Getting to—and Around—CU Denver’s Downtown Campus

From sidewalks to bike shelters to public transportation, there’s no shortage of travel options.

January 25, 2024

Located in the heart of Colorado’s capitol city—and just moments away from downtown and the arena where the NBA champions Denver Nuggets play (also the home of the Colorado Avalanche), CU Denver’s campus is not only easy to get to, but also a breeze to get around. No matter what your mode of transportation is, we’ve got you covered as you are coming and going.  

1. Hop on the light rail or bus 

The university’s partnership with the Regional Transportation District (RTD) allows Lynx to travel to campus, and explore the greater metro area, more conveniently and at a lower cost (the RTD Mobile CollegePass for students is less than $25 a month). Light rail stations are located near campus (the closest is the Colfax at Auraria station on the south border of campus, behind the Auraria Library). Other nearby stations, including Union Station, allow for easy access to popular destinations, like the Denver International Airport. And there are numerous ways to access the campus via bus. You can find more information—along with schedules—on RTD’s website. 

2. Ride your bike 

Denver has more than 20 miles of bike lanes, and the Auraria Campus has no shortage of bike paths and bike amenities. If you bike to campus, be sure to check out two badge-access bike pavilions on the north side of North Classroom. The transparent structures are made of steel, hold 50 bikes each, are equipped with security cameras and LED lighting, and offer bike fixing stations. Badge access is activated through the Auraria Sustainable Campus Program (located in the Tivoli). You can also get your bike tuned, fixed, or adjusted at the Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center’s Bike Shop

3. Get your steps in 

The Auraria Campus covers 150 acres, which means there is ample opportunity to walk—or roll—to, from, and around CU Denver. And the city’s focus on walkability is only increasing. In November 2023, city officials unveiled a revamped Larimer Bridge—which connects campus to downtown Denver’s vibrant Larimer Street—with 12-foot-wide sidewalks and more lighting and seating. 

4. Drive your car  

If you prefer the comfort and convenience of commuting to work or class in your car, there are several options for parking on campus. Those include metered street parking, covered parking garages, and parking lots—nearly all of which include accessible parking. And the Business School parking lot will soon offer two charging spaces. For a full list of parking options, click here. If you want someone else to do the driving, the campus is easily accessible via your favorite ride-sharing app. 

5. Take the MallRide 

Located minutes from campus, the 16th Street Mall is a prime destination for eating, shopping, and running errands. If you’re in a hurry, want to avoid the cold or heat (depending on the season), or simply don’t feel like walking, RTD’s MallRide has you covered—for free. Travel the mile-long mall with ease on one of 36 buses. Learn more here. Note: During ongoing construction on the mall, buses are running on alternative routes; you can find more information here. 

6. Shred it on your skateboard 

If you’re looking to get between classrooms or offices quicker, campus’ sidewalks welcome skateboarders, too. If you need a place to store a skateboard, you can rent a locker in the North Classroom on the third floor. Click here for more information on locker rentals.  

7. Ride your scooter 

On the topic of transportation apps, you can use other micromobility options, including rented bikes or scooters, across the metro. If you’re new to using public scooters, check out Lyft or Lime. Make sure to adhere local rules for riding and parking.