Nothing feels more Western—or, heck, American—than a rodeo. And in Colorado, it’s not just a Fourth of July sport. Come summer, mountain towns pay homage to the state’s roots with weekly events. Visit some of our favorites this month.
True West Rodeo | Durango
What: This five-year-old rodeo boasts a faithful audience of more than 500 weekly attendees. Each show rounds up donations for a local nonprofit, such as Trails 2000, which builds and maintains trails in Durango and southwest Colorado.
When: Wednesdays (except the final week of July)
Don’t Miss: Ranch bronc riding. It’s similar to saddle bronc riding, but with everyday working saddles.
Fuel Up: Snag sugar snap peas from James Ranch Market or get the signature burger (with Belford cheese and rosemary garlic mayo) from the market’s Harvest Grill.
Snowmass Rodeo | Snowmass Village
What: Celebrating its 45th birthday, this rodeo combines a close-up atmosphere (bring a blanket for padding—you’ll be on an aluminum grandstand about 10 feet from the dirt arena) with only-in-Colorado views (purple, magenta, and orange sunsets over the Brush Creek Valley).
Don’t Miss: Dally ribbonroping. This is a team event in which a rider and runner work together to retrieve a ribbon from a calf’s tail.
Fuel Up: The rodeo has barbecue, but visit the New Belgium Ranger Station in Snowmass Village before the show for a Strawberry Lemon Ale and Bavarian pretzel rolls.
High Country Stampede Rodeo | Fraser
What: The main attraction starts at 7 p.m., but extra events, like barrel racing and team roping, occasionally begin at noon. Head up early to spend the day; it’s only a 90-minute drive from Denver.
Don’t Miss: Bounty competitions. The winner from each rodeo can opt to ride a preselected bull or horse and earn extra money if he or she stays on.
Fuel Up: Pair spicy tuna tacos with a vampiro margarita (tequila, Sriracha, sour mix) at Pepe Osaka’s Fishtaco Tequila Bar & Grill in nearby Winter Park.