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    Boulder's Flatirons

    COVID-19: What to Expect in Boulder Right Now

    Thank you for thinking of Boulder! You may be wondering what the situation is like here in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Well, the Flatirons are still presiding over our little city, there's a pine-scented breeze on our mountain trails and Pearl Street still has its trademark lively vibe. 

    Of course, lots of things are very different than usual right now. The virus is surging. Boulder County, along with 14 other neighboring counties have moved to a "severe risk" level that is one level down from the highest, "extreme risk" level. We’re asked to keep our distance, wear face coverings and mingle with only those in our households. Hotels are open, restaurants are open for outside dining (takeout and delivery, too) and shops are open. And, as with all destinations, circumstances can change quickly. We’ll keep you updated as best we can here, and you’re welcome to check back often for the latest.

    Last Updated: November 30, 2020

    Are Shops Open in Boulder?

    Yes, Boulder’s retailers are open on Pearl Street, in downtown, at Twenty Ninth Street and across town. There are a limited number of shoppers allowed in a store at a time. Face coverings are required to enter any shop.

    Shops are taking great pains to ensure your safety. They are cleaning regularly, wearing face coverings, sanitizing point of sale stations and will remove any tried-on items from the floor for a "rest" period before they can be put back out. Learn more about safe shopping in Boulder.

    Pearl Street Fall with Masks

    Are Restaurants Open in Boulder?

    Right now, only takeout, delivery and outside dining are possible. All tables are spaced out appropriately. The city has closed a few streets to through traffic so that restaurants can open additional seating right on the street, even in winter. Servers are required to wear face masks. You'll need to wear a face covering to any restaurants and can remove it for eating or drinking. And we ask that you sit only with members of your household. Last call for alcohol at restaurants is 8pm. 

    Restaurants are also allowed to serve alcoholic beverages to go, so you can order a bottle of wine or a couple of margaritas to enjoy with your meal. Alcohol can be delivered or “taken out” until 10pm.

    Pearl Street Outdoor Dining

    Are Hiking Trails Open in Boulder?

    Yes. Boulder’s hiking trails have always remained open throughout the pandemic. In some cases, there are suggestions for one-way travel. These are marked on this awesome interactive trails map, as are lower-trafficked trails, and trails closed due to wildlife habitat protections. Kindly follow these guidelines for hiking in Boulder:

    • Stay at home if you are sick or have been exposed to COVID-19.
    • Maintain more than 6 feet of physical distancing from people not in your household.
    • Wear a face covering, as required by Boulder County Public Health order. 
    • Personal gatherings are not allowed right now. Please do not hike with a group of people other than those in your household. Please do your part to stop the spread.
    • If you see a full or crowded area and/or cannot find parking, move on to a different trailhead or hiking area.
    • Stay on open space trails and walk through mud unless you need to step off the trail to let others pass. If you need to step off the trail, try to avoid vegetation and step on a rock or dirt patch instead.
    • View suggested one-way travel areas, trails that are wider than six-feet and areas that see high and low visitation through OSMP's interactive trails map

    Winter Hiking at Chautauqua

    Can I Go Mountain Biking?

    Yes, Boulder’s mountain biking trails are open (unless they are closed due to muddy conditions or for wildlife habitat protections). The same guidelines as above apply.

    Mountain Biking Trails

    Mountain Biking Hall

    Are Hotels Open in Boulder?

    Yes, Boulder hotels are accepting reservations, and all are taking extraordinary precautions to ensure sanitization and safety.

    Hotel Safety Measures

    What Nearby State and National Parks Are Open?

    Can I Camp in Boulder?

    Even under normal circumstances, there is no camping in the city of Boulder. However, there are several nearby options listed on our Camping page. You will need to confirm the open status of these areas, but most Colorado campgrounds have reopened. Boulder County fire restriction info is here.

    Are Face Coverings Required in Boulder?

    Yes. Boulder County Public Health released an order requiring every person older than 12 years old to wear a face-covering when in public anywhere in Boulder County where social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained (this includes outdoor spaces). And by statewide order, anyone 11 and older must wear a face covering in any public indoor space or while using or waiting to use public buses or taxis, car service or ride shares.

    Don't Leave the House Without...

    • Your face covering. They are required in Colorado. 
    • A well-charged cell phone, so you can use the ParkMobile app to pay for parking, order food to go, take pictures of maps, and use it as a tool to avoid tactile contact.
    • Hand sanitizer.
    • Sunscreen.
    • A full water bottle.

    What Are the Coronavirus Numbers Like in Boulder County?

    As of November 30, 2020, 11,266 individuals in Boulder County have tested positive or are considered probable (likely positive) for COVID-19, and there have been 122 deaths in Boulder County attributed to COVID-19. In comparison, Denver County has had 36,243 positive cases and 524 deaths. The state of Colorado has had 228,772 cases and 2,521 deaths. More Colorado case data is here.

    Boulder County's current safety status is rated Safer at Home Level Red: Severe Risk. You can read more here. Level Red prohibits personal gatherings between members of different households, indoor events and indoor dining at restaurants. Restaurants may offer curbside, takeout, delivery services, and in-person outdoor dining to tables with a single household. 

    Are Colorado's Borders Open?

    Yes, Colorado's borders are open. There is no quarantine period for those crossing state lines — just bring a face covering, as they are required by statewide order. 

    Low-Contact Travel at Denver International Airport

    DIA has launched Verifly, which reduces your contact with others at the airport and offers reservations for a dedicated TSA screening lane and a limited-capacity train car to the concourse. Denver International Airport is the closest major airport to Boulder and is about a 45-minute drive away.

    Have More Questions?

    We are the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau, the official tourism organization for Boulder, and we are happy to answer your questions. Call 303-442-2911 or email