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Webcams for people-watchers

Red Rocks Amphitheater this afternoon, with one person catching rays and several working down on the stage. (Click for current view)

Red Rocks this evening, with a show in progress. When it gets dark, the camera switches to night vision. (Click for current view)

Not long ago a reader asked if any of the webcams I follow are live streaming, where a viewer can actually see people moving around, etc., and yes, the streaming cams are marked as such. There are a number of them, but with mountain vistas being the usual focal point, the observable movement may consist only of tree branches, clouds, birds, or precipitation.

The notable exception is the webcam at Red Rocks Amphitheater (above) in Morrison, Colo., just southwest of Denver (on the horizon). The camera runs day and night and I’ve never checked it when there weren’t at least one or two people wandering around, down on the stage or running the stairs or just admiring the view. And now that the concert season has begun, there’s a show almost every night. No sound, but the smoke, flashing lights, and dancing audiences can be fun to watch. Last night there was a show of some kind, and as late as 12:30 there were still a few people on stage checking out lights, perhaps for tonight’s show.

The camera inside the Estes Park Taffy Shop lets you watch people watching the taffy-making machine, as well as the pedestrian and vehicular traffic on West Elkhorn in the background. And you can also see whether it’s sunny, rainy, or snowy. It’s not as good as the Old Church Shops cam used to be, but at least it’s downtown.

Less interesting but still streaming is the Carriage Drive webcam in south Estes Park. Mostly all you see (and hear) is passing traffic, but it’s a good way to check out current weather conditions. I did see some kids sledding on the slope in the middle last winter, a grazing deer one time, and a pedestrian on the walkway this afternoon. This is one of those tricky cams that has you expecting a TramCam view (which no longer exists), but if you keep clicking the cues you get to the Carriage Drive webcam.

The Boulder webcam rotates automatically, stopping on several different views, which can seem like forever when you are waiting for it to get to the view of West Pearl Street where you can watch people walking around the mall. Unfortunately you can’t freeze the camera on that view, so it’s gone in 15 seconds (I timed it!). There are a few still shots below that show what the camera has seen most recently, but the mall view is not among them. What I did notice today was that everything is screaming green. Intensely, ecstatically green. The weather folks love saying that we’ve had more rain this month than Seattle or Portland, while most of us are just happy knowing that for the first time in several years we aren’t “drought-stricken.”

Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall. You’ll have to look fast to catch this view.

That’s about it if you’re looking for “action” cams. With the other streaming cams you’ll have to be content with watching Mother Nature do her thing.


  1. Great webcam of ‘Red Rocks’, U2 did a great concert there in the 80’s. Brought the LP of live songs from it. Brought the VHS video of it too and that was great. Never thought they had a webcam there as I thought all the concerts were copyrighted. So they can sell footage of the concert for their own benefit.

    • I’m so jealous. U2 is one of the greats! I thought about the camera vs copyright thing and concluded that this one must be okay because the stage is so far away and because there’s no sound. Or maybe groups can request it be turned off if they wish. Around here they rate a Red Rocks show as something all Coloradans must do at least once. I just got here too late to attempt it, although my daughter-in-law insists they could take me in in a comfy wheelchair (which I don’t need) and put me in a special section down close to the stage … hmm

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