Sanctuaries in the Snow

The Stevie Ray Vaughan Shrine/Billy Zaugg Cabin (Aspen Mountain)

Stephen ("Stevie") Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990), born in Dallas, Texas, was an American blues guitarist.  His broad appeal made him one of America's most influential electric blues guitarists.  In 2003, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Stevie Ray Vaughan #7 in their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.  (Top Ten:  1. Jimi Hendrix, 2. Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band, 3. B.B. King, 4. Eric Clapton, 5. Robert Johnson, 6. Chuck Berry, 7. Stevie Ray Vaughan, 8. Ry Cooder, 9. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, 10. Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.)

The story of Vaughan’s death in a helicopter crash is told in the section following all the photos below. 

His shrine used to be located at a silver miner’s log cabin with a tin roof on Aspen Mountain. However sometime around 2012-13 it was moved to a different location near the top of Ruthie's Run.  

Photos of the cabin and the shrine as it existed at the Cabin are below.  The cabin was occupied by silver miner William (Billy) Zaugg back in the mining days (or perhaps his brother Peter Zaugg instead; see material below).  Stevie Ray Vaughan's name had been burned into the wood over the door to the cabin (although his last name was misspelled).  Also there were photos of Stevie posted on the outside and inside of the cabin and on the trees around the cabin.  Some yellow roses were tacked up to two of the trees.  Inside the cabin is a crude bed.   Skiers and riders use the cabin as a launch pad to do jumps--see photo below of local skier Jason Brown skiing over the Stevie Ray cabin in February 2008 (photo credit:  Jordan Curet).

There is a wooden sign over the door to the cabin (photo below) that says "Bill Zaugg's Cabin, the last miner to live on Aspen Mountain."  This sign was put up after Vaughan's named was burned into the wood over the door, and partially obscured it.  Around the time this wooden sign was put up over the door, all of the items pertaining to Stevie Ray Vaughan were removed.  Then later his shrine was recreated at the new location.  

See this Aspen Journalism article of April 25, 2017 for more information on Billy Zaugg:  "The rich life of Aspen Mountain miner Billy Zaugg"   This article suggests that this cabin was not Bill Zaugg's cabin, but instead was Peter Zaugg's cabin (Bill's brother).  Here is a a photo caption quote from the article:  "The cabin above Zaugg Dump and International Road that has a sign over the door saying 'Bill Zaugg’s Cabin.  The last miner to live on Aspen Mountain.'  Evidence and another cabin photo show Zaugg’s cabin was in Tourtelotte Park.  Bill’s brother Peter Zaugg may have lived in this cabin."

See this Facebook page for Stevie Ray Vaughan:

Many thanks to Bob Hollenbach and Jesse Wright for helping the author find this shrine.


To see photos of the new SRV Shrine (after it was moved from the Billy Zaugg Cabin to a new location) see the last 18 photos of this Facebook photo album (you do not need a Facebook account in order to view the album):

See this article in the Snowmass Sun newspaper of April 25, 2012, "Four Former Shrines Dedicated to Musicians" by David Wood, which is set out in full below at the bottom of this page.

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].

For more information and photos of this Shrine, see this Facebook photo album (you do not need a Facebook account to view this album):     

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.

Below is the article about the Stevie Ray Vaughan Shrine written by David Wood and which appeared in the Snowmass Sun newspaper.
Four former shrines dedicated to musicians

By David Wood
Snowmass Sun, April 25, 2012

There are many shrines on Aspen Mountain dedicated to various musicians, including Elvis Presley, Jerry Garcia, Michael Houser, the Beatles, and John Denver. There used to be four other shrines with a musical theme, covered below, but they are no longer in existence. All four were destroyed by vandalism. The vandalism to the Stevie Ray Vaughan Shrine occurred during the 2010-11 ski season, and the vandalism to the other three occurred just last month.

The Stevie Ray Vaughan Shrine
This shrine used to be located at the cabin that was occupied by silver miner William (Billy) Zaugg back in the mining days. Stevie Ray Vaughan's name was burned into the wood over the door to the cabin (although his last name was misspelled). Also there were photos of Stevie posted on the outside and inside of the cabin and on the trees around the cabin. Some yellow roses were tacked up to two of the trees. Now there is a wooden sign over the door to the cabin that says “Bill Zaugg's Cabin, the last miner to live on Aspen Mountain.” This sign was put up after Vaughan's named was burned into the wood over the door, and partially obscures it.
The Jimi Hendrix Shrine
Laminated pictures of Jimi used to line the trees at his shrine and there used to be a yellow plastic guitar hanging in one of the trees there. There was also a street sign reading “Jimi Hendrix Pl.” This shrine was located near the stone remains of an old miner's cabin, and rails in the ground from the old rail cars are still visible in the summer when there is no snow on the ground. There was quite a collection of old skis resting against the stone wall here too. In an Aspen Times Weekly article of Sept. 19, 2009, we find this quote by Scott Condon: "Surreal scene at Hendrix Shrine. At the Hendrix Shrine itself, two walls of an old stone foundation remain from what was presumably an old mining work shack or living quarters. Rusted tin roofing and rusted metal from ancient machinery litters the ground. Someone placed an old door to a boiler or stove, emblazoned with the name of the manufacturer from Denver, high on a perch on the stone foundation. It's a surreal scene at the Hendrix Shrine, just as it should be. At the north end of the site, there is a small, fading picture of Jammin' Jimmy pasted onto the trunk of a good-sized aspen tree, juxtaposed against this ancient stone wall in the background."
The Michael Jackson Shrine
The Michael Jackson Shrine was in the trees near the Buckhorn Cabin. It contained several large cutouts of Jackson, several laminated photos of him, some Tibetan prayer flags, a metal sign saying "King of Pop" with some musical notes on it, and some wind chimes.
The Drummer Shrine
The Drummer Shrine was near the Michael Jackson Shrine. It honored deceased great drummers, including Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Keith Moon, John Bonham, and Richie Hayward. It included a large drum hung from a tree by a chain, a drumhead where visitors could sign in, and laminated photos of each of these drummers.
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 a local charity, The Trashmasters Scholarship Fund. The book can be purchased in Snowmass Village at Snowmass Sports, the Stew Pot, Sundance Liquor and Gifts, the Village Market, and 81615, 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
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