Glenwood Canyon flag replacement tradition continues |

Glenwood Canyon flag replacement tradition continues

Since 1968, Vietnam War-era veterans Mike Paddock and Steve Kibler have been erecting a new American Flag on a rock outcropping in Glenwood Canyon, usually some time ahead of the 4th of July holiday.

This year, on June 1, they were joined by Keith Edquist of Glenwood Springs and his son, Garrett Edquist, to document the occasion in photos and video.

The climbers first scaled the cliff with no intention of starting an annual tradition, according to a 2012 Post Independent article. But 51 years later, the flag still flies and is replaced each year just before the 4th.

The flag flies high on the south canyon wall just a few miles west of the Hanging Lake tunnel. From westbound Interstate 70, the flag can easily be seen atop a 300-foot cliff face.

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 stands.

Each year, the flag is replaced, and the old one is given to friends or family of the climbers, sometimes as a thank-you for helping them achieve the climb.

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