Park Rules & Policies

General Park Rules:

  1. Dogs and pets must be on a leash and under physical control at all times.
  2. Pet waste must be picked up and disposed of properly.
  3. No use or display of marijuana or the use of illegal drugs.
  4. No glass bottles or any glass containers allowed in parks.
  5. No littering. Use trash cans and dumpsters or pack it out.
  6. No weapons, firearms, or fireworks.
  7. Disturbing the peace, including loud music or sound, is prohibited.
  8. The sale of goods and services requires a Parks and Recreation Permit.
  9. No overnight camping, tents, enclosures, or other unpermitted structures such as air castles, pools, or water slides.
  10. Motorized vehicles allowed only on roads and in parking areas.
  11. Large gatherings normally require a permit. To reserve a permit site call Denver Parks and Recreation Permit Office at (720) 913-0700
  12. Any type of tree attachment, other than slack lines or hammocks, is prohibited. Any type of attachment to park structures is prohibited.
  13. Removal or damage to plants or structures is prohibited.
  14. Fires and coals are allowed in grills only. Grills must be least 12 inches off the ground.
  15. Thoroughly extinguish all charcoals, dispose of properly or pack it out.
  16. No feeding or disturbing wildlife. A license is required for fishing.
  17. Hand-launched watercraft are allowed in Denver parks with required safety equipment. Find more details
  18. No swimming is allowed except in swimming pools.
  19. Swimming or wading in fountains is prohibited.
  20. Rock climbing and off-trail use are prohibited at Red Rocks and Summit Lake Parks.

Read full park use rules and regulations(PDF, 351KB)

View Chapter 39 of the Denver Municipal Code

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I report a problem in a park?

Residents should report issues online or call 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(PDF, 351KB) 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.

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

When do I need a park permit?

Permits are required for exclusive use of park space, for gatherings larger than 25 people, and for certain permit types (such as athletic fields and public events) and park uses. Please contact the Parks Permit Office to verity if a park permit is needed for your activity. The Parks Permit Office can be reached at or 720-913-0700 (press 6).

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

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 2:00 pm. For weather impacts, the hotline is updated at 6:30 am Monday-Friday, and 7:30 am on Saturdays and Sundays.

For more information, visit

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: 5 am – 11 pm; 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 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 the 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 11:00 am – 7:00 pm.

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 planned?

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 9:00 pm 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.

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, fill out the Adopt-a-Dog Park Agreement(PDF, 153KB) and return to

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 to connect with our volunteer community, and to sign up for one-time or ongoing projects.

Visit to learn more about the various volunteer opportunities within DPR, or to contact the DPR Volunteer Coordinator.

When are park and recreation improvements coming to my neighborhood?

Small fixes like broken sprinklers or playground equipment can be reported online for immediate review from our operations team. Larger projects like playground and court upgrades take longer to complete. Every quarter, planning and park operations management meet to look at department's improvement requests, using a number of factors to determine levels of need and priorities throughout the city's 250 parks and 29 recreation centers.

How are new projects and upgrades in parks and recreation centers prioritized?

Improvements and upgrades are decided on through the Capital Improvement Project (CIP) process: Each quarter, park operations & planning management reviews the list of inquiries and reports that have come in via or Denver 311 (720-913-1311). From there, repairs and upgrades are prioritized based on multiple factors such as safety issues, available resources, location and other current projects going on in the area. Project scope is also considered—sometimes short-term repairs are not completed right away to save resources if a more extensive replacement or upgrade is ultimately needed.

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 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 for more information.


Other Regulations & Information

Administrative Citation Rules

Administrative Citations Rules and Regulations – Governing Use of Administrative Citations for the Enforcement of Article I of Chapter 39 of the Denver Revised Municipal Code and associated Rules, Regulations and Directives

Amended and restated November 18, 2015: View administrative citation rules(PDF, 7MB)

Park Designation Process

This Policy is adopted by the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation (“DPR”) for the purpose of providing some clarity as to the designation status of and the protections afforded to Denver parks under the existing legal framework and to make clear the public process with respect to designation of Denver parks in accordance with the City Charter and City procedures.

Resources, Allocations and Priorities Plan (RAPP)

The Plan identifies core services, points out duplication in services, recommends service provision strategies, and recommends resource allocation and pricing strategies. It enhances partnerships and helps meet the future needs of Denver residents, and those who work in and visit the community.

Full Report, June 10, 2013(PDF, 3MB)
Summary(PDF, 2MB)

Tree Care Rules & Regulations

Denver’s street trees are under regulation of the City Forester, but their maintenance is a responsibility shared by adjacent property owners.  Regulations are intended to serve as requirements for arboricultural activities on public right-of-way and other public places, and otherwise defines required practices and treatments pertaining within the City and County of Denver, Colorado. 

Find full details on tree care rules and regulations.