Boulder Area Directions and Transportation Information
NIST Boulder Visitor Check-In & Parking
Boulder is located about 40 miles northwest of Denver International Airport (DIA). Transportation to and from Boulder is available by rental car, shuttle, limousine, or bus. Most rental car companies have facilities at DIA. A listing of ground transportation options is available by visiting http://www.flydenver.com/gt/index.asp and choosing Boulder as your destination.
A regional bus service, the RTD, provides frequent, reasonably-priced transportation between DIA and Boulder. SkyRide is RTD's bus service to and from Denver International Airport. Visit for schedule and pricing information.
Several hotels/motels are located near the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Local Boulder taxi service is also available.
Visitors to the site must be preregistered and check in at the Visitors Center. Please present photo identification upon arrival. Visitors must wear a visitor badge at all times while on the NIST campus.
Directions from Denver International Airport via tollway (E-470/Northwest Parkway)*
The toll from the airport to Boulder varies depending on the tolling method used. Visit https://www.expresstoll.com/CalculatingTolls/Pages/Calculating-Tolls.aspx for specific information. For two of the three toll plazas along the route, only electronic tolling is available through a transponder or automated license plate photo system. If you are renting a car at Denver International Airport, it is very likely the electronic tolling system will be included with the rental car – please see below*.
Exit the airport via Peña Boulevard to E-470 and turn right. E-470 will become the Northwest Parkway, which then becomes StorageTek Dr./S. 96th St. Merge onto U.S. Hwy. 36 West to Boulder. Stay on US-36 into Boulder and take the Baseline Rd. exit. Stay left on the exit ramp and turn left (west) on Baseline Rd. Travel under the US-36 overpass, to the first stop light, at 27th Way. Get in the left turn lane and follow 27th Way up the hill to Broadway. Turn left at the stop light at Broadway for approximately 2 blocks to the next light. Turn right onto the Dept. of Commerce site.
*Details about electronic toll payments.
The tollway route permits electronic toll payment through a transponder or automated license plate photo system. Most rental car companies at Denver International Airport provide the required transponder and/or registration of the car through the license plate photo system. In this case, you simply drive the car through the automated ExpressToll tolling lanes (no stopping required). The customer 's account is charged for the tolls approximately 30 days after using the tollway. When renting a car at Denver International Airport, please inform the customer service representative that you will be using the tollway to Boulder, and ask for an explanation of how your car is equipped for electronic toll payment.
If you are not using a rental car equipped with electronic tolling capabilities, it is still easy to use tollway. The tollway is actually two separately administered toll roads: E-470 and the Northwest Parkway. However, these two toll roads are seamlessly connected, and the change from one toll road to the other is apparent only by signs. Driving between Denver International Airport and Boulder, there are two toll plazas on E-470 and one on the Northwest Parkway. The E-470 tolls are collected ONLY through the electronic ExpressToll system requiring a transponder or through automated license plate photos. Cash cannot be used for E-470. Even if your car is from out of state and/or is not registered with E-470, the registered owner of the car will receive an automatically generated bill about 30 days after using the tollway. The Northwest Parkway (the third and final toll plaza on the trip to Boulder) will collect cash ($3.00). Do NOT use the automated license plate photo system for this Northwest Parkway toll plaza unless you are sure your vehicle is pre-registered for use with this automated system.
Driving Directions from Denver International Airport via I-225/I-70
Upon leaving the terminal or the rental car area, look for signs marked "Airport Exit" and "To I-70 & I-225 via Peña Blvd." Stay on Peña Blvd until it merges with I-70 westbound.
Stay in the left or center lanes to avoid exiting onto I-225 and other cross streets, and continue westbound on I-70 for about 4 miles. Watch for the I-270 exit on the right, labeled "Westminster/Ft. Collins," that comes at about 14 miles from DIA. It is also labeled Exit 279, "US-36 Boulder."
Take I-270 past Quebec, Vasquez, and York Streets, and past I-76 at 18 miles from DIA. Stay in the left lanes, until you pass under a "US-36 West/Boulder" sign at about 20 miles from DIA. (Do not exit to the right, towards Ft. Collins or Broadway.)
Stay on US-36 into Boulder, past the Foothills Parkway/Table Mesa/South Boulder Rd exit, and take the Baseline Rd exit to the right, at about 39 miles from DIA.
Stay to the left on the exit ramp, and turn left (west) on Baseline Rd. Travel under the US-36 overpass, to the first stoplight, at 27th Way. Get in the left turn lane and follow 27th Way up the hill to Broadway.
Turn left at the stop light at Broadway for approximately 2 blocks to the next light. Turn right onto the Dept. of Commerce site.
Visitors are required to show photo identification upon arrival and must wear a visitor badge at all times while on the NIST campus.