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City Parks

Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) facilities are unrivaled in the Rocky Mountain West. The DPR system spans over a 148-year history, from the first park created in 1868 to nearly 20,000 acres of urban parks and mountain parkland today. Parks are open daily from 5:00AM - 11:00PM.

Reserve a picnic site | Apply for a permit | Park rules & policies

Park rules overview:

  • No glass containers allowed at anytime
  • Only 3.2% alcoholic beverages allowed
  • All dog must be on a leash unless they are in a designated dog park
  • Do not feed wildlife in the parks
  • Restrooms are open from May through September - Portolets are in regional parks only, year-round
  • Always use trash receptacles or carry your trash out

When do parks open and close?

Parks are open daily. Urban parks are open from 5:00am to 11:00pm. Mountain parks are open from one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset. Remaining in any park property after hours is prohibited.

How can I report a problem in a park?

Residents should report issues to pocketgov.com or 311 (720-913-1311) so that a case can be generated, routed to the appropriate agency/team, tracked and closed.

How can I report park rule violations?

Park users who witness behavior that violates Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) Rules and Regulations can report the activity while it is occurring to the Denver Park Ranger Office by calling 311 (720-913-1311). Depending on resources available, a Ranger can be dispatched to the area to further assess the situation. For emergencies, call 911.

Who are the Park Rangers?

The mission of Denver Park Rangers is to protect park resources, maximize public safety in parks, and to provide visitors with resources. Rangers patrol daily from 3:00am until 10:30pm by foot, bicycle and motorized vehicles, making contact with park visitors to educate them about the reasons for various rules, regulations and policies. Additionally, Denver Park Rangers host free, educational youth and family activities such as Fishing is Fun and the Jr. Ranger program. Visit denvergov.org/ParkRangers for schedules and additional details.

What are the rules on trails?

Bicycles are only allowed on park roads and designated off-street trails and must obey the posted speed limit of 15 miles per hour. Crusher-fine trails are designed with erosion, intersections, landscape and other obstacles in mind to optimize safety and maintenance resources. When joggers and walkers veer off-trail to create shortcuts, surrounding vegetation is damaged which causes further erosion to the trail, increasing maintenance costs and creating collision hazards. Denver Parks and Recreation’s complete list of rules and regulations can be found on denvergov.org/ParkRules.

When do I need a park permit?

Permits are required for gatherings larger than 25 people and for exclusive use of picnic sites and shelters, along with athletic fields. The Park Permit Office can be reached at park.permits@denvergov.org or 720-913-0700.  Picnic sites are available for reservation April 1–October 1 in urban parks, and May 1–September 30 in mountain parks. Picnic permit requests are accepted each year beginning in mid-February. Visit denvergov.org/Picnics for more information or to book a site.  

Where can I find a schedule of events in parks?

The Denver Office of Special Events maintains an event calendar of all public events held on city property. Find the schedule at denvergov.org/SpecialEvents.

How do I know if athletic fields are closed?

Athletic fields open in mid-March and close the first week of November, except for synthetic turf fields which are open during the winter season by permit only. Conditions and closure notices can be found by calling the Athletic Field Hotline at 720-865-6978, which is updated daily at 2:00pm. For weather impacts, the hotline is updated at 6:30am Monday-Friday, and 7:30am on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, visit denvergov.org/Permits.

Can I park my vehicle in a park overnight?

Overnight parking in parks is prohibited in all parks to minimize potential noise and traffic impacts on neighbors. Parking is only allowed in designated areas during park hours (urban parks: 5am – 11pm; mountain parks: 1 hr. before sunrise – 1 hr. after sunset).

Is there a lost and found?

Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) does not maintain a lost and found system. Park Operations staff rarely come across personal items—it is more likely that other park visitors pick up lost items or that their owner finds them by re-visiting the location. If you come across an item you’d like to turn in, email parksandrecreation@denvergov.org to be connected with the most appropriate maintenance shop or recreation center.

When do park restrooms open?

Park restrooms open mid-April but may close temporarily when temperatures drop below freezing. Portable toilets are deployed at permitted athletic fields the last week in March, and the last week in April at picnic sites. Denver Parks and Recreation tries to keep restrooms open through the permit season but may close them early due to frost.

When are water fountains turned on?

Drinking fountains are activated in early May and kept on until early October. Decorative and interactive play fountains are turned on in late May, usually around Memorial Day, once the threat of frost has passed. Interactive play fountains operate daily from 11:00am – 7:00pm.

Why are some drinking fountains not turned on?

Some drinking fountains were constructed prior to Denver Water implementing upgraded pipeline standards for drinking water. These older drinking fountains do not comply with potable water requirements and are therefore non-operational.

When are flowerbeds planted?

Annual flower displays are planted between mid-May and early June each year and remain in parks until early-mid October when flowerbeds and irrigation systems are winterized.

Why can’t parks be irrigated at night only?

Parks are irrigated during overnight hours into the morning. Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) irrigation systems start at 9:00pm and run through the night in different zones. Because of water flow limitations and the large size of some parks, irrigation zones may run into the morning hours when people are more likely to use parks and trails. Specific days and run-times of certain zones vary significantly due to changing seasonal water needs, rain holds, mow schedules, seed/sod establishment, and associated adjustments to mow schedules. DPR realizes this may cause an inconvenience for some park users and appreciates the public’s understanding of maintenance requirements and scheduling limitations.

What does Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) do about weeds in parks?

An increase in dandelions is common in April and May, following a dry winter and spring. Mow schedules begin late April, making them much less noticeable by summer. If there are still concentrations of weeds in the fall, and in high-traffic turf, operations staff will do their best to spot-spray those areas. Fall is the best time to spray post-emergent perennial and biennial broadleaf weeds such as dandelions, as the herbicides are more likely to reach the root system.

DPR’s goal is to implement Best Management Practices to support a strong turf management program, reducing the need for post-emergent herbicides on broadleaf weeds such as dandelions. DPR’s Best Management Practices include proper irrigation, mowing, fertilization and aeration—which is the most effective way to reduce weed competition in turf and is practiced in the 2,500+ acres of turf maintained by Denver Parks and Recreation.

Why do dog parks close sometimes?

Off-leash areas require continual upkeep which is a shared responsibility with dog park users. Deteriorating conditions due to accumulating pet waste, holes from digging, litter, etc. may result in the closure of a dog park. Signage is posted outside each dog park indicating the status of its condition which is monitored by park staff:

  • Green: Off-leash area is in good condition
  • Yellow: Off-leash area needs attention and will close soon if not cleaned up by dog park users
  • Red: Off-leash area is in poor condition and is closed until a volunteer cleanup is organized

Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) established the Adopt-A-Dog Park program to enable civic groups, neighbors, individuals and businesses to help keep their local dog park clean. To organize a volunteer group, visit denvergov.org/VolunteerDPR, fill out the Adopt-a-Dog Park Agreement and return to tina.myers@denvergov.org

How can I get involved in a volunteer project?

Volunteers are vital in helping Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) provide quality spaces and amenities to the city’s residents, and are needed year-round in urban and mountain parks—visit godenverparks.denvergov.org to connect with our volunteer community, and to sign up for one-time or ongoing projects. Visit denvergov.org/VolunteerDPR to learn more about the various volunteer opportunities within DPR, or to contact the DPR Volunteer Coordinator.

How do I sign up for recreation activities?

Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) hosts a variety of programming for all ages at the city’s 28 recreation centers and pools. Visit denvergov.org/Recreation to find drop-in fitness classes along with membership information and our comprehensive activity guide (also available in all Denver Recreation Centers).

When do outdoor pools open?

The outdoor pool season begins the first week of June and lasts until mid-late August. Some pools open earlier and close later than others due to maintenance issues and/or staffing resources. Visit denvergov.org/SwimmingPools for pool schedules and closure announcements. Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) makes every effort to extend the outdoor pool season as long as possible, but staffing limitations are frequently a challenge, as many lifeguards’ availability is impacted by school schedules. DPR Aquatics offers free lifeguard certification training in an effort to continually recruit team members of all ages. Email aquaticsjobs@denvergov.org for more information.