Welcome! Bienvenue, Herzlich Willkommen, 환영 합니다, 欢迎, Добро пожаловать, مرحبا, स्वागत है

All residents and visitors must check-in at the John W. Marr Alpine Laboratory upon arrival and departure unless other arrangements are made.

Please arrive during business hours, Monday-Friday 8am-4pm. If you plan to arrive after hours please make necessary arrangements and look for housing assignments near the front door of the Marr Alpine Laboratory.

All residents must review and follow this "Guide to Living at the Station" and must complete and agree to the "Resident Agreement" when you check in.  (see buttons to the right for PDF copies)

The MRS is located approximately 8 miles north of Nederland, CO, and sits at 9,500' (2900 m) at the base of Niwot Ridge. RTD bus service is available throughout Denver and Boulder and shuttles are available from Denver International Airport to most metropolitan areas.  RTD services the town of Nederland, but not MRS.  Carpooling is strongly encouraged.

Approximate drive times are: 90 minutes from Denver International Airport, 45 minutes from Boulder, 15 minutes from Nederland

Summer weather at the MRS can be very variable and change rapidly. Be prepared for hot and cold, sun, rain, wind, and snow particularly at higher elevations. Temperatures can range from mornings in the low to mid 30°’s F (-1°C) to afternoon highs in the low 80°'s F (26°C). Please be prepared for any conditions in the field.

The MRS is located at 9,500’ elevation.  Understand and be aware of altitude sickness which can occur above 8,000’.  Altitude sickness can progress to high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE), both of which are potentially fatal, and can only be cured by immediate descent to lower altitude or oxygen administration.

Emergencies: dial 911 for all emergencies

Fires: NO open fires are allowed on the MRS campus (fire pits, fire pans, charcoal grills, etc).  No use of personal propane grills at cabins.

Smoking: Smoking products of any sort, including but not limited to, tobacco, cloves, or marijuana are prohibited at the Mountain Research Station campus grounds both indoors and outdoors. CU Boulder No Smoking Policy

Alcohol & Drug Policy: All state and federal laws regarding the possession and consumption of alcohol or controlled substances apply to the Mountain Research Station. Alcohol is not to be present or consumed in public areas or events (labs, classrooms) without proper approval from the University of Colorado. The University of Colorado is a “drug free workplace.” Possession, sale and/or use of illegal drugs is prohibited. University policy prohibits the use of marijuana on the CU-Mountain Research Station campus. CU Policy on Alcohol On Campus and CU Policy on Marijuana

Firearms: Unauthorized possession of the firearms, explosives, or other dangerous or illegal weapons anywhere within the Mountain Research Station campus is prohibited.  CU Policy on Weapons

Guests: Guests are welcome at the station, but should check in at the Marr Lab administrative office and plan to leave before 10 pm. Guests are welcome at the dining hall but must pay cash for all meals. Meals may be purchased in advance with cash at the Marr Lab administrative office, or can be purchased with cash at the dining hall with exact change.

Pets: Although we love them, pets are not permitted at the Mountain Research Station. Year round residents/employees may have pets by special permission.

Camping: No camping is allowed at the MRS for users or guests.

Wildlife: The Mountain Research Station is a wild place. Black bear, moose, mountain lions, and coyotes move through the station throughout the year. All wildlife should be viewed at a distance and treated with respect. Never feed wildlife, including squirrels and chipmunks.  More information from Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Quiet Hours: You are welcome to come and go from the station. Quiet time is expected from 10 pm to 6 am.

Vehicles and Parking: Carpooling is strongly encouraged. Please drive around the station only when necessary to minimize dust and reduce wear and tear on roads. The speed limit is 15 miles per hour within the station property. Walking or bicycling is strongly encouraged. The main parking area is located at the entrance to the station near the Marr Alpine Laboratory, and past the propane tanks. Long-term parking in the upper portion of the station beyond the dining hall is discouraged.

Leaving the Station: Always have a buddy. Please check in with your group coordinator, course instructor, cabin-mate, or station staff before leaving the station.

Phones: The Marr Alpine Lab has a phone for guests. Cell phone coverage is available, but patchy. AT&T and Verizon are the best carriers.

WiFi and Computers: WiFi is available near some areas of the station (Marr Alpine Lab, Moores-Collins Lodge, Kiowa Lab). Logon with UCB Wireless, UCBGuest or eduroam accounts. Desktop computers for students are available in the Marr Alpine Lab library. Visiting guests and researchers...please ask staff about login options.

Bathhouse/Showers: Day user bathrooms are located in the Marr Alpine Lab. Those staying overnight at the MRS have access to the bathhouse with separate mens/womens bathroom and showers. There is no fee for showers. Please remember to bring your own soap/shampoo/towels.

Laundry: There is a pay laundry on-site @ $1.25/load. The laundry room is located at the north end of the bathhouse. No change machine / change is available, please bring your own quarters. No laundry soap is available, please bring your own.

Mail & Packages: Long-term residents are encouraged to get a PO Box from the US Post Office in Nederland; however, short-term residents may have mail delivered to the station. The USPS will not deliver large boxes. Residents must make their own arrangements for pick-up in Nederland. Both United Parcel Service and FedEx deliver directly to the Mountain Research Station. It is strongly encouraged to use one of these carriers for incoming packages larger than a letter. Residents are responsible for postage and payment of all outgoing shipments.  The MRS will not pick up packages at the USPS office in Nederland, please use UPS or FedEx.

Recreation & Activities: Numerous hiking trails and other recreational opportunities surround the Mountain Research Station. The Mountain Research Station is located near the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests, and Indian Peaks Wilderness Area and is approximately 20 miles south of Rocky Mountain National Park. Trail guides, maps and other resources are available on the internet to help navigate through the area. There is an excellent map of the surrounding areas created by Latitude 40.

Bookstore: A small bookstore is located in the Marr Alpine Lab. Books, T-shirts, hats, are available for purchase.  The bookstore is open upon request during administrative hours between 8-4.

Supplies/Snacks: No supplies (toiletries, personal care, clothing, etc.) or food items (besides dining hall meals) are available for purchase at the MRS. The nearest supplies are available in Nederland, a 15 minute drive from the MRS. 

The dining hall serves healthy, filling meals usually with meat and vegetarian options. Dining hall service is available early June through mid-August or when field courses are in residence. Meals are covered as part of the tuition of summer field courses, can be pre-paid when making reservations, or are available for cash purchase. Sorry, credit cards are not accepted – please bring cash.

  Dining Hall Hours: (NOTE):The dining hall is ONLY open on days that summer classes are in session. (typically open Mon-Thur, closed Fri/Sat/Sun) See the MRS website for summer course schedules. Otherwise, the dining hall is open only on a pre-arranged basis for groups.

      *Weekday Breakfast: 6:45-7:45 a.m.

      *Weekday Lunch: Sack lunch @ 7:30 a.m. (Self-made lunch items are provided during the breakfast hour for a sack lunch. Please take only what you need for that day's lunch. If you would like to reduce the use of throwaway products, you may bring your own plastic lunchbox/bag and reusable containers.)

      *Dinner: 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Special Diets

The dining hall can meet most dietary requirements, such as nut allergies, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, etc.  Visitors with special dietary requirements must inform the MRS at the time of coarse registration or lodging reservations.  Efforts to meet dietary needs for walk in visitors will be made, however to ensure we can meet your needs please provide notice to the dining hall staff as early as possible.

Payment for meals

Meals are covered as part of the tuition of summer field courses, can be pre-invoiced when making reservations, or are available for cash purchase. Sorry, credit cards are not accepted – cash only.

  • Meal tickets can be purchased in advance at the Marr Alpine Lab during office hours.  Cash only and change is available.
  • Single meals, at the time of meal can be purchased at the dining hall, however exact change (or more) is required – no change will be provided.
  • 2019 Meal Rates (Children 6-11 are half price, children 5 and under are free).
    • ​Internal User (academic, educational researcher, instructor, or K-12 group): Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner......$10/$10/$14
    • All Others: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner......$12/$12/$16


Cleaning: All residents are responsible for keeping their accommodations, the restrooms, and laundryroom clean.  

Check In / Check Out: Unless special arrangements are made, check-in time is 2:00pm and check out time is noon.

What to Bring

(may vary depending on your use at MRS)

Bedding - MRS does NOT provide any bedding

  • Sleeping bag, or sheets and blankets for twin sized beds.
  • Pillow, pillow case

Toiletries & Personal Care

  • Soap/Shampoo
  • Towel/washcloth
  • Toothbrush/paste
  • Personal medications

Clothing & Field Gear

  • Layers of clothing; i.e. lightweight base+fleece and/or wool, plus shell
  • Shorts
  • Warm hat, gloves, and socks. Raincoat and pants (shell).
  • Footwear appropriate for field work – light to medium weight water proof/resistant hiking boots or shoes
  • Daypack
  • Water bottles/bladder
  • Brimmed hat or cap
  • Sunscreen
  • Flashlight/headlamp

Optional, but recommended:

  • Cell phone
  • Cash for dining hall (if you are not in a course or have not pre-paid)
  • Shower Shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Change for laundry

Please arrive no later than 7:15 am for the morning of the first day if you plan on eating at the Dining Hall. Arrive no later than 7:30 to go to the dining hall to pack your sack lunch for the day.  If you bring you lunch on the first day please arrive no later than 7:45 am.. Class begins at 8:00 am with introductions, additional site logistics, housing assignments, and safety orientation.  Course tuition includes room & board. Cabins are small and rustic, have electricity, a woodstove, and usually twin sized bunk beds. Most everyone will have a roommate and cabin assignments will be provided the first morning. Cabins must be cleaned and vacated no later than noon on the day following the last day of class.

Motor Pool

The Mountain Research Station maintains vehicles for course and administrative use only. Vehicles are never available for personal use.  We do not rent vehicles and cannot loan vehicles.


Requests for cabin repairs, firewood, restroom supplies, etc. can be requested at the Marr Lab administrative office.

Equipment & Supplies

Limited equipment and supplies for students and researchers may be checked out from the Marr Alpine Lab.

The Mountain Research Station and the University of Colorado reserves the right to interpret all policies and regulations. Written clarification may be requested from the Director or Manager.

The Mountain Research Station and the University of Colorado reserves the right to deny service, research privilege, or housing.