American flag continues to fly in Glenwood Canyon for July 4th |

American flag continues to fly in Glenwood Canyon for July 4th

The American flag sits perched on the edge of a high cliff just west of the Hanging Lake Tunnel in Glenwood Canyon.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Since 1968, a pair of climbers have been erecting a flag at the top of a granite cliff in Glenwood Canyon, in more recent years to commemorate the July 4th holiday.

The climbers, also Vietnam War veterans, first scaled the cliff with no intention of starting an annual tradition, according to a 2012 Post Independent article. But 50 years later, the flag still flies.

Just a few miles west of the Hanging Lake tunnel on westbound Interstate 70, the flag can easily be seen atop a 300-foot peak. The trek to the top of the cliff is no easy feat. It involves crossing the Colorado River, the railroad tracks, and then finding a route up the rock face to where the flagpole currently stands.

Each year, the flag has been replaced by a new banner, and the old flag has been given to friends or family of the climbers, sometimes as a thank-you for helping them achieve the climb.

Over the past 50 years, the flag has drawn attention from numerous newspapers and TV stations. Although the pair of climbers didn’t begin the tradition as a means for publicity, the tradition lives on, and will continue to do so as long as a few Glenwood locals believe in the purpose of the climb and the meaning behind the colors.

(Editor’s note: The participants in this annual tradition wish to remain anonymous.)

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