Community >> Boulder
Photos by Amber Widgery
Just a short drive northwest of Denver, at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, sits the Flat Irons of Boulder. Boulder is Colorado’s 11th most populous city, with a population of 94,000. The city of Boulder also serves as the county seat for Boulder County.
Boulder was first settled in the early-to-mid 1800s by the Southern Arapaho Native Americans. The first recorded Europeans to settle in the area was in 1858, where gold prospectors settled in the then Nebraska Territory. A year later, in 1859, the Boulder City Town Company was formed, and the city became official in 1871.
Boulder continued to be a city focused on mining of coal, silver and gold, and became a popular stop along the Union Pacific Railroad when the Boulder railroad depot was added in 1890. The University of Colorado was founded in 1876—the same year that Colorado gained statehood. Over the years, Boulder has transformed from the mining and railroad town it once was, into a lively, outdoor-oriented and culture rich city.
Boulder sits at an elevation of 5,430 feet above sea level—just slightly over 1 mile. Boulder has the highest population density in the state, covering 25.4 square miles of land. Average summer temperatures in July reach 80 degrees Fahrenheit, while average winter temperatures in January averages at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Average snowfall in Boulder accumulates to about 82 inches per year.
Boulder boasts itself as the home of the Colorado Buffaloes, of the University of Colorado. Naropa University, a 4-year liberal arts college, also resides in Boulder. Much of the town’s culture is attributed to the lively student population in Boulder. Many local events and festivals are sponsored by the universities, with emphasis on outdoor activities, film and music.
There is also a great focus on the technology industry in Boulder. The top five employers in Boulder include the University of Colorado, Sun Microsystems, IBM, Ball Aerospace & Technologies, Corp., and Level 3 Communications.