“John moved permanently to Aspen at the beginning of the seventies, and he couldn’t help but sing about this Rocky Mountain paradise that he found,” says History Colorado’s chief creative officer, Jason Hanson. “He just sang about what inspired him, and Colorado’s mountains inspired him. So, in 1972, he released ‘Rocky Mountain High.’”
A brief biography on the History Colorado's website notes that additional hit songs, including “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “Sunshine On My Shoulders,” “Annie’s Song,” “Back Home Again,” “Thank God I’m A Country Boy,” and “Calypso,” helped Denver become one of the top musicians of the 1970s.
And, "Rocky Mountain High" officially became one of Colorado's two state songs in 2007.
Beyond music, Denver was also known for his love of the natural world, and for his environmental activism.
“Part of that moment that he captured in Colorado, was this moment when we became aware that this place is so special,” Hanson says.
The John Denver Experience exhibit includes nature photographs taken by Denver, his albums, behind the scenes photos - including some with Jim Henson and the Muppets, and artifacts such as Denver’s iconic denim ski suit and guitar.
For any parents or caretakers concerned about their children running amok, Hanson noted that the exhibit is kid friendly and durable.
The exhibit is on display until August 16.
Like other Denver attractions adapting to coronavirus, the museum has opened with timed entry tickets that must be reserved online, in advance. Masks are required for visitors over three, and additional social distancing modifications have been made to exhibits and facilities.
View the History Colorado welcome page for full details on tickets and hours, and COVID-19 precautions and regulations.