Stop Requested - Downtown Boulder Station (Part One)
Tucked under the shadow of the Flatirons, Boulder is a tight-knit city that is rich in history and adventure. Its location makes it a prime spot for adventure seekers looking to escape to the outdoors while also serving as a great place to spend a day. Right in the middle of it all is Downtown Boulder Station, a major transit hub that connects Boulder to its smaller neighbors, as well as the Denver metro area. Its location makes it easy for Denverites who want to escape. With so much to do within walking distance from the station or a short connection on another bus, it can be overwhelming to dial in a game plan for the day. That’s why in this edition of Stop Requested, we’re breaking it down into two parts. This week, let’s dive into all the fun outdoor adventures that can be had in Boulder.
Adventure lives in Boulder. There are a ton of outdoor activities for adventure seekers within walking distance or a short bus ride from any of the connecting buses at Downtown Boulder Station.
The closest outdoor activity to Downtown Boulder Station sits just about two blocks south of the station. Boulder Creek, which runs parallel to Boulder Canyon Drive, is a popular spot for fly fishers and river rafters alike, although holding off on the latter activity might be best until the summer months. The creek, which starts in Nederland and flows through Boulder Canyon down into the city, offers many great spots for those looking to try their hand at fly fishing. Have children? Follow the Boulder Creek Path just a few blocks west to the Evert Pierson Kids’ Fishing Pond, where smaller fish are stocked that are easier for kids to catch and release. Speaking of the Boulder Creek Path, it is a multiuse pathway that is very popular among runners, bicyclists and those who want to take a nice morning or afternoon stroll. The Boulder Creek Path has numerous small parks and art installations along its 5.5-mile span, including restroom facilities and benches to take a breather.
Speaking of cycling, Boulder has plenty of trails, pathways and parks for those who are about the two-wheel life. As mentioned previously, just a very short ride south from Downtown Boulder Station is the Boulder Creek Path. Cyclists looking for a challenge can head west on the path and up through Boulder Canyon, where the path winds its way to Chapman Drive. From there, cyclists can turn around and enjoy a breezy ride back down the path into the city or catch an eastbound Route NB from the CO 119 and Chapman Drive bus stop. Once in the city, cyclists can cruise along Boulder’s many dedicated and protected bike lanes or bike paths to enjoy a day of riding.
For those who prefer dirt and gravity, Boulder has plenty of mountain biking trails and parks to enjoy. Bikers can enjoy black diamond singletrack and downhill in Boulder Canyon via the Betasso Link Trail, accessible via the CO 119 and Chapman Road stop. The trail links to the Canyon Loop, Betasso Preserve and Super Betasso trails. Note that the Betasso Link Trail is gnarly and has a steep uphill climb, so this one isn’t for the faint of heart. Another great trail complex that can be accessed by the Route NB is in Nederland, named the West Magnolia trail complex, which will be revisited in a future Stop Requested post on Nederland itself! More in the mood for jumps and flow terrain? Hop on an eastbound Route 208 to Valmont Bike Park, part of Valmont City Park, a fully maintained bike park with terrain for every kind of rider. Big jumps? Check. Dual slalom? Check. Flow trails? Check. Cross-country trails? Check. Even better, the bike park has trails for every skill level, from those trying to learn the basics of mountain biking to rock gardens that require finesse, focus and guts to navigate. The best part is it is completely free to ride! With pavilions, benches and restrooms, it is easy to spend a whole day at Valmont riding the trails and dialing in tricks. There are even BMX jumps, too!
While on the topic of Valmont City Park, grab the skateboard and enjoy some of the best skateboarding in Colorado. Valmont Skatepark features bowls, vert, rails and hip features on perfectly smooth concrete. Additionally, the park features a paved pump track, great for getting legs in shape for snowboarding or to gain more confidence on a skateboard. However, its crown jewel is the Green Block Project, a grassroots do-it-yourself (DIY) skate park that is community-maintained that goes back to the roots of skateboarding. Established by the city of Boulder and Satellite Boardshop, among others, the Green Block Project features handmade and often unusual obstacles with which skaters can get creative. Valmont also features a great disc golf course, a large dog park and many walking trails.
In the winter, the Route NB serves Eldora Mountain Resort, dropping skiers and snowboarders off right at the Alpenglow lift. With the popularity of Eldora growing significantly over the years, thanks to its close proximity to Boulder and Denver and being an IKON Pass resort, hundreds of cars fight for a parking spot at the resort on weekends and powder days. The Route NB takes the stress out of parking by providing a cozy ride up to the resort and back down to Downtown Boulder Station.
Check back next week to learn more about all the great places to shop, eat and drink around Downtown Boulder Station.