Love Colorado for the mountains? Join the club. But how about the public lands? In May 2016, Colorado established the third Saturday in May as Colorado Public Lands Day, becoming the first state to establish a state-specific holiday for public lands. This year, the holiday takes place on Saturday, May 19. Here are ten ways for you to celebrate public lands.
Get Out! Saison Tapping Celebration at Mountain Tap Brewery
Friday, May 18, 3:30 to 10 p.m.
910 Yampa Street, Steamboat Springs
Mountain Tap Brewery will be tapping its Get Out! Belgian saison. The beer is intended to encourage people to — you guessed it — get out!
Raft Through Brown's Canyon National Monument
Trips start at 8 a.m.
Noah’s Ark Whitewater & Adventure Co.
23910 U.S. Highway 285 South, Buena Vista
Half-day rafting prices start at $55
If there's one better way to honor public lands than by rafting through a national monument, it's with a donation. On May 19, 10 percent of all the proceeds from Brown's Canyon Rafting Trips will be donated to Colorado’s Public Lands to continue to preserve and protect the wild and beautiful landscapes that we all love to explore.
Build a Sustainable Trail in Dedisse Park
Saturday, May 19, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
29200 Upper Bear Creek Road, Evergreen
During this 100-person project, volunteers will work in small groups to create a new section of trail that will direct users away from the many "social trails" in the park, which lead people off designated trails and damage the environment. Breakfast and lunch are free!
Colorado Public Lands Day Celebration in Montbello
Saturday, May 19, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Montbello Civic Center
Protégete will host a resources fair in Montbello. There will be activities that relate to the outdoors and educate the public on where they can access national and urban parks. Protégete (the name means "Protect yourself" in Spanish) is a program through Conservation Colorado that builds a more powerful and influential voice for local Latino communities and leaders in the fight against climate change.
Ride for the Pass
Saturday, May 19, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Highway 82, five miles east of Aspen
The 24th annual Ride for the Pass allows bikers to experience Independence Pass's beauty — without automobiles. The ride, which climbs more than 2,800 feet in elevation over ten miles, benefits the work of the Independence Pass Foundation, whose mission is to restore and protect the ecological, historical and aesthetic integrity of Independence Pass. This year, certain e-bikes will be welcome to ride.
We Love Public Lands! An Afternoon of Appreciation at New Belgium Brewing Company
Saturday, May 19, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
New Belgium Brewing Company
500 Linden Street, Fort Collins
Toast to the 36,000 acres of natural areas in Fort Collins with discounted Fat Tire pints all day! City of Fort Collins Natural Areas and New Belgium Brewing Company will host a celebration and a guided hike at the nearby Udall Natural Area.
Public Lands Day Celebration Hike and Happy Hour
Saturday, May 19, 1 to 4 p.m. hike, 4 to 6 p.m. happy hour
Arbaney Kittle Trail, Basalt
Wilderness Workshop is leading a free hike on the Arbaney Kittle Trail outside of Basalt in the Roaring Fork Valley. Post-hike, enjoy free appetizers, discounted beers, a raffle for gear and discounted merchandise from Bristlecone Mountain Sports.
Colorado Public Lands Day Party in Durango!
Saturday, May 19, 6 to 10 p.m.
Powerhouse Science Center
1333 Camino del Rio, Durango
Celebrate public lands with local brews, food, dancing and live music from bands like StillHouse Junkies. There's a photo contest on the day of the event, and the winner gets a new Osprey pack.
Elephant Revival at Red Rocks
Sunday, May 20, 5:30 p.m.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison
Tickets start at $40
Earlier this year, Elephant Revival announced that it would be taking an indefinite hiatus. The band, which originated in Nederland, canceled a slew of shows but kept its May 20 date at Red Rocks, which will include a special guest: Governor John Hickenlooper, the man who signed the legislation to establish Colorado Public Lands Day.
The Colorado Birding Trail
54 trails across the state
The final section of the Colorado Birding Trail, which encompasses the northeast region of the state, has just been finished. “When you get out on the birding trail, you’re looking through a different set of eyes,” says Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Mary McCormac, who’s been involved from the start of the fifteen-year project.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.