Living in Golden

Living in Golden combines all the best aspects of life in Colorado.

The Colorado School of Mines campus—ranked the safest in the state—sits right in the heart of the city of Golden, a historic community that is host to numerous arts, sports and music festivals and bustling with restaurants and breweries, recreation outfitters, boutiques, art galleries, hiking and biking trails and so much more.

Golden serves as a launching point for many an outdoor adventure, and for good reason: nestled in the spectacular Clear Creek Valley, it’s surrounded by mountains and mesas, and the closest big ski area is less than an hour away.

Despite its small-town atmosphere and proximity to the great outdoors, Golden is mere minutes away from everything that downtown Denver—easily accessible by car, bus and light rail—has to offer.

Read on to see where living in Golden could take you.

miles of interconnected trails

days of sunshine per year


college towns with the best public transportation

Outdoor Adventures


Golden has been named a bicycle-friendly community by the League of American Cyclists, receiving its silver award for implementing a “complete streets” policy. In addition to 24 miles of trails (which connect to an extensive network throughout the county and beyond), the city also operates its own bike-share system, the Golden Bike Library, and a park exclusively for mountain biking.


Golden offers a multitude of trails that provide a variety of experiences and difficulty levels, from the gentle Clear Creek Trail to the North Table Mountain Trail, which has an elevation gain of 400 feet from the south.

CLEAR CREEK: Running through the heart of Golden, Clear Creek is popular with anglers, paddlers, tubers, sun worshippers, runners, bikers, dog walkers—everyone, really. It even includes a quarter-mile-long whitewater park.


Golden’s location in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains means students have convenient access to world-class skiing. Eldora, for example, is just 58 minutes away.

Colorado School of Mines

Eldora Ski Resort

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Loveland Ski Area

Winter Park Resort

Copper Mountain

Vail Ski Resort

Beaver Creek Resort

Aspen Mountain Ski Resort

Keystone Resort

Echo Mountain


This capital of Colorado—also known as the Mile High City—is a diverse, modern metropolis with a flourishing arts and cultural community, a well-established music scene, numerous professional sports teams, world-class dining and everything else that big-city living has to offer.

VIDEO: Learn about the Downtown Denver area and watch all of Visit Denver’s neighborhood guides.

Getting There

Downtown Denver is just 15 miles away from campus, a trip that can take as little as 20 minutes by car.

No wheels? No problem. RTD’s West Rail Line runs from the Jefferson County Government Center station in Golden to Denver Union Station every 15 minutes. To get from campus to the station, students can use FlexRide bus service (formerly Call-n-Ride), which runs every 15 minutes on weekdays and can also be booked online or by phone.

Even better, students can ride RTD light rail and buses for free using their university-provided RTD pass.

RTD’s Route 16 West Colfax bus travels regularly from Golden to downtown Denver as well, while Zipcars and ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are also available in Golden.