United States

Boulder, CO

Boulder, Colorado is one of the country’s havens for those who love the outdoors. Located at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, 25 miles northwest of Denver, Boulder’s name comes from Boulder Creek, which serves as the city’s primary water flow. 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 city of 100,000 is home to the stat’s largest university, The University of Colorado, and is also recognized for its high rankings in health, well-being, quality of life, education, and art. Our guide running in Boulder features several of Boulder’s scenic highlights, plus some accessible trail running through a variety of dramatic landscapes.

Among the best places to run in Boulder are the 8-mile Boulder Creek Trail, which passes through the University of Colorado campus, downtown, and into Boulder Canyon; the Mesa Trail; and other wonderful trails in the foothills. Another highlight is the 5 mile loop around the Boulder Reservoir and adjacent Boulder Valley Ranch trails. For a true challenge, Magnoli Rd. offers the steepest paved maintained road in the United States. Boulder is also a mecca for trail running. We’ve included a few options, but really it’s the tip of the iceberg.

Note that Boulder’s elevation is 5,300 feet. Also, the city has a very sunny climate and many trails are exposed. So plan accordingly!

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. more...

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  • Iconic Routes
  • Weather & Climate
  • Where To Stay
  • Stores & Group Runs
  • Events

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.

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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

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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.

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

Road Runner Sports—Southeast of the city in Westminster, this iconic family owned running store has been selling shoes for over 35 years.

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.