United States

Boulder, CO

Boulder, Colorado is one of the country’s havens for those who love the outdoors. Known as a prime destination for hippies in the late 1960s, Boulder is located at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, 25 miles northwest of Denver. Boulder is believed to have taken its name from Boulder Creek, which serves as the city’s primary water flow. Long before the city was founded, the creek itself was named for the large granite boulders that have cascaded the creek over the eons. The Flatirons, regarded as one of Boulder’s prominent symbols, are slabs of sedimentary stone tilted up on the foothills, located in the West part of the city. This is our guide to the best places to run in Boulder.

With a population exceeding 97,000 people, Boulder is not only known for its Western history, but as home to the main campus of the state’s largest University: The University of Colorado. The city is also recognized for its high rankings in health, well-being, quality of life, education, and art.

With a total area of 25.7 square miles, Boulder is a beautiful city, with dozens of scenic routes for running. Among the highlights are the Mesa Trail, the Boulder Creek Trail, and some wonderful trails in the foothills.


Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Boulder, CO

The Mesa Trail

The Mesa Trail runs along Boulder’s most beautiful mountain parks, dramatic Flatirons, scenic forests, and meadows. One... more...

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Wonderland Lake Park/Foothills Loop

Boulder, CO

The Wonderland Lake Park/Foothills Loop, is a tranquil and scenic spot for running. Roughly three miles north of downtown Boulder, Wonder Lake Park, Foothills Community Park, and Foothills Community Garden make for a nice 4 mile loop.

Mt. Sanitas Loop

Boulder, CO

This is one of the more challenging, yet accessible trail runs near Boulder. The Mt. Sanitas trails are extremely popular among runners, walkers, mountain bikers, and hikers.

Due to the city’s geographic lift, the mountains to the West often dry out the air passing over the Front Range, creating a fairly dry climate, year-round. In-turn, Boulder is often shielded from the snow that blankets other parts of Colorado. Winters in Boulder are fairly mild, with average hights in the mid to upper 40s. Lows dip into the 20 — so there can be ice before the sun gets to it.

Summers in Boulder are very warm and dry. Average highs are near 90, but nights still get cool even in height of summer.


Considering Boulder is a popular place for business travelers and vacationers, the city offers a wide selection of hotels. Most of the city’s hotels are centrally located. Yet, if you’re looking for something a little more quiet, there are a few places to stay in North Boulder as well. For business travels, the St. Julien Hotel and Spa, Hotel Boulderado, and the Hampton Inn and Suites Boulder-North, are said to be some of the best options. Here a couple more specific recommendations:

Downtown/Central Boulder

  • St. Julien Hotel and Spa
  • Hotel Boulderado
  • Boulder University Inn
  • Millennium Harvest House Boulder

North Boulder

  • Holiday Inn Express Boulder

Northeast Boulder

  • Hampton Inn and Suites Boulder-North
  • Boulder Twin Lakes Inn


Boulder Running Company— Centrally located, just north of downtown, and one of Boulder’s main running stores. Group runs each Tuesday at 7:00 from the Union Square store.

Fleet Feet Boulder — Also just north of downtown. 3–6 mile Group Runs:  Monday Night Fun Run at 6pm from the store and am 8am Saturday Breakfast Run from the store as well.

Newton Running Lab— Right downtown in the main shopping rea. Running form clinics every Saturday at 10:00am. Held at store location.

The Bolder Boulder 10K — Takes place in May. One of the world’s largest races.

Run Happy Half Marathon — Takes place in May.

Boulder Backroads Marathon and Half Marathon — Takes place in late September.

Boulder Rez Marathon and Half Marathon — Takes place in October.