Golden, Colorado: M-Blem on Mountainside

Visitor Tips and News About M-Blem on Mountainside

Reports and tips from RoadsideAmerica.com visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

The Big M. Golden, Colorado - M-Blem on Mountainside

There's an M on the side of the mountain in Golden. It's really there because students from the Colorado School of Mines painted it. However, when I moved to the area in the early 1980s, people told me the M on the mountain was there to show Texans that it was a mountain (since it was assumed Texans didn't really know what one was). Back then there was a great rivalry with Texas and there was even an annual event (in Twin Lakes?) called the Texas-Colorado Tomato War, which I believe has long since faded into oblivion.

[Laura Bloom, 12/10/2006]

M-Blem on Mountainside:
Address: Lariat Loop Road, Golden, CO
Directions: You can see it from pretty much anywhere in Golden, as long as you're east of the mountains.
Golden, Colorado - M-blem - Giant Letter on Mountainside

This is the world's largest lighted letter, signifying its allegiance to the Colorado School of Mines. It is a large letter "M" atop the face of Mt. Zion overlooking Golden, made of whitewashed rocks, and measures 104x107 feet, each leg measuring 10 feet wide. Every fall incoming freshmen bring new rocks up here to add to the M, whitewashing the rocks and themselves, and every spring graduating seniors come up here and get to take one of the rocks with them. The M was designed by CSM professor Joseph Francis O'Byrne in 1908 as an extremely difficult problem in descriptive geometry, and he succeeded in creating a letter that does not appear distorted from any angle. It is the second-oldest college letter monument in the nation only to the University of Utah's "U". It rests at 6,900 feet above sea level, on a slope of 23 degrees. CSM rivals have attempted to destroy it but they were not as well versed in explosives as the Miners. In 1931 the M was lit for the first time, and it has been continuously lit since March 19, 1932. Every holiday season since 1935 it has lit in red. Today its lighting system can turn the M into all sorts of creative color and shape arrangements at night, controlled from campus via telephone modem. It even counts down the days until the end of the semester.

[Richard J. Gardner, 11/25/2003]

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the US and Canada are our special obsession. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

July 26, 2014

My Sights

Save Cool Vacation Destinations!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Colorado Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Rosie the Riveter Visitor Center, Richmond, California (Jul 21-27, 2014)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Nearby Hotels and Motels, Golden, Colorado

Nightly rates found:

Find Hotels Near:

Book Online Now