What began as a subdivision 7 miles northeast of Boulder has become a community with a heart of its own. Boulder’s original plan in 1963, when the construction of IBM’s plant was just beginning, was to extend utilities for the subdivision to be known as Gunbarrel, and to annex it within five years. A few of the commercial and housing areas have been annexed into Boulder over the years, but most of Gunbarrel has rejected Boulder’s annexation attempts and remains largely in unincorporated Boulder County.

Gunbarrel’s residents enjoy a rural lifestyle without sacrificing the advantages of urban living. At census, Gunbarrel had over 10,000 residents with a diverse range of homes, from executive townhomes to huge customs. It’s also home to a myriad of shops, grocery stores, and restaurants, so people working at Celestial Seasonings, Leanin’ Tree, IBM, and other large offices and light industrial firms in Gunbarrel don’t need to leave the area for lunch or services.