The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the Flatirons

The Mesa Laboratory of NCAR in Boulder is an interactive museum and operating research station that is responsible for conducting research in a multitude of areas, like climate change, post-nuclear war catastrophe scenarios, global emissions projects and so much more.

The building was designed by the modernist architect  I. M. Pei in 1961 and it is a work of art, with part of the design creating open “windows” through which you can see different parts of the mountains and Boulder in the valley below. (Research into the design says Pei based it on the Anasazi cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde, CO.)

We explored the museum exhibits and learned about the climatology and hydrology of the Boulder area as well as the Rocky Mountains in general. It was fascinating and we, who never lived in this part of the country before, learned so much in a very short amount of time!

Touch a tornado exhibit


After leaving the museum, we took a nearby trail up into the Flatirons. Even though we hadn’t really anticipated hiking that afternoon, it was really fun and surprisingly crowded on the trails for a weekday.


We only scratched the surface of this range – I guess our only choice is to come back again and often!! 😉

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