Facility Rules and Policies
Visitor safety and wildlife conservation are top priorities at the Colorado Front Range National Wildlife Refuge Complex. At times, sections of the refuges may be closed on short notice due to wildlife needs, weather, or special projects. The refuges are subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
To help make your visit safe and enjoyable, click on the the View All Rules and Policies below for details about permitted and prohibited activities. You can also call Refuge Headquarters at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge at 303-289-0232, and monitor the website for current hours of operation and alerts before visiting. We hope you enjoy your visit to the Refuge!
Designated trails and parking areas are open to public access. The west side of the Refuge is open year-round from sunrise to sunset (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day). The east side is open seasonally from May through September, Tuesday through Saturday from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm.
To protect wildlife and habitat, visitor access is limited to designated trails only. All other Refuge lands are closed to visitor entry.
Please Enjoy these Wildlife Related Recreational Activities:
- Wildlife observation.
- Wildlife photography.
Prohibited activities and uses include, but are not limited to:
- Hiking off designated roads and trails.
- Motorized vehicles off designated roads.
- Pets and other domestic animals (dogs, cats, horses, etc.).
- Parking in undesignated areas and overnight parking.
- Abandonment of wild or domestic animals.
- Launching, landing, and operating aircraft (model aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles / drones).
- Possessing and discharging fireworks.
- Discharging of firearms or other weapons.
- Disturbing, injuring, and damaging wildlife and plants.
- Searching for and removal of any object (plants, wildlife, natural objects, mineral, antiquities, etc.).
- Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages.
- Possession or consumption of marijuana and any illegally controlled substance and associated paraphernalia.
- Commercial photography and motion pictures.
- Camping, tents, and building of structures.
- Abandonment of personal property and littering / dumping.
- Use of boats, canoes, kayaks, float tubes, paddleboards, and other floatation devices on Refuge waters.
- Walking or skating on ice.
- Swimming, wading, and bathing in all Refuge waters.
- Campfires and grills.
For more information, call Refuge Headquarters at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge at 303-289-0232.
To Report Violations on Federal Refuge Lands: dial 1-844-397-8477 or email FWS_TIPS@fws.gov.
To Report Emergency / Medical / Fire: dial 911. For non-emergency calls: dial 303-277-0211
Why Are Dogs Prohibited at Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge?
Dogs (pets) are not allowed at Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge, Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, and Rocky Mountain National Wildlife Refuge. Bringing your dog to acan be very disruptive to wildlife and some visitors.
Many wildlife species perceive dogs (pets) as a predator and in some instances as prey to larger predatory species. Dogs (pets) can chase wildlife or be a visual threat to wildlife and birds, causing wildlife and birds to flee nesting, burrowing, feeding, and resting sites. The lingering scent of the dog (pet) can signal the presence of a predator, long after the dog (pet) is gone. The disturbance of wildlife burns much needed energy that animals need to survive and raise their young.
Dogs (pets) can carry disease into the Refuge’s wildlife populations. Dogs could unknowingly carry canine distemper, which can be detrimental to the health of our endangered black-footed ferrets and other small mammals. Dogs bark and disturb the quiet of the Refuge. Unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells can disturb even the calmest, friendliest, and best-trained dog, causing them to behave unpredictably or bark excessively.
Service animals are allowed, but must be on leash control at all times. The definition of a service animal is any animal that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. The crime deterrence effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.
Emotional support, therapy, or comfort animals do not qualify or meet the definition of a service animal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For more information on service animals please refer to the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s “Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA” pdf file.