31st Annual Independence Monument Climb on 4th of July

The Mesa County Search and Rescue Technical Rescue Team is gearing up for their 31st annual climb up Independence Monument to raise the American Flag. This continues a tradition started by Colorado National Monument founder John Otto in 1911. There are 15 climbers participating in this year’s event: 10 Search and Rescue volunteers will be accompanied by five members of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.

Once the American Flag is placed, it will remain atop Independence Monument for about a week for people to view.

Learn more about Mesa County Search and Rescue here. 

How to watch

The team hikes to the base of Independence Monument and begins climbing early in the morning. Once everyone reaches the top, they will raise the American flag. Depending on how fast they climb, the flag-raising will take place on top of Independence Monument approximately between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m. on July 4th.

The best viewing opportunities to see this traditional July 4th event in the Colorado National Monument are:

  • Independence Monument View
  • The end of Otto’s Trail 
  • Grand View

If these parking areas are full, come back later. Often people only view the portion of the climb. The entire climb lasts most of the day, and the flag will be available to view about a week after it is placed. 

There is very little shade. It's recommended to bring lots of water, sunscreen, and binoculars to view the event.

Please keep in mind the entry fee for the Colorado National Monument is $25 per vehicle. Colorado National Monument annual passes and America the Beautiful Passes are also honored.