Night Riding - Where and When?
Short answer: You can ride some places at night, you can't ride others. If you ride in the wrong place you'll get your ass in a sling faster than a coyote with a rocket tied to his back falls off a cliff. When you arrive at a trailhead or enter a park, read the signs to make sure you're on the right side of the law. The rest of this page tries to give you an idea of when and where it's ok to night ride, but this list is not exhaustive.
Yes!! You can ride on US Forest Service land pretty much any time you want (at least around Boulder County). USFS areas are a lot of the places between Ned and Estes on the Peak to Peak Hwy, such as West Mag, the Dots, and stuff around Brainard Lake! Check first though... for example, Mud Lake is NOT USFS and is actually closed to nighttime use.
Yes!! You can ride on CITY of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks lands! BUT, and this is a big BUT, parking lots are closed at 11 pm to 5 am, so you had better ride to your ride! This is why everyone and their brother seems to ride Marshall Mesa, Doudy Draw, and Boulder Valley Ranch for night rides - these places are City lands which are open to night riding as long as your car isn't parked there late. One last disclaimer about the city - although Valmont is a "city park", Valmont Bike Park is closed dusk to dawn. So yeah, no night jumping and late-night pump seshs.
No! Dag nabbit! You can't ride on Boulder COUNTY Open Space at night. No Heil, No Hall, No Betasso, No Walker, No fun at all! :( Any place that is Boulder County is "No siree Bob!" at night! As an added disincentive, bear in mind that most of these properties have rangers who live there. Rangers who give tickets and who know where the exits are know what car you came in. Also, the County generally really likes us (law-abinding mountain bikers) and we like them. They make us some great trails, and we generally help them make trails. It sucks to piss on your best friend's lawn, so please ride somewhere else at night.