road to rocky mountains

How To Get From Denver to Boulder

Need to get from Denver to Boulder? The two cities are about 30 miles apart, so it isn’t difficult to get from one to the other. Although it’s a short distance, there are a few different ways to make the journey, depending on the way you like to travel.

Most people fly to Denver, Colorado’s capital, before venturing further into the mountainous state. While it’s worth taking some time in Denver to explore its museums and historical landmarks, it’s mostly a stepping stone to getting to the nearby Rocky Mountains. Boulder sits at the foothills of the iconic mountain range, known for its world-famous ski resorts, hiking trails, outrageously beautiful views, and more. So, whether you’re flying into Denver, travelling around Colorado, or simply taking some time away from the state’s capital to get some fresh air, you have options. Here are some of the best ways to get from Denver to Boulder.

Getting From Denver to Boulder


road to boulder colorado

The most obvious, and most convenient, way to get from Denver to Boulder is by car. If you’re arriving at the airport or just don’t have a car to take you there, there are many car hire firms around. So, the first thing to do is to find a great deal. Then, it’s a fairly straightforward drive and generally won’t take longer than 40 minutes, depending on what part of Denver you’re coming from. The traffic in the city can be a pain, so try to avoid rush hour by travelling in the morning or evening.

The most popular way people take the journey is via US Highway 36, otherwise known as the Boulder Turnpike. It’s a beautifully scenic drive, with a view of the misty Rocky Mountains coming into focus as you approach the city. When you reach city limits, Highway 36 turns into 28th Street. This is the main north-south route through Boulder, so you’ll be able to reach your destination easily. But before you reach the city, if you run into some traffic on Highway 36, you can always avoid it by jumping on the toll road. Bear in mind that they can charge up to $13, depending on where you jump on and the time you’re travelling at.

Before any trip, it’s important to check the weather conditions before embarking on your journey. If you’re travelling during the winter, roads can get icy pretty quickly. Although it’s not as intense as further up into the mountains, it can slow down your journey. In the summer, there’s an increased risk of wildfires. They’ve been happening more frequently in the Boulder area, so it’s something to be on alert for.



Hopping on a bus from Denver to Boulder is pretty simple, and it’s the most affordable option. You have choices, depending on where you are in Denver. If you’re coming from Denver International Airport, you can take the Skyride Bus to Boulder from right outside the airport. They roughly leave every 60 minutes, making two stops in Denver before setting off for Boulder. It takes about one hour, depending on which stop you get off at. There are seven stops in Boulder, so you should be able to get fairly close to your destination. It terminates at Boulder Junction at Depot Square Station.

If you’re not at the airport but instead in the city, head to the RTD website to find a stop closest to you. There are various stops around the city, all heading to Boulder. But the one closest to downtown Denver is Union Station, where you get get the FF1 bus to Boulder.

It’s worth noting that there are no trains that go from Denver to Boulder. You might see a train that goes to the University of Colorado, but this is to the Denver campus, not the Boulder campus.


Catching a shuttle between Denver Airport and Boulder is another convenient way to travel. You have to book in advance, but it means you can get dropped off at your accommodation rather than at a bus stop. This is especially handy if you’ve got a lot of luggage with you or staying far away from a bus stop. They also tend to run during those hours when buses might not be running, so if you’re getting in particularly late or early, this is a good option.

There are a couple of shuttle companies to get you from Denver to Boulder, one of them being Green Ride. Green Ride is a Boulder company and like the name might suggest, is a more sustainable travel option. They work to offset the greenhouse gases they emit from driving, so it’s a great option for those that are environmentally conscious but also value convenience.


road in front of denver skyline

If you don’t want to catch a bus or drive yourself to Boulder, you can always book a taxi. There are local taxi firms, Uber, Lyft, and more, that will take you straight from wherever you are to wherever you need to be. It’s the most convenient of all the options, but it can be pricey. To minimise the cost, both Uber and Lyft offer ‘carpool’ options, so you can split the cost with other passengers. It’ll take a little longer to get to your destination, but the price will be significantly less. Catching a taxi is also a good option if you’re staying far away from a bus stop, so you’d have to get a taxi to your destination anyway.

Aleyna Yilmaz

Aleyna loves learning about a culture through its food, whether that's closer to home or being out there in the world. She’s always happiest when experiencing somewhere new, but her base in Manchester is a close second. A blend of her love of writing, food, travel, and culture has naturally led her to travel writing full time.

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