Mesa County Search and Rescue Scale Independence Monument
KREX News Room
FRUITA, Colo.- For the 102nd consecutive year, several local residents scaled the face of Independence Monument in front of dozens of visitors at the Colorado National Monument.
The tradition of raising the American flag on the summit of Independence Monument dates back to 1911 when the founder of the monument, John Otto, climbed the facade wearing cowboy boots.
Otto named the rock formation Independence Monument to honor the spirit of American patriotism.
Now every 4th of July, a group people climbs the Monument to continue the tradition.
This year, nine members of the Mesa County Search and Rescue Team made the climb that lasted about 2 hours.
While climbers made their way up the 450 foot rock, park rangers entertained onlookers with a history lesson of the climb and the Colorado National Monument in general.
"Local residents and visitors from far-off places really appreciate the combination of our natural and cultural history here," said Nick Myers, Park Ranger at the Colorado National Monument.
The flag will remain at the summit for a week before the Search and Rescue team has to climb back up and bring the flag down.
Independence Monument can be found in the Colorado National Monument just 1.25 miles east of the visitor's center.