Denver International Airport, DIA, as we call the Denver airport, is a hub for United, Frontier and, increasingly, Southwest. It is some 55 miles from Boulder and therefore something of a haul. In addition to rental cars, visitors can hop on RTD SkyRide (AB route). Service runs hourly, with Boulder stops at the Table Mesa Park-N-Ride garage, along Table Mesa Road, along Broadway and finally to the Walnut Street Station. The one-way fare is $12, exact change (2010 rate). SuperShuttle operates hourly, stopping in Boulder at the Broker (Baseline Road just east of U.S. Highway 36) and also offering door-to-door service. From $27 one way; $40 round trip. 303-227-0000.
Amtrak operates two trains a day, one eastbound and one westbound, serving Denver’s Union Station, where passengers can transfer to/from the B or BX bus. Denver is 25 miles from Boulder.
Bus transportation makes it easy to get around Boulder. The Regional Transportation District (RTD) not only operates the SkyRide (see “Airport,” above) but also reasonably frequent local (B) and express (BX) buses between Boulder and Denver’s Market Street Station. Other regular but less frequent intercity services run west to Nederland and Eldora Mountain Resort, south to Golden and Lakewood, north to Lyons, plus the BOLT northeast to Longmont and the DASH east to Lafayette. Buses are equipped with bicycle racks.
Transportation in Boulder is easy and affordable. Local bus routes include the HOP (loop around downtown Boulder to 29th Street shopping district, Bound (Baseline/Broad to Iris/28th Street), SKIP (north and south on Broadway), the DASH and JUMP (East Boulder County) and STAMPEDE (concentrated around the campus). On summer concert evenings, HOP2 links downtown and Chautauqua Park. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during CU’s academic year, buses operate on several late-night routes to keep partiers away from the wheel. The not-for-profit Climb, a 14-passenger van fueled by used vegetable oil, links Boulder with the mountain hamlet of Gold Hill.
You can’t be in Boulder without noticing how bicycle-oriented the community is. People ride year-round for pleasure, exercise or just to get from one place to another. There are more than 300 city miles of dedicated bikeways. Some are recreation paths separated from vehicular traffic, while others are designated bicycle lanes on city streets. Recreational riders and commuters alike use them all—especially the 7-mile Boulder Creek Path that links Boulder Canyon and East Boulder. Bike racks abound, especially downtown and at/near CU, but as idyllic as Boulder seems, no place is perfect, so always lock your wheels.
Driving is the best way to explore Boulder. The city is roughly 25 miles from Denver via U.S. Highway 36 (also called the Boulder Turnpike). It can get very congested during the rush hour, but counter-intuitively, more drivers commute in to Boulder than out. U.S. 36 continues north from Boulder to Lyons and then turns west to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Colorado Highway 93 (a continuation of Broadway) connects Boulder with Golden to the south, and Colorado Highway 119 (The Diagonal) leads northeastward to Longmont. Driving in Boulder is no hassle, but parking downtown and central neighborhoods can be. Meters line commercial streets downtown and On The Hill. There are three municipal parking structures downtown and one lot for public parking. Most center-of-town neighborhoods have a residential permit system in place for on-street parking. Visitors can park for two or three day-time hours or borrow a guest permit from their hosts.