Oct 302009

I lived in the Denver area from ’96 to ’00, and passed through again a week ago. One of the more obvious features of Denver at night is a giant cross made from very bright lights in the mountains just to the south of the city. All the years I was there, I was never able to find the cross or find anyone who knew anything about it. During daylight is was seemingly invisible, but after nightfall on moonless nights it was blisteringly obvious, and appeared to hang in the sky. Which, I suppose, was the intent.

A recent Google search still doesn’t turn up much,  but did find this:

Colorado’s Mount Lindo Cross

The cross is 393 feet high and 254 feet across, and can be seen from the highway and parts of the city it watches over. It was partially conceived by designer Donald Lee Frees, who also worked on designs for many Olinger buildings, including the Tower of Memories at Crown Hill Cemetery. The cross was first lighted on Easter in 1964.

A few years back I went through Denver, and tried to photograph the cross, with dismal results. My point-and-click was simply unable to get a decent image. But a week ago I had the D5000 and its zoom lens, and a remote shutter release. Those, coupled with a good tripod and a long exposure, allowed me to get some photos of the cross that surprised me in what they showed.

Here’s a wider view with a shortish exposure, capturing the moon behind clouds as well as, I think, Jupiter:


And here’s a small panorama pieced together from two 30-second exposures:


Here’s a closeup of just the cross:


I’ve looked for this thing on Google Maps for a long time, with no success. If anyone can find it in the Google satellite view, I’d appreciate a link.

 Posted by at 10:12 pm
  • 2Hotel9

    From above it would look like a line. Do you have the grid coordinates for the area, that would fine it down.

  • admin

    > Do you have the grid coordinates…

    If I had those, I’d know where to look on Google Maps. All I know is that it’s somewhere around here:

  • Siergen

    Can you give us a couple more clues, such as “north of highway” or “east of town”?

  • joel
  • Glenn

    I highlighted what I believe is it. The Cross bottom is to the NE. The cross tp is the SW. Look for the little lines which seem to be the lights. 8 on the horizontal beam can be seen clearly. The vertical lights are more difficult to make out.


    Any thoughts? Did I find it?

  • admin

    > Did I find it?

    I think so, but there are some oddities. The numbers of individual light-bars matches up. But if you look at the photos, the crucifix’s “vertical” is composed of vertical light-bars; the “horizontal” cross-piece is composed of horizontal light-bars. But on the Google sat-image, they all appear to be horizontal light bars. Strange.

    But that’s gotta be it… right place, right general size. It’s a *lot* less obvious than I thought it’d be. I’ve looked at that area on Google maps numerous times and never caught it. It’s not visible pretty much *at* *all* unless you’re zoomed all the way in, and I think I generally looked zoomed a step or two further out.


  • Glenn

    I narrowed my search using these rules:
    1) It’s not obvious since you didn’t find it.
    2) It’s near a road/building for power and access reasons
    3) It’s just below a ridge (based on the photos).
    4) and it can be seen from (parts of) Denver and the Morrison exit off 285.

    I drew a line from the gate of the cemetery to Downtown Denver through the exit area off 285. And started searching. I just happened to find the horizontal lights and the #s matched. Bingo. Near a road and power (a building nearby). Just below a ridge (the road is fairly straight there).

    Now to the vertical… I think the horizontal “slits” are the bases for the vertically aligned lights. Think A frame. Maybe? Someone cut out a flat area to place the light stands?

    My next trip to Denver will result in a little Journey up 285.

  • Glenn
  • admin

    >And the confirmation …

    Never saw that before. Thanks.

    I looked up my house on that one… it’s at least a decade out of date. Oh, well…

  • John Scott

    Been there a long time – I’m a native and I can’t remember it not being there.

    Awesome pictures – thanks for the link.

  • Ttopshelf

    “May My Light shine before all men”………………………Jesus

  • Beautifulpurple12003

    I FOUND IT ON GOOGLE MAPS! iT WAS DRIVING ME CRAZY, TODAY, but I found it when i realized the lamps are vertical. I can put the link, here, but it will just go back to the United States view.

    If you look at the Cemetery grounds, there is a road that goes East on the property, and after a double switchback, there is a large white-roofed building, and some outbuildings, and you can see the pattern of the cross lights with their shadows going dow the hill to the right!!! —l——–



  • Anonymous

    I hope it’s just a glitch in the power service but the Cross has been off since August 16, 2014. I may call tomorrow and find out why and report back. In the meantime if anyone else has heard anything please comment. Thanks

  • Mal

    Any word on why the cross has been off? I saw it on one night but it’s now off in the early hours of the morning. Hoping it will return.

  • Mal
    • Anonymous

      Ah. So, Thor smited it.