Wildlife & Wildfires in Aspen

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It’s what defines us – the rivers, the mountains, the trees and the land. The outdoors are the reason Aspen is beloved by people around the world, and we strive to keep the pristine beauty intact for generations to come. 

  • Bears, as adorable and cuddly as they might appear to be, are real wild animals with real teeth, sharp claws and incredible strength. 
    • Aspen has black bears. There are no grizzlies in this neck of the woods. 
    • Bears often come into downtown Aspen looking for sustenance, particularly during drought years when their food supply in the mountains is scarce. 
    • Never intentionally feed a bear! A fed bear is a dead bear. 
    • Do not leave food in your car – bears are known to break windows to get to food. Believe it or not, they also know how to open car doors. So, while Aspen is not known for theft, it’s a good idea to lock your car doors to prevent bear damage. 
    • Mothers with cubs are dangerous. If you find yourself near, or between a mother and her cubs, back away, shout in a deep voice, and try to make yourself appear large. 
    • Never turn your back on a bear. 
  • We are seeing an increase to the moose population. If you find yourself in the vicinity of a moose, back away slowly and treat it with respect. Moose do not fear humans as much as most other wild animals, do not let this fool you.  
    • Moose view dogs as coyotes, which are a threat, and they will attack, which is why you should always keep your dog on a leash in common moose territory (which in 2019 does include Smuggler Mountain Road)
    • Never walk between a cow and a calf. 
    • Never approach a moose, walk the other direction and take the long way around. 
    • A moose may display warning signs before they become aggressive such as: raising the hair on their neck, laid back ears and licking of the snout. (More information from CPW here
    • If a moose feels threatened they will attack, they will often bluff charge first, but if they do make contact they will kick with their hooves and trample you. 
    • If a moose displays aggressive behavior or begins to charge, run as fast as you can and try to put a large object, such as a boulder, car, or tree, between you. 
  • In addition we also have a healthy mountain lion population. 
    • In the unlikely event you are confronted by a mountain lion – fight back! Cats don’t like to be challenged. 
  • In 2017 the Aspen Police Department made a formal request to Aspen visitors and locals alike: Please don’t take selfies with bears, or ever chase bears to get a photo or video. Social media stardom might be great for humans, but crowds that gather after a bear posting on Instagram puts the animals into a state of distress, and they may then act aggressively towards humans. Trust us, this never works out well for the bear. Your bear post might mean the end of the bear’s life.
  • Winter snowpack and springtime runoff directly effects our wildfire risks, which are particularly high in drought years. 
  • When visiting Aspen, we ask that you take note of the wildfire status in the area. Aspen is located in Pitkin County.  
  • Never let a campfire burn unattended, and when extinguishing a fire, water it until you can handle the embers. 
  • Use existing fire rings or fire pits. Be aware of low-hanging branches overhead, and never cut lives trees or branches for fires. 
  • Properly extinguish and dispose of cigarettes. 
  • Respect wildfire restrictions. Sometimes this means a celebration without fireworks, or a night of camping without the fire – because just one spark can ignite a much larger problem.  
  • More Colorado Wildfire Prevention Tips

4th of July Parade Waiver


PARADE STARTING/STAGING: The parade will begin at 11:00am. Parade positioning is “first come, first serve” and line up begins no earlier than 10:00am. There is no entry fee and the parade is open to the public. All 5 lanes of Main Street, from Aspen Street to 2nd Street, will be closed to all traffic & designated for parade staging only. Power is not provided in staging area and remember generators do need gas.

PARADE ROUTE: The parade will start East on Main Street. It will turn South onto Hunter Street, then West onto Cooper Avenue. The parade will continue West on Cooper Avenue to Galena Street. At Galena it heads North for 2 blocks before turning West onto Hopkins Avenue. The parade will continue South on Mill then West on Hyman Avenue. Parade participants will be directed to disperse at Hyman and Monarch Street.  PARADE JUDGING: Parade judging will take place in front of the Hotel Jerome. Participants will be limited to 1 minute or less for any performances in front of the judges. Security will be onsite monitoring all entries to help prevent gaps in the parade route. Recognition will be awarded to the best entries in the following categories: 

Most Patriotic | Most Humorous | Best Animal | Best Music | Most Outrageous | Best Children’s  


  • Consumption of alcohol is prohibited during the parade.
  • Candy, favors, etc. should not be thrown from your float/vehicle during the parade. This is for the safety of the spectators and to prevent children from running out into the street. 
  • Water balloons will not be permitted. According to city ordinances, those caught throwing balloons will be removed from the parade and could face citations and/or arrests. 
  • All parade entries must be in “good taste” and will be allowed in the parade per the director’s discretion. 
  • Maximum height restriction for any float entry is 13’5”.


The undersigned organization has elected to participate in the Fourth of July parade sponsored by the City of Aspen and Aspen Chamber Resort Association (“ACRA”). In consideration for City of Aspen and ACRA allowing the undersigned to participate in the festivities, the undersigned has read, understood, and willingly agreed to the terms of this INSURANCE LIABILITY AGREEMENT and WAIVER AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT (collectively referred to herein as “RELEASE”).


                                    Participants are required to carry insurance adequate to cover any liability for damage, injury, economic loss, or other liability that may be incurred by individuals and/or organizations during the Fourth of July parade. All participants agree to carry such insurance, and also agree not to submit any claim against the insurance of City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, or anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade.


                                         The undersigned understands the potential dangers that could be encountered in participating in the Fourth of July parade. The dangers include, among other things, dangers relating to vehicular and pedestrian traffic; crowds of persons in close proximity to such traffic; animals that may react unpredictably in a parade environment; celebration and recreational activities; loud and unexpected noise; items that may be thrown to and from the crowd in connection with the parade; and other dangers traditionally associated with parades.  Understanding those risks, the undersigned for itself and for all persons who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade with the undersigned, does hereby agree to indemnify, hold harmless, and release City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, and anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade from any and all liability, claims, demands, actions, or rights of action (including attorneys’ fees and costs) that are related to or are in any way connected with the undersigned’s participation in the parade. By signing this RELEASE, the undersigned intends to extinguish any and all liability and to indemnify against any loss on the part of City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, and anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade for any injury or damage of any nature (without regard to negligence or fault) to the undersigned and to all persons who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade.

                                      The undersigned warrants and represents that it will not invite or allow any person to participate in the parade unless such person is bound to the terms of this RELEASE. To that end, the undersigned agrees that it shall take any steps necessary to secure agreement of such persons to the terms of this RELEASE, and that it shall be deemed a responsible person within the meaning of C.R.S. § 13-22-107 and § 19-1103(94) for all children who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade.


   I am the official representative of the undersigned organization. On behalf of the organization, I acknowledge our responsibilities as set forth above. I also accept on behalf of the organization all of the terms and conditions of this



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