Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks
The city of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) lands offer residents and visitors a variety of unique recreational, scenic, and cultural experiences that are often captured and shared publicly via social media. Given the diversity of OSMP lands, visitor experiences likely differ based on the aesthetic and biophysical features that can be viewed from these landscapes. For instance, the peaks of the iconic Flatirons provide visitors with different scenic views than the low-lying grasslands in the southeastern area of the city. Furthermore, visitor use and enjoyment of OSMP lands could be directly related to the landscape features that are visible from these different locations. Understanding how visible landscape features vary across OSMP lands can help managers target their planning efforts to improve the quality of outdoor recreation experiences, and potentially identify new locations for outdoor recreation infrastructure (e.g., trails, pavilions, etc.) that offer the ability to see the regions most desirable landscape features. This study: (1) identifies points in the landscape where users are often inspired to take photographs; (2) maps the landscapes most often viewed by visitors; (3) summarizes the types of landscape features viewed from OSMP lands; and (4) determines how these landscape features vary across LCAs.
Dorning, Monica A.; Berkel, Derek van; Beck, Scott M.; Wilkins, Emily J.; Zhang, Hongchao; and Smith, Jordan W., "Aesthetic Characteristics of the Front Range: An Analysis of Viewsheds Provided by Boulder OSMP Lands" (2019). All Current Publications. Paper 1975.