Unspoiled. Untamed. Unbelievable. Because not long ago, it was nearly unreachable.
As you swoop into Boulder on Hwy 12, consider this: You’re entering the last town in the U.S. to have mail delivered by mule. That’s because it was unreachable by car until long after cars were common elsewhere. The highway wasn’t completed until 1940 and wasn’t entirely paved until 1971.
Today, Boulder remains the farthest hamlet from a U.S. interstate. Which is why Boulderites say their home is “Untamed. Unspoiled. Unbelievable.” No brag. Just fact. Read more...
Boulder has two, lively restaurants. If transplanted to a cuisine-centric \urban enclave, both would continue attracting a loyal following. In summer, you’ll also find street-food vendors near Anasazi State Park Museum. Serving tasty, ethnic food, these enterprising chefs essentially provide a catered picnic you can enjoy on the museum lawn beneath shady cottonwoods.
You’re a hiker? A canyoneer? A photographer? The spectacular, high-desert wilderness surrounding Boulder could keep you rapt for weeks. Road cycling, horseback riding, backpacking, trout fishing, outdoor yoga… If you’re keen about any of these activities, you’ll find Boulder’s other-worldly scenery will renew your passion for it. Because doing what you love in a wondrous setting makes it new again: Fresh. Thrilling. Meaningful. Memorable.
Cities have downtowns. Boulder has a post office. Though smaller than many walk-in closets, it’s where locals most often meet, chat, laugh, and share local news. The trading post, and the gas pumps bookending Boulder, serve a similar function. So while there’s no downtown Boulder, the community has several downtown-vibe locations where visitors are welcome and hospitality is always on tap.
Boulder is to slickrock hiking what Moab is to slickrock mountain biking. That’s because the nearly 1.9-million-acre Grand Staircase—Escalante National Monument (GSENM) is the slickrock capitol of planet earth, and it wraps around Boulder. So if you’re a walker, hiker, or backpacker, put a star next to GSENM on your must-visit list. Other priorities for your stay in Boulder include the Anasazi State Park Museum, Calf Creek Falls, the Waterpocket Fold, and two fascinating roads: the unpaved Hells Backbone Road, and the paved road known as “the Burr Trail.” Wherever you go near Boulder, serenity will enhance the experience, because the community has long championed “quiet-use” recreation.
One of America’s Most Scenic Roads
Utah State Highway 12 links Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef national parks. Between them, it pierces Boulder. Travel and Leisure Magazine named it one of America’s Most Scenic Roads. And the stretch immediately south of Boulder—where Highway 12 straddles a slender ridge called “the Hogsback,” both sides of which plunge sharply into dramatic tributary canyons of the Escalante River Canyon—is among the most impressive paved roads in the world. Allow plenty of time for your Highway 12 drive, so you can stop at the scenic pullouts. You’ll want to admire and photo the canyon-country panorama. And if you’re behind the wheel, you might need to settle your nerves.
Artists & Artisans
Boulder is way out there, and not just in the geographic sense. The high-desert atmosphere is seductive to original thinkers, so creativity blossoms here. Where else, among a population of less than 200, will you find a professional knife maker, a wildcrafter who gathers herbs to make luscious potions, a world-class watercolor artist, a jeweller whose specialty is earrings embellished with fur and feathers from road kill, a blacksmith whose work adorns Manhattan mansions, a Tibetan singing-bowl therapist, an essential oils master, and hiking guides whose artistry is leading you into and safely out of an unspeakably complex landscape?