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Steamboat Magazine

The Legend of Sleeping Giant

04/26/2019 10:19AM ● By Alesha Damerville

Copyright by Noah Wetzel, all rights reserved

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS- Look just West of Steamboat Springs and you’ll see Elk Mountain, the silhouette of which has earned it the nickname, “Sleeping Giant.” This landmark has a legend behind it, originally written by Perry Mansfield Performing Arts Camp’s co-founder, Charlotte Perry.

As the legend goes, a long, long time ago, a gentle giant protected the Yampa Valley. He was to live forever, as long as he never harmed another living thing. One day, an evil ogre attacked the people of the valley. To protect them, the giant lured the ogre to Steamboat Lake, and tricked him into falling into the quicksand. The valley’s inhabitants were saved, but the giant had broken his one rule by killing the ogre, and the punishment was eternal sleep. When he was laid to rest, everyone came to pay their respects and surrounded the giant’s resting spot with rattlesnakes to keep him from being disturbed. Still today, these snakes protect the giant’s slumber. Some say this giant created the “Yampa Valley Curse,” which draws people to return to the valley.

Courtesy of Jordan MatterBorn to Dance

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