Published: Nov. 6, 2023 By

Just over eight miles north of Nederland, Colorado, and nestled off the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway lies a serene area dotted with tiny cabins, peaceful walking trails and ample forest land. And while the setting is very different from the bustle of CU Boulder’s main campus, the amount of groundbreaking work hap-pening there is the same.

CU Boulder’s Mountain Research Station, located 25 miles from campus, is an interdisciplinary facility associated with the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, which serves students and scientists interested in mountain-based study. The scope of projects is wide — ranging from arthropods to microplastics to weather — and as many as 80 people can be studying at the station at once.

“The Mountain Research Station is a place where,for over 100 years, scientists, students and the public have come together to advance our understanding and appreciation for mountains, which are inspiring, formidable and increasingly at risk,” said Scott Taylor, director of the station.

Key Dates:


Mountain Research Station established in its current location 


Five professors taught 80 students. 


Former director John Marr founded the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), now the oldest institute at CU Boulder. 


National Science Foundation starts its Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network, which funded the Niwot Ridge LTER. 

CU owns 190 acres with an adjacent 1,775 acres of U.S. Forest Service designated research land

Located at 9,500 feet 

Other Facts:


short interpretive trails open to the public 


seasonal cabins 


students conducting research, depending on the summer


students in courses over a year 


largest amount fed in the dining hall at once 


labs on the property

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Photos courtesy Mountain Research Station and William Bowman (mountains)