Boulder

Not to be confused with Boulder City, the town in Nevada near the Hoover Dam..

Boulder, Colorado is a city located at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It is a college town with a reputation for progressive values, enjoying the great outdoors and thus a very pleasant place to live and visit.

Understand

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°F) 45 46 52 61 69 80 85 84 77 66 54 46
Nightly lows (°F) 21 22 27 36 44 53 59 58 50 39 29 22
Precipitation (in) 0.5 0.8 1.6 2.7 3.1 1.7 1.8 1.6 1.4 1.5 0.9 0.8

These days, Boulder wears several hats: as a university town, home of the University of Colorado at Boulder and others; as a hi-tech town that is rapidly spawning bedroom communities in outlying farm towns; and as a center of alternate culture, with various new age institutions, Naropa University, meditation centers, Buddhist centers, and the like. What perhaps distinguishes it most from other cities of similar size in the United States, however, is its status as a mecca for serious athletes, many of whom have made their home here for the conditioning advantages of high altitude, combined with businesses, facilities, and a community that provides opportunities for serious training and competition. Even the average nine-to-five Boulderite is much more likely than the average American to be a serious climber, cyclist, runner, skier, etc., and you will see the difference as you're about town.

Boulder is situated in the Front Range region of Colorado and is virtually adjacent to Denver, except for its buffer of Open Space Parks which border the city and provide it shelter from its growing surroundings. This reflects that it is the "front door" to the mountainous country to the west, with many outdoor attractions, including a medium-sized ski resort less than an hour from the city limits, and also the fact that there are significant cultural differences between Boulder and Denver beyond its liberal politics.

Boulder is known for its outdoors and the residents with one of the healthiest lifestyles in America. It is very true, no matter what the weather, there are always people outdoors; running, biking, walking, hiking. It has a great atmosphere and beautiful sights.

Living in Boulder is very expensive. Along with being one of the most active towns in America, it is right up there with the living expense. Smaller towns are popping up around Boulder that are cheaper, but may take 10–15 minutes to get into this vibrant town.

Get in

Boulder is easily reached from Denver International Airport via car or bus. Boulder is roughly 30 miles from Denver, and is an easy drive via US highway 36. The drive is pretty spectacular, with beautiful scenery as you drive straight toward the Rocky Mountains. The Regional Transportation District (RTD) operates bus service to and around Boulder and is a clean, safe, and easy way to get to town; the Skyride 'AB' bus runs hourly between Denver International Airport and Boulder, while the Flatiron Flyer offers fast service along express highway lanes between Boulder and Denver.

Get around

Mass transit

Boulder and Denver share a common mass transit system, known as RTD. which won "Best Public Transportation" in a nationwide survey in 2008. You will also notice that a large percentage of locals use bicycles to get around the down town (most of the city sights are within 2 miles). Many locals use the "Skyride" RTD bus to get to and from the airport. It's greener and easier.

By car

If you choose to drive around town, be aware that there is heavy traffic on the main thoroughfares, high numbers of pedestrians (cyclists) and parking downtown can be a bit tight. There are a number of city-owned garages tucked behind the buildings downtown. Keep your eyes open for the large green "P" signs outside their entrance ramps, as they don't look like parking garages from the outside. Be careful when parking in the University area, as tickets can be quite expensive. Boulder's police are vigilant about drunk driving, so keep out of the car when you find yourself tipping down a local microbrew or two. Watch carefully for the school zones: when the yellow lights are flashing, slow down to 20 mph. Many of the main streetlights have cameras that can capture you running the tail end of yellow lights. Watch out, or you may get tickets in the mail!

By bike

See

Pearl Street Mall, Boulder

Do

Buy

Eat

University of Colorado at Boulder

Drink

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

Crime and personal safety

Boulder has a very low crime rate and has no bad neighborhoods, but use common sense. University Hill, which is bordered by Baseline, Broadway, and Canyon can become raucous in the evenings, especially on weekends. Downtown Boulder, especially at night, is frequented by panhandlers, who can be aggressive at times but are not dangerous. Aggressive panhandling is illegal in Boulder, and you may report it to the police. Throughout the hiking trails near university property, Boulder has black posts lit with a blue light that have emergency phones in them that only dial 911. Due to a growing number of rapes during the 2008/2009 school year, it is not advised for girls to walk alone after 1AM on the hill or near Pearl St. Mall. Boulder has also had several recent reports of violence against Asian individuals

Outdoors

Boulder has a dry climate and during any season, dehydration can be a problem for visitors and residents alike. Drink plenty of water. If you go hiking in the evening, bring two quarts of water. At night, temperatures drop remarkably, so bring warm clothing if you'll be out at night. (This is true even during summer months.) Be aware of mountain lions while hiking .

Go next

There are a very large number of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Go to the Gallery map store or to the Boulder Bookstore and buy maps and a guide. Local favorites include the Anne U White hiking trail, the Chatauqua trails, White Rock, Eagle Trail, Boulder Creek, Dowdy Draw, Green Mountain, and Walker Ranch.

For Skiers/Snowboarders, the closest resort is Eldora, located near Nederland, CO. It takes about 45–60 minutes to drive there from Downtown. The 'N' RTD Bus to Nederland runs to Eldora during ski season.

Routes through Boulder

Rocky Mountain N.P. Lyons  NW  SE  Westminster Denver
Estes Park Lyons  W  E  Thornton Brighton
Black Hawk Nederland  S  N  Longmont Ends at


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