PSA- Maroon Bells 50th event to give away first 50 tickets

Tickets go on sale Monday for big Aug. 2 celebration at Highlands

Tickets go on sale Monday, June 2, for the Maroon Bells Birthday Bash at Aspen Highlands, and organizers are kicking things off in suitably commemorative style.

In a nod to the big Aug. 2 event’s occasion – the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness – they’re giving away the first 50 tickets on, starting at 9 a.m. Monday.

Even if you don’t manage to snag one of the free 50, the damage will be pretty slight. Organizers say they’ve been able to drop the adult advance-purchase price to $10 – down from the original announced price of $15 – thanks to funding from local governments. Children 12 and under are free.

The outdoor festival will run from 3 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2, and will feature live music, an address by author/activist Rick Bass, a Ute Nation ceremony, kids’ activities and wilderness displays. The music lineup will include the Shook Twins, Paper Bird, Halden Wofford & the Hi-Beams and Let Them Roar.

Admission includes free birthday cake, and the Highlands Alehouse will offer special food and drink deals.

The iconic Maroon Bells – said to be the most photographed mountains in North America – are a bit more than 50 years old, of course, but the golden anniversary that the event honors is the passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964. That landmark law established an initial handful of wilderness areas nationwide, including the Maroon Bells-Snowmass, and has led to the protection of nearly 110 million acres, a good chunk of it in Colorado.

The Wilderness Workshop, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies and the US Forest Service are partnering on the Birthday Bash. They’re also working with a half-dozen other organizations to offer a range of free wilderness hikes, projects and educational programs earlier in the day. The full schedule is at