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

To learn more about the various parks and trails throughout the JCOS park system and how the Trail Difficulty Ratings breakdown, please click on the image to the right, or use this direct link, to access the Trail Difficulty Ratings interactive graphic.

Trail Difficulty Rating Interactive Graphic with park and trail breakdown

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, 252 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

The Jeffco Trails Plan is the first-ever, Countywide trails plan that envisions a healthier, engaged community connected by trails. The Plan is a result of a collaborative effort that included multiple partner organizations and extensive community engagement to identify trail opportunities and implementation strategies that increase safety, access, and connectivity of Jefferson County trails or greenspaces.

The Jeffco Trails Plan aspires to provide County residents access to a trail or greenspace within a 10-minute walk in the plains and 10-minute drive in the mountain areas. The Plan identifies specific goals and strategies to be pursued and achieved through collaboration with partner organizations and funding through the Trails Partnership Program.

Jeffco Trails Plan (PDF)
Jeffco Trails Plan Implementation Resources (PDF)
Jeffco Trail Plan presentation (YouTube)
Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Plan (web)

Peaks to Plains Trail in Clear Creek Canyon Park
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

In 2018, JCOS created the Trail Proposal Process to give residents and visitors the opportunity to propose a trail for evaluation and to be potentially added to the trail system. In the first round of applications we received 66 trail proposals, totaling 159 miles of trail. Following staff evaluation, 5.06 miles were adopted in the Conservation Greenprint 5-year plan and are slated for construction, and another 114.24 miles were identified for further study. 

Over the next few years JCOS anticipates the completion of the 5.06 miles of trail adopted through the Trail Proposal Process. Once the construction of the adopted trails is complete, the process will be re-opened for new proposals. 

View the trail proposal web map for additional information on the location of trails proposed.

Trails Development Handbook