Sanctuaries in the Snow

The Marilyn Monroe Shrine (Aspen Mountain)

Up until March 2008 the Marilyn Monroe Shrine had been somewhat neglected.  There was only one photo of her there and her shrine was in danger of disappearing.  However, in March 2008, Dr. Curtis Broek took it upon himself to resurrect and restore the shrine.  He conceived a plan and then had it executed.  Now the shrine has many famous photos of Marilyn, including the ones from Playboy magazine and a couple of Andy Warhols.  Also attached to a tree are several interesting items:  a large clock with an image of Marilyn on its face, a Marilyn thermometer, two poems Marilyn wrote, a Marilyn quote dealing with face-lifts, and a bouquet of red and white roses with pearls.  One of the laminated photos here shows Marilyn playing golf.  The shrine was updated in February 2010.

Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortensen, June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962), was a Golden Globe award winning American actress, singer, model, Hollywood icon, cultural icon, beauty ideal, fashion icon, pop icon and sex symbol.  She was known for her comedic acting roles and screen presence.  Monroe became one of the most popular movie stars of the 1950s and early 1960s.  During the later stages of her career, she worked towards serious roles and her fame surpassed that of any other entertainer of her time.  Her premature death was classified as a "probable suicide".  Many individuals including Jack Clemmons, the first LAPD Police officer to arrive at the death scene believed that she was murdered.  She is the only female on the Forbes top earning dead celebrities list.  (From Wikipedia)

For a time she was married to New York Yankee great Joe DiMaggio.

This was the first, and for a long time only, Aspen/Snowmass shrine dedicated to a woman. However, over the years, others dedicated to women have existed (the Christine E. Hardy, Kiera Elizabeth Tongish, and Suzie W. shrines for instance.)

One of the first items put up in the Marilyn Monroe shrine was a large bra.  That bra is long gone, but since then others have been put up.  Another early item in the shrine (put up sometime after 1973) was a candle box (no longer there), which was a reference to the song "Candle in the Wind," with music and lyrics by Elton John and Bernie Taupin.  This song was written in 1973, in honor of Marilyn Monroe, who had died 11 years earlier. This song appeared on John's 1973 album "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." The lyrics of the song are a sympathetic portrayal of the life of Marilyn Monroe. (The song's opening line "Goodbye Norma Jean" refers to Monroe's real name.) The single release of the original song reached No. 11 in the U.K. charts in 1974 . At the time, it was not released as a single in the United States ("Bennie and the Jets" was chosen instead).

For a panoramic/360 photo of this shrine, see:  This photo was taken in 2009.

"SHRINE SHIHAN" Tim Mooney conducts a tour of four of the Aspen Mountain Shrines in this Aspen 82 video (2:56):  "Aspen Mountain | Shrine Tour part 1." Included in this part 1 tour are these Shrines: Raoul Wille, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, and John Denver. 

See an article in the Snowmass Sun newspaper of February 1, 2012, "Shrines and memorials dedicated to women" by David Wood.  This article is set out in full below at the bottom of this page.

The Aspen Chamber lists this Shrine in its March 10, 2016 article as a "must-see" Shrine.  "7 Must-See Shrines on Aspen Mountain."

This November 30, 2014 article in The Tribune (Chandigarh, India) mentions several of the Aspen Shrines, including the red bra in the Marilyn Monroe Shrine. "Don’t miss the tree shrines in the mountains. Completely non-traditional, they may include laminated photographs on tree trunks along with other memorabilia, dedicated to singers, musicians, actors, golfers, the cartoon character Snoopy even. Be sure to visit with your favourite amongst Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, Sinatra, John Denver and Marilyn Monroe, the latter being the only woman honoured with a shrine for the longest time, an eccentric act of a red bra pinned below her picture."    

The Marilyn Monroe Shrine is on Aspen Mountain.  Photos of the shrine are below.

If you have any photos of or information about this item that you would like to share for use on this page, please send to the author at [email protected].

This shrine is covered in the book, "Sanctuaries in the Snow--The Shrines and Memorials of Aspen/Snowmass."  The book may be purchased on this page on this site:



Click on images to enlarge.


The photos in this section were taken in April 2013.

Click on images to enlarge.


Below is an article by David Wood that mentions the Marilyn Monroe Shrine and which appeared in the Snowmass Sun newspaper.

Shrines and memorials dedicated to women
The Marilyn Monroe Shrine on Aspen Mountain was the first — and for a long time the only — shrine dedicated to a woman. Up until around March 2008 it had been somewhat neglected. There was only one photo of her there, and the shrine was in danger of disappearing. However, around that time, Curtis Broek, of Urbandale, Iowa, took it upon himself to resurrect and restore the shrine.

He enlisted some of his friends to help him update the shrine, and now it has many famous photos of Monroe, including ones from Playboy magazine and a couple of Andy Warhols, and it also includes a large clock with an image of Monroe on its face, a Monroe thermometer, two poems she wrote, a Monroe quote dealing with face-lifts, some Monroe banners and a bouquet of red and white roses with pearls.

One of the laminated photos there shows Monroe playing golf. One of the first items put up in the shrine was a large bra. That bra is long gone, but since then, others have been put up, and recently a lacy red bra was attached to a tree. The shrine was updated again around February 2010.

Other shrines dedicated to women have included the Suzie W. and Chrisy E. Hardy shrines at Highlands and the Kiera Elizabeth Tongish Shrine at Snowmass (which was created in December 2010 and only lasted a few months).

Other notable on-mountain memorials dedicated to women include plaques, signs, benches or statues dedicated to the following:

Andrea Mead Lawrence, Ann Owens Amabile, Miggs Durrance, Gretl Uhl, Susan D. Baker, and Patricia Spilsbury on Aspen Mountain.

Roine Rowland St. Andre and Hjordis Skaeringsson on Buttermilk.

Barbara Isakson, Cara Dunne-Yates, Dee Dee Langley, Deni Clark Carrick, Janice Colman Rifkin, and Pam Gray on Snowmass.

David Wood ([email protected]) is the author of the best-selling book about the Aspen shrines “Sanctuaries in the Snow — The Shrines and Memorials of Aspen/Snowmass.” He donates all of his profits from book sales to the Roaring Fork Valley Scholarship Fund. The book can be purchased in Snowmass Village at Snowmass Sports, the Stew Pot, Sundance Liquor and Gifts, and the Village Market, as well as at various locations in Aspen.

Sanctuaries in the Snow

The Shrines of Aspen/Snowmass (Including Plaques, Memorials, Displays and miscellaneous items) All rights reserved. No part of this site may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the express written permission from the author. For any such permission contact [email protected]

  • David C. Wood
  • [email protected]