glenwood canyon flag

Glenwood Canyon American Flag FAQ

photo by Jason Hayes

High up on a rock cliff in Glenwood Canyon an American flag has been waving to travelers for close to 50 years.  Because it’s often just fleetingly glimpsed while driving to or from Glenwood Springs, here are a few facts about the stars and stripes that fly in Glenwood Canyon.

What is it? An American flag perched atop a 300 foot granite spire which climbers call the Flag Buttress.

Where is it? The flag is located on the south (railroad) side of the canyon just a few miles west of Hanging Lake near mile marker 124.

When was it erected? In the winter of 1968.

Who put it there? It was erected by Mike Paddock and Steve Kibler before they were deployed to the Vietnam War. The two friends were avid rock climbers and thought it would be “cool” to place a flag there. Over the years it has become a beloved sight for Glenwood Springs’ residents and visitors.

Does it have a special meaning? According to Kibler, quoted in “A Guide to Glenwood Canyon” by Heather McGregor, “It was tribute to a damn good summer and a lot of climbing.”

Who maintains the flag? Over the years Paddock and Kibler along with family and friends have made the annual trek to replace the weather beaten flag. Paddock hopes he can continue the tradition until the 50th anniversary in 2018. There are no firm plans to maintain the flag after that.

Make lodging reservations and find out more fun facts about Glenwood Springs at visitglenwood.com.