development Handbook

The Trails Development Handbook provides an overview of how recreation trails are proposed, planned, designed, constructed, and cared for in Jefferson County, Colorado. It is especially useful for anyone who would like to propose a new or rerouted trail, or learn more about the trails development process.

Download the Trails Development Handbook

Trail Proposal Process

Jeffco Open Space allows for proposals of new trails and has an application process for those that want to submit a proposal. After submittal, a trail proposal application will be assigned an initial priority ranking, which will determine when subsequent evaluation will take place or if the project will be declined at that time. Potential trails that offer the greatest value to Jefferson County residents will be given the highest priority and moved into the Planning step as outlined in the Trails Development Handbook.

Trail Development Proposal Process and Application

Trails Development Handbook