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Barrel racing at the True West Rodeo. Photo courtesy of Katie McCranie Photos

Tap Into Colorado’s Western Roots at These Weekly Rodeos

In these mountain towns, rodeo is more than just a Fourth of July event.

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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.

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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).
When: Wednesdays
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.

Photo courtesy of Harvest Grill

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.
When: Saturdays
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.

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