Getting to know Boulder
The city of Boulder has a lively atmosphere with many unique attractions around campus. For local shopping, entertainment and great food, students can visit either The Hill commercial district or downtown Pearl Street. Both areas are within walking distance to campus.
Boulder is one of the most bike-friendly and pedestrian-friendly cities in the country. The Boulder Creek Path runs throughout the city, allowing for easy biking or walking without the stress of traffic. If your student has a bike, share these tips from the CU Police Department about preventing bike theft. Students are also able to rent bikes through the Environmental Center each semester.
If your student is new to the Boulder area, it may take some time for them to acclimate. Boulder’s elevation, combined with its dry climate, makes it extremely important to stay hydrated. Students are encouraged to gradually increase activity level to avoid altitude sickness. Share these tips with your student for preventing altitude sickness and knowing the signs of dehydration
With roughly 300 days of sunshine combined with high altitudes, Boulder has a mild, dry climate and experiences all four seasons throughout the year. With these elements, make sure your student has sunscreen, sunglasses and a reusable water bottle.
While Boulder is often sunny, it is not always warm. During the winter months, Boulder can experience blizzards that leave 8 inches of snow on the ground and temperatures below freezing. Students should have the following to stay warm if temperatures drop:
- Layers, including thermals and sweatshirts
- Winter coat that is wind and waterproof
- Gloves and a hat
- Winter or snow boots (waterproof)
- Scarves and extra blankets
- Microwaveable food in case they don’t want to leave their room/house
If your student has a car in Boulder, the Colorado Department of Transportation website includes tips and information related to winter driving. Here are additional items to have on hand:
- Window scraper for ice & snow removal
- A “winter kit” to keep in the car including a blanket, an extra set of warm clothes, water, snacks (energy bars), a flashlight with extra batteries, a first aid kit, any necessary medications, emergency flares or reflectors and a cell phone car charger.
If there is inclement weather, CU Boulder works with the city of Boulder to remove snow from campus streets, parking lots, sidewalks and multi use paths. Remind your student to exercise caution when traversing campus, whether by foot, by bike or by vehicle during winter weather. They should also wear appropriate footwear and be careful getting in and out of vehicles, including buses.
Although rare, major winter storms can sometimes lead to campus closures. Notification of such closures are sent out via CU Boulder Alerts.
Between hiking, climbing, camping, backpacking and more, there are many options to explore Colorado's great outdoors. If your student is interested in visiting state and national parks, encourage them to check out the Rec Center’s Outdoor Program. Through the Outdoor Program, students can rent gear, plan their adventure and attend clinics.
Boulder is also close to many downhill ski areas. The CU Ski Bus provides students an affordable and convenient way to get to the slopes and back. Remind your student to check snow and weather conditions if they plan on skiing or snowboarding. Storms can approach quickly during the winter, and chains or adequate snow tires might be needed for traveling on mountain roads.