Colorado 4th of July Memories: Leadville & Red Rocks Ampitheatre

Colorado Fireworks: Photo Credit, http://blogs.westword.com/

This would typically be my “Colorado Weekend Events” post but with the 4th of July holiday weekend, there are events taking place approximately every 2.3 feet across the state. So where to start?  I decided to look back at my 14+ years here in Colorado and see which 4th of July Colorado memories have really stood the test of time.  For me, there are two 4th of July Colorado memories that I will always remember fondly: Leadville in the late 90’s and a string of Mt. Morrison/Red Rocks Ampitheatre 4th of July hikes.

Since moving here in 1997, I’ve ranged over most of the state.  In my early Colorado years, I would typically load up the old Scout II on Thursday night and be on the road by Friday at noon (let’s hear it for a flexible work schedule).  Most of the time, I didn’t even have a destination in mind…just chose a direction and went.  One of those trips saw me end up in Leadville, camping at Turquoise Lake (or was it Twin Lakes?  They’re all close by and all beautiful) for the 4th of July.  After getting camp setup, it was a quick trip into town for a 4th of July parade, activities, and of course, fireworks.  It was your typical small town 4th of July celebration and it was great.  However, that isn’t what made that 4th of July memorable.  What made this trip stick in my mind was this:  it snowed.  That’s right, it snowed on my campsite that night…in July.

Check out Leadville’s Old Fashion 4th of July celebrations this year.  Will it snow? Well, this is Colorado and so you never know.  If it does, I promise you it will be a 4th of July memory that will never fade.

Leadville’s Old Fashioned 4th, 2011 Schedule of Events:

http://www.visitleadvilleco.com/page.asp?id=45&news_id=37

Downtown Leadville

Turquoise Lake near Leadville

The other 4th of July Colorado memory that stands out for me is actually an amalgamation of several years.  My first five years of Colorado living were spent in Idledale (google it, it’s got quite the colorful history).  Situated just west of Denver, between Morrison and Evergreen, there are many people who have been close by but probably haven’t realized it.  For anyone who has taken in a concert at Red Rocks Ampitheatre, you probably noticed the backdrop of Mt. Morrison which climbs up from the back of Red Rocks.  If you were to climb to the peak, and look down and west, you would see Idledale.  On three different occasions, I hiked up Mt. Morrison from the Idledale side, caught the tail end of Blues Traveller and then watched not only the fireworks display from Bandimere Speedway but also fireworks stretching some 25-30 miles up and down the front range.  Spectacular!

So what are your favorite Colorado 4th of July memories?  I’d love to hear them.

Red Rocks from Mt. Morrison: photo credit, http://library.byways.org/assets/54050

Additional Information

Red Rocks Ampitheatre: http://www.redrocksonline.com/

Bandimere Speedway:   http://www.bandimere.com/

Leadville:  http://www.visitleadvilleco.com/ 

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