I live in Seattle, and have been to Denver & the Boulder area several years ago. I'm sure either school would be great, so I would think about what would be available to do during any down time you may find. One thing neither Denver nor Boulder can offer is the coast. Portland sets along the Columbia River, so the river gorge area is awesome, plus you would be in the heart of wine country along the I-5 corridor in Oregon & eastern Washington. Also, the coast is only a 2-hr drive; I love the Oregon coast over Washington’s coast – very beautiful. Not sure that is what you were looking for, but I feel it’s something to consider.