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    Sawhill Ponds

    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 wake 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 is bursting with color and a lively vibe. 

    Of course, lots of things are very different than usual right now. 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: September 25, 2020

    Fall Panorama of Boulder

    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. A few shops are by appointment only or are doing curbside pickup only. 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

    Pearl Street is in its last-of-summer glory, with colorful flower beds and hanging flower baskets and chalked-up sandwich boards out on the bricks welcoming visitors. There is a friendly, happy vibe on Pearl right now, with folks happy to be out in the fresh air in downtown. You may come across an impromptu music performance or a live art demonstration. Most restaurants have reopened and are maximizing their outdoor seating.

    Downtown Shop Openings
    Twenty Ninth Street

    The amazing Flatirons view at this outdoor shopping center is as refreshing as ever. Most shops are open for in-person shopping, with precautions of course, and most restaurants are open.

    Twenty Ninth Street Shop Openings

    Are Restaurants Open in Boulder?

    Yes, most are. They are allowed to serve guests inside at 50% capacity inside, with expanded capacity outside. All tables are spaced out appropriately. The city has taken extraordinary steps to close streets to through traffic so that restaurants can open additional seating right on the street. Some breweries and bars that serve food are open in a limited capacity. 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. Last call for alcohol at restaurants is 10pm. 

    A few restaurants are still only open for take-out, curbside pickup or delivery in Boulder. 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. 

    Downtown Dining Street Closure

    Dining SAFE in Boulder

    Are Hiking Trails Open in Boulder?

    Yes. Boulder’s hiking trails have not been closed due to Coronavirus. 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:

    • 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. 
    • 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
    Hiking Trails

    Woman wearing a mask hiking a Boulder trail

    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). 

    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 About Attractions and Tours?

    Things You Can Do Right Now

    Are City Parks Open in Boulder?

    Yes. Boulder's beautiful city parks remain open for enjoyment to those following social distancing guidelines and wearing face coverings. Pick up some food to go, bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic with some beautiful foothills and mountain views. Playground equipment is now open.

    PIcnic at Chautauqua

    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 Any Public Swimming Pools Open in Boulder?

    Spruce Pool, an outdoor public pool in downtown Boulder, and the Boulder Elks Community Pool are now open by reservation (they are booking up quickly). Your best bet is to book a hotel with a pool (there are 11 hotel pools open in Boulder at last count).

    Swim and Stay in Boulder

    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?

    Boulder is a university town and is, like many other university towns, currently seeing a rise of COVID-19 cases. In response, Boulder County has issued a public health order stating that anyone aged 18 to 22 years old anywhere in the City of Boulder (note: this is citywide only; not countywide) may not participate in any gatherings of any size, whether indoors, outdoors, on or off campus, or with individuals of any age. The order is in effect until noon on Oct. 8, 2020. You can read more here.

    As of September 25, 2020, there have been 79 deaths in Boulder County attributed to COVID-19. As of that same date, 4,270 individuals in Boulder County have tested positive or are considered probable (likely positive) for COVID-19. In comparison, Denver County has had 434 deaths and 12,785 positive cases. The state of Colorado has had 1,940 deaths and 67,926 cases. More Colorado case data is here.

    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. 

    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