Abusing your RTD bus pass: Nederland

An RTD bus enroute to campus on Wednesday, October 20th. Students can opt to ride to Nederland on RTD's new route. (CUIndependent/Amy Moore-Shipley)

Even living in Boulder, it’s nice to get out of town every so often.

Luckily, doing so is easy with an RTD bus pass. Included in the CU student fees, the bus pass allows students to travel throughout the Denver Metro Area at no cost.

This week, the CU Independent decided to check out the mountain town of Nederland.

A quick trip on the “N” bus, accessible from the bus station on Pearl, will take you up to Nederland. With a population of 1,337 people, the town brings a new definition to the word “quaint.” It isn’t congested with tourists, and the locals are warm and friendly.

Along with the quiet atmosphere, Nederland also boasts its beautiful scenery. Snuggled in the Rocky Mountains, the surrounding area is lush and beautiful. Especially in October, visitors can see the changing of the Aspen leaves, as well as snowy scenes in the mountainous distance.

A quick hike can bring visitors to the Barker Reservoir, which sits pristinely at the outskirts of town.

Connor Griffin, a 19-year-old freshman open-option major, said he found the reservoir especially appealing.

“The lake was really relaxing,” Griffin said. “I felt more at ease just being by it.”

Other than appreciating nature, there are plenty of other places to visit and activities in which to partake. For example, the Nederland Mining Museum looks back at the history of mining in Colorado.

The Nathan Lazarous Skate Park offers the ability to skateboard and Rollerblade in a breathtaking location.

The Carousel of Happiness is both a historic museum, as well as a fun distraction for people of any age.

Out of everything to do, Sean Kalra, a 19-year-old sophomore and MCD biology major, said he enjoys the Carousel of Happiness.

“I went to the carousel the first day it opened, and I really liked it,” Kalra said. “It was great because it brought a lot more money to Nederland, which improves the town.”

The shopping in Nederland is unique as well. Practically free from corporate domination, the town is full of locally owned small businesses that are happy to serve visitors. The stores are not tourist-oriented gift shops often found in most vacation spots, but instead are interesting places selling unique wares. Although it was closed, the Alpaca Store and More looked very intriguing.

The food in Nederland is also comparable to its beauty. Whistler’s Cafe offers a delicious, inexpensive breakfast. The New Moon Bakery features a distinctive-tasting iced tea and one of the best slices of carrot cake west of Boulder.

Created from old train cars, Buffalo Bill’s Coffee and Confections makes scrumptious, light donuts.

For visitors with a larger appetite, the Black Forest Restaurant, Neapolitan’s Italian Restaurant and the First Street Pub and Grill offer a more formal sit-down environment.

However, some of the traditions of the town may be a little strange to some visitors.

Allyson Stewart, an 18-year-old freshman MCD biology and biochemistry double major, said she found the Frozen Dead Guy Days festival, celebrated annually in March, to be a bit unsettling.

“There’s an old woman here whose husband froze to death,” Stewart said. “She keeps him in a Tuff Shed, and now they celebrate his death every year. I think it’s pretty creepy.”

Despite its quirks, Nederland offers a great escape, especially since the cost of transportation is free for those who use their RTD pass. The best advice would be to bring a jacket – at an altitude of 8,230 feet, it’s bound to get chilly.

Contact CU Independent Writer Matt Glassett at Matthew.glassett@colorado.edu.

CU Independent

The CU Independent, or CUI for short, is the student news outlet for the University of Colorado at Boulder. We cover news, sports, politics, opinion, arts and entertainment and more. Our mission is to provide news and commentary that’s for students and by students — about the things we care about.

1 Comment
  1. I’m a relatively new resident to Nederland having lived here for the last year. The Alpaca Store and More is definitely worth checking out if you have a chance. If you like Indian food then the Kathmandu is excellent.

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