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FAQs About Boulder

You ask. We answer! Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Boulder, from weather-related queries to parking info requests.

Is Boulder in the mountains?

Boulder is located exactly where the plains and the Rockies meet — at the base of the mountains in the foothills. Our elevation is 5,430 feet (1,665 meters) above sea level. That's a few thousand feet lower than our friends in high-alpine towns like Vail (8,239 feet) or Breckenridge (9,600 feet). Looking west in Boulder, you'll be able to see gorgeous mountain views. Hiking, biking and outdoor adventure are right out your door in Boulder, with high-mountain outings just a short drive away.

Illustration of Boulder's Location

If I only have time to see one thing, what should it be?

The Flatirons

How far are hiking trails from town?

Steps from your hotel door, in some cases. A few minutes away at most. The city is both surrounded by and built around nature.

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Photo by Katie Botwin

A winter hiker on Mount Sanitas Trail

Is Boulder a big city?

With a population of around 100,000 (about 30% of those students), Boulder has all the big city amenities while still being compact, walkable and neighborly.

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Photo by Justin Bilancieri

Does Boulder have an airport?

The nearest major airport is Denver International Airport (DEN). Once you land at DEN, it's about a 45-minute drive (or an hour bus ride) along easy highways to Boulder.

Boulder does have a small municipal airport for private, recreational and emergency aviation (you can even go on a glider flight there!). Additionally, the regional Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (BJC), located about 20 minutes southeast of Boulder, is served by JSX hop-on jet service with nonstop charter flights to/from Burbank, CA (BUR), Dallas-Love Field (DAL), Las Vegas (LAS), and Phoenix (PHX).

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What is Boulder known for?

In a nutshell: our obsessions with outdoor recreation, health foods, land preservation, science research, breweries, wellness and innovation. Read our page What Boulder Is Know For to discover why.

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Is Boulder walkable? Do I need a car?

A compact downtown core means you can leave your car at the hotel or skip it entirely, and other neighborhoods and sites are easily accessed by bike or public transit.

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What's the weather like in Boulder?

In a word: "mild." Boulder gets around 300 sunny days a year, has very little humidity and is at an elevation of 5,430 feet (1,655 meters). This keeps average temperatures moderate. Our Weather page will help you plan.

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Photo by Abbie Youngs

Winter hiking at Chautauqua

What should I pack for a trip to Boulder?

Layers. Even on warm days, evenings will be cool in Boulder. Also make sure to bring comfortable shoes, a water bottle and sunscreen. Read about what to pack for each season.

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Photo by Andy Colwell

What is parking like in Boulder?

Boulder has intentionally prevented urban sprawl, and that means we tend not to have a lot of generously sized parking lots. That being said, there are plenty of places to park if you know where to go. The city has a great map with rate information. Your best bet for parking downtown is one of the city parking garages

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Why is Boulder so happy?

Boulder's been known as a happy city for a while. National Geographic and the "Today" show recognized Boulder as "The Happiest City in the U.S" in 2017, and even back in 2011, CBS News wrote, "If happiness is a state of mind, then Boulder is its capital." Why Boulderites tend to be content is probably a combination of factors: plenty of sunshine, a laid-back lifestyle, scenic outdoor beauty, nourishing food, the positive presence of the University of Colorado, a highly active culture, and enough craft beer to put a smile on anyone’s face.

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Enjoying a few scoops at Gelato Boy on Pearl Street