Hallowed Ground

Updated: Jul 29, 2021

On July 6, 1994, a wildfire trapped 14 firefighters on Storm King Mountain as winds shifted unexpectedly leaving them unable to outrun the blaze. 12 of them were overtaken by the flames on the hillside while 2 more perished on the northwest side of the ridge.

Several years ago, my son and I journeyed to Glenwood Springs Colorado to pay our respects to the 14 brave firefighters who lost their lives while fighting this raging fire. We hiked the trail on Storm King Mountain which leads to the sites where the fallen heroes had been overcome by the wildfire. When we entered the Storm King 14 trailhead you could feel we were in for something special as we signed in and read the dedication plaque honoring the fallen firefighters.

Start of Storm King 14 Trail

After hiking up the steep terrain, we could see in the distance the grave markers along the mountainside. As we approached them you could see all the gifts left behind by those who came to pay their respects. Then, I realized this was an actual site where a brave hero lost their life to protect others. A tear came down my face as I looked around and saw one grave then another grave as all 12 grave markers came into view including 2 more on the top of the ridge.

Approaching Viewpoint
View Point Overlooking the Hillside
Tree Scarred from the Fire on Top of the Ridge

As we hiked up the steep ridge, we realized this was the actually area were the 14 raced up the hillside as the rapidly spreading fire was ragging below them. Witness reported the flames reached 200 - 300 feet as it overtook the firefighters and crossed over the ridgeline.

Fallen Heroes
Tree at the Top of the Ridge Covered with Momentos from Visitors