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  • Park Permit Guidelines


  • Revised in 2015

    Jeffco Open Space receives many requests to hold events in our parks.  To better serve our visitors, events requiring permits have been categorized as Special Activities and General Use. Special Activities include races, large events, tours, rides, walks, festivals, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Application deadlines, review and permitting is conducted once a year.  Learn more about Special Activity Permits here.  General Use events include photography permits, guide services, groups of 15 or more, all school groups, and individuals or groups conducting the same event more than one at an individual site or multiple sites in a 3-month time period.  Learn more about General Use Permits here. 

    Special Events Regulation

    Jefferson County’s Planning and Zoning Department has a specific regulation for special events; however, Open Space special activities are exempt from this county regulation:

    Number 3 of Section D (Exempted Special Events) of the Jefferson County Regulation

    The regulation reads: “Activities which have received a permit or approval for the special event by some other government entity (e.g., Open Space, Denver Mountain Parks) and which are contained entirely on the property [are exempted from this regulation].”

    Definitions  |  Permit Criteria  |  Permit Fees and Deposits
    Camping  |  Insurance Requirements  |  Permit Holder Requirements


    Coordinated Activity: Any activity involving a person or group of persons that has the potential to impact park values or the health, safety, welfare or enjoyment of other park visitors, or which may otherwise require special planning/scheduling for proper management. Coordinated activities shall conform in nature to the intended uses for Jefferson County Open Space lands. Coordinated Activities as defined here will require a Park Permit.

    Each of the following definitions describes types of Coordinated Activities subject to permitting:

    Park Event

    Activities that are associated with a specific group of users who request a specific time and place to conduct an event. Park Events are non-commercial, non-profit and may or may not require a fee permit and/or any type of waiver.

    Fee/Commercial Event

    Commercial activities, which are not compatible with the recreation experience and resource management objectives of Jefferson County Open Space will not be considered for a permit. Vending activities including the sale of food, beverage and goods, independent of an event are prohibited.

    • Fee/Commercial Events include: Activities in which a fee is being charged or income is being derived from the event. It is usually an event with advertising to the general public to generate participants or spectators, with the intent of profit making through commercialism. If the event involves sales of items or commercialism within the park, an additional percentage of gross sales may be charged pursuant to the Park Permit Agreement at the discretion of Jefferson County Open Space.


    Community Event

    An activity that is sponsored by an organization located in Jefferson County. It is intended to provide positive exposure for the park and strengthen its ties with the community. A political subdivision or a non-profit organization must sponsor the event in whole or in part.


    Camping is the erecting of a tent or shelter of natural or man-made material, and/or the placing of a sleeping bag or other bedding material on the ground for the apparent purpose of overnight occupancy.

    Special Use

    An activity that deviates from JCOS established rules and regulations or management guidelines (e.g., specimen collection, research projects).

    Short-term Concession

    The operation and maintenance of a commercial business for monetary profit, other gain, or consideration on any lands under the administration and jurisdiction of Jefferson County Open Space, for a period of one year or less. (e.g., White water rafting companies.)

    Long-term Concession

    The operation and maintenance of a commercial business for monetary profit, other gain, or consideration on any lands under the administration and jurisdiction of Jefferson County Open Space, for a period of more than one year. (e.g., haying operations). Concessions, unlike Commercial Events, take place over a period of time and require a contract.

    Permit Criteria

    Park Permits are required for requests meeting the following criteria

    • Groups of 15 or more persons.
    • Any school group including students, teachers and chaperones.
    • Groups requesting the use of a site not designed for concentrated group use.
    • Individuals and groups of any size conducting the same event more than once at either an individual site or multiple sites in a 3-month period if the activity has the potential to impact resources or other visitors’ experience as determined by JCOS.
    • Any activity which may be in conflict with JCOS Rules and Regulations.


    For all activities, the following restrictions apply

    • Group size limits will vary depending upon the venue. Management will look at each application on a case by case basis to determine whether or not the size of the group will likely pose an undue stress on the resource or detract significantly from the park experience.
    • Promotional signs or banners may not be affixed to any natural object or Jefferson County Open Space amenity unless approved.
    • No tents, canopies, or other structures associated with an event are allowed unless approved by Jefferson County Open Space.
    • All parks will remain open to the general public during any special event or activity.
    • Mountain bike races are prohibited.
    • Notice of foot races must be posted by the race sponsor at the park one week prior to the event. Notices will be provided by Jefferson County Open Space.
    • No chairs or tables are allowed outside of designated picnic areas.
    • No motorized vehicles are allowed beyond the parking area, including catering vehicles and/or vehicles for transporting participants or event supplies or materials.
    • Event sponsors must remove all items associated with the event and deposit trash in cans.
    • No group/team sports are allowed.
    • Shelters with picnic tables are available for reservation and rental at Pine Valley Ranch Park and Heritage Grove only.
    • Jefferson County Open Space reserves the discretion of allowing or disallowing any permit request.


    Fees and Deposits

     A minimum permit fee of $25.00 may be required for all activities in which:

    • participants are required to pay a fee and/or a monetary donation that results in a profit being accumulated;
    • park personnel and/or equipment is required to administer, schedule, or otherwise supervise the activity;
    • and/or the activity has the potential for a significant impact on park values.
    • If the activity involves sales of items or services on the park, or individuals are required to pay a participation fee and/or monetary donation that results in a profit being accumulated, the applicant may also be charged 5% of the gross revenues or a flat fee as negotiated by Jefferson County Open Space. (i.e., some Special Events, Fee/Commercial Event).



    A $200 deposit is required for foot races.

    • Deposits will be returned only if all trash, flagging, chalk, decorations, signage and other event material is removed from the park immediately following the race.



    Conditions for Camping Permits:

    • Camping is allowed in designated campgrounds only.
    • All individuals/groups camping at designated campsites must have a camping permit.
    • Permits are issued in advance at the Jefferson County Open Space office in Golden or at the park.
    • Reservations for campsites can be made no less than three days in advance at the Jefferson County Open Space administrative office.
    • Nonreserved campsites will be available on a first come, first served basis.
    • Permit holders are required to be present at the campsite during their stay and are responsible for the condition of the campsite during and upon vacating the campsite.
    • Permits must be displayed on the permit holder’s vehicle dashboard and on the campsite post (advance permits and self-service).
    • Check-in time is no earlier than 2:00 p.m. Check out time is no later noon.


    Insurance Requirements

    Park Permits for which insurance is required shall not be issued until such proof of insurance is received by Jefferson County Open Space.

    Most Coordinated Activities will not require insurance, but will require that the party scheduling the event sign a hold harmless/indemnification statement as one of the conditions to obtain a permit. For events that pose a greater risk, all participants are required to sign a hold harmless/indemnification statement, and insurance may be required.

    The Coordinated Activity definition provides the general guidelines used by Risk Management to determine insurance requirements: “Any activity involving a person or group of persons that has the potential to adversely impact on park values or the health, safety or welfare of park visitors…”

    Permit Holder Requirements

    Permit holders must demonstrate possession of applicable permits at all times during the permitted activity and present such permits upon the request of a Jefferson County Open Space Park Ranger or other Jefferson County official.

    The Park Permit Agreement is a revocable permit and may be revoked at the discretion of a Jefferson County Open Space Park Ranger or other Jefferson County official if damage to resources or facilities is determined, if public health, safety or welfare is jeopardized, or if the permitted activity creates an unacceptable conflict among visitor use activities.

    Possession of a valid park permit grants non-exclusive use of the permitted site. The permittee shall ensure that the rights and privileges of other park visitors are recognized.