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How to Get to Boulder, Colorado

Transportation Information for Visitors

Getting to Boulder from DEN

MapIllustration2018Denver International Airport (DEN) is the closest major airport to Boulder. From DEN, it's a 45-minute drive to Boulder along an easy stretch of highway.

Options for getting to and from the airport include:


Rental cars are located on site at Denver International Airport. With well-maintained, easy-to-access roadways year-round, driving to Boulder from DEN is relatively easy. Because Boulder is located right where the plains meet the mountains, the drive from DEN is relatively flat — with no mountain passes to navigate.

Without Tolls

Take Peña Boulevard and merge onto I-70 west. Take I-70 to I-270 west. Continue onto Highway 36, which will take you to the east side of Boulder. This route is free of tolls and takes about 45 minutes during non-peak traffic hours.

With Tolls

From Peña Boulevard, take the toll road exit north (E-470 north to the Northwest Parkway toward Hwy. 36 West/Denver Boulder Turnpike). Exit onto Hwy. 36 and continue west into Boulder. Please be aware this route has tolls, and if you are renting a car, you will need to make arrangements with your rental car agency.

Public Bus

You can take the Regional Transportation District (RTD) bus from DEN to Boulder (Route AB). The route makes several convenient stops in Boulder, including a final destination at the Downtown Boulder Transit Station at 14th and Walnut, in the heart of downtown. Buses leave approximately every 60 minutes from the airport. The schedule and route information can be found on RTD's website (select Route AB/AB1/AB2).

Tickets are paid directly to the driver upon boarding the bus. You'll need cash and exact fare only, as drivers cannot make changes. This is an economical option, with one-way tickets costing $10. RTD has an information booth on the baggage claim level of the Main Terminal. The trip takes approximately 80 minutes.

Uber now has a partnership with RTD (which runs the public buses). You can use the Uber app to plan your route and pay for your bus fare. Just open your Uber app, choose your destination and starting location, and hit "Transit" among the product options. 

Shuttle Services 

Eight Black Airport Shuttle is a reliable provider, delivering guests directly to many of Boulder's hotels or other locations. Rates, schedules and details are available on the Eight Black website.

Boulder Transport provides luxury limousine, airport, and contract transportation services in Boulder, Colorado.

Boulder Rides offers luxury private limousine transportation from Boulder throughout the Front Range, as well as to and from Denver International Airport.


Taxis charge a flat, one-way fare (airport access fee already included) of $89.03 to or from Boulder.

Lyft, Uber or Z Trip 

DIA is served by the Lyft, Uber or Z Trip driver service apps. Load the app of your choice and request a ride to receive up-front pricing and personal service to and from DIA.

Getting Around Town Once You're Here

Public Buses

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) bus system services much of Boulder. The main downtown bus station, the Boulder Transit Center, is located at 14th and Walnut, with in-town routes serving Boulder and regional routes serving nearby destinations including Denver.

Boulder's Community Transit Network (CTN) also provides bus service for Boulder with the easy-to-ride HOP, SKIP, JUMP and other routes. The HOP's circuit, in particular, is a very useful shuttle-like service for visitors traveling to popular locations including downtown, the Twenty Ninth Street shopping area and the University of Colorado campus. The HOP arrives at clearly marked stops every 7-15 minutes, depending on the season and time of day. For more information, visit the City of Boulder's website.

Boulder BCycle

Best for shorter trips all around town, BCycle has 300 pedal-assist e-bikes at 50 stations all across Boulder. Find a Bcycle station and rent a bike right then and there, or download the BCycle App to view all stations near you. You can purchase a day, month, annual or pay-per-trip pass.

Bcycle Station

Lime E-Scooters

Lime e-scooters can be found in designated zones on or near sidewalks across the city. Use the Lime app to find available e-scooters. Note: E-scooters are geofenced and will shut down in "no-go" zones, such as on Pearl Street Mall, trails and cemeteries. For more information, read the City of Boulder's FAQ page on e-scooters.

Park Responsibly

After your ride, avoid parking your scooter in a way that blocks pedestrian walkways, crosswalks, car doors, bus stops or sidewalk ramps.

Car Sharing

There are two car-sharing services in Boulder: Colorado CarShare, which offers 50+ hybrids, trucks and fully electric vehicles, and Zipcar. Reserve by the hour, day or week.

Summer Weekend Hiker Shuttles

On summer weekends, you can ride in style to popular hiking areas, avoiding parking woes and, in some cases, bypassing park reservation requirements. Read more about the following summer shuttle programs.


In downtown Boulder, your best bet for parking will be in one of the city's parking garages. Parking in city parking garages is free Saturdays, Sundays and city-recognized holidays. Downtown garages use a gateless entry and pay system: scan a QR code from one of the many signs throughout the garages (or go to the Metropolis website) to setup payment for the first time. Parking less than 15 minutes is always free, too. Monday-Friday you can park in any city parking garage after 3pm and leave before 3am and you'll be charged a flat rate of just $3 for your entire stay.

Drive Times to/from Other Cities

Mileage and estimated travel time from surrounding U.S. cities are as follows:

City Total Distance Total Estimated Time
Albuquerque, New Mexico 475.5 miles 8 hours, 43 minutes
Aspen, Colorado 184.6 miles 4 hours, 50 minutes
Cheyenne, Wyoming 91.2 miles 2 hours, 1 minute
Colorado Springs, Colorado 97.3 miles 1 hour, 51 minutes
Denver, Colorado (downtown) 28.4 miles 37 minutes
Estes Park, Colorado 36.6 miles 1 hour, 11 minutes
Fort Collins, Colorado 53.9 miles 1 hour, 20 minutes
Grand Junction, Colorado 269.5 miles 5 hours, 9 minutes
Greeley, Colorado 48.1 miles 1 hour, 26 minutes
Lincoln, Nebraska 503 miles 9 hours, 20 minutes
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 698.5 miles 12 hours, 46 minutes
Omaha, Nebraska 555.8 miles 10 hours, 11 minutes
Salt Lake City, Utah 523.6 miles 9 hours, 54 minutes
Santa Fe, New Mexico 419.8 miles 7 hours, 48 minutes
Vail, Colorado 123.4 miles 2 hours, 23 minutes