Boulder County has approved permits for the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Marshall Mesa Mitigation and Trailhead Earthwork project. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The main Marshall Mesa trailhead and parking lot will be closed for about a year
  • Trails outside the project area will remain open
  • The project is expected to start 2024


  • ┬áThere are 2 components to the project
  • The first project will address coal seam fire danger by digging up the earth down to 30 ft, cooling the hot materials and then putting the earth back in place


  • The second project entails parking lot expansion and trailhead improvement
  • Parking will increase from 61 spots to 75
  • Eldorado Shuttle service point will move from the RTD lot across the street to the Marshall Mesa trailhead
  • The entrance to the parking lot will move to be aligned with entrance to the RTD parking lot entrance. This will allow cars to legally make a left turn on Hwy 170
  • Boulder will work with CDOT to install a blinking pedestrian sign at the existing crosswalk, which will not be moved in the project
  • Other trailhead improvements include replacing the vault restroom that burned in the Marshall Fire, installing a shade shelter and tables and benches, and adding bike facilities like a work station


BMA is working with the city to identify safe ways for people who ride their bikes from Boulder to access the trail system during the year that the main trailhead is closed. From the intersection of Marshall Road, it’s over a half a mile to the trail access on Hwy 170 where the old trail head was located and nearly 2 miles to 66th St to access the system at Mayhoffer-Singletree/Cowdrey Draw. We know that many of the folks who ride from town are kids and we are especially concerned with young people riding on the shoulder of Hwy 170. We are confident that the City of Boulder will find a solution to allow safe access from Marshall Road to Marshall Mesa during this project.

If you’d like to dig into this project more, here’s the 492 page packet supplied to the Boulder County Commissions for the permit hearing on July 2.