Red Rocks Park Amphitheatre and Park is one of the most unique geological phenomena in existence. This amphitheater, which was created naturally by erosion over millions of years, has an unmatched acoustic quality. But it wasn’t until 1936 that Denver Parks Manager George Cranmer convinced the federal Civilian Conservation Corps to build a formal outdoor theatre there.
Ship Rock (also called Creation Rock) and Ship Rock (also known as Ship Rock), are giant sandstone walls that are higher than Niagara Falls. The walls are full of fossilized dinosaurs.
Red Rocks is a natural stage that has attracted musicians to its majestic beauty for well over 100 years. This geologically-formed amphitheater has a unique shape. The rock formations of Ship and Creation rock frame the stage, providing acoustic perfection. Viewers can marvel at dramatic swirling sandstone monliths which tell the history of animals and plants in the region over 250 millions years ago.
Walker converted the Garden of the Angels park, originally owned and named by John Brisben Walker of Cosmopolitan, to a tourist attraction, in 1906. Walker hoped to attract visitors by constructing a wooden stage at the base of the naturally acoustic bowl framed by Ship and Creation rocks.
George Cranmer was the person who brought the amphitheater into the limelight. Burnham Hoyt designed the theater under Cranmer’s commission. Hoyt is a CCC grad who has experience building informal theaters. He used the natural rock formations to inspire his design. Continental seating was also created, which does not include a central aisle.
Red Rocks is home to many well-known artists. The list is long and includes Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Harry Belafonte, and Ray Charles. Other legends to perform here are the Beatles, Sting U2, Bon Jovi and Bon Jovi. In addition to concerts, Red Rocks hosts movie nights, yoga, and a yearly Easter sunrise service.
The atmosphere at the amphitheater is awe-inspiring to all who visit. Early-evening concerts are especially magical, as the fading rays of a Colorado sunset paint the iconic rock formations with soft pastel colors. Red Rocks has been described by musicians as being a real dream. Natural acoustics and the setting attract performers and help them to bring out their best.
There are many hiking and biking paths that provide incredible views of the mountains. Just 15 miles north of Denver is this National Historic Landmark. In addition to being a Colorado Certified Scenic Byway it’s also a designated State Natural Area.
The amphitheater offers a variety of movies for those that prefer to relax and watch them. This is done every summer as part of Film on the Rocks. The wildly popular summer event is a collaboration between Denver Film and Denver Arts & Venues. The main amphitheater has a limited number reserved seats. Guests are welcome to bring picnic blankets and chairs. Alcoholic beverages, however, are not allowed.
Prior to the pandemic, this venue was one of the most popular spots for people to experience the great outdoors and watch a movie with friends. This venue became even more popular after U2 recorded the iconic 1983 album “U2 live at Red Rocks” against this breathtaking backdrop.
The park has been host to a variety of performances and has seen the likes of Elvis, the Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, the Backstreet Boys, Paul McCartney and many more performers make their mark on the stage. The awe-inspiring landscape also provides a natural setting for many yoga and other exercise classes.
The park also has a 30,000-square-foot visitor center with souvenirs, history and memorabilia. Visitors can also purchase snacks and beverages at the park’s gift shop, but most prefer to prepare their own meals and drinks before entering the amphitheater. Parking can be tight, especially for events during peak season.
A number of hiking routes are available in the park. Most of them are great for families. The Trading Post Loop is a popular choice for hikers, as it provides an easy 1.4-mile walk with views of valleys and the rock formations that Red Rocks is famous for. Although the trail can get crowded, it’s well-maintained. You also have easy access for Ship Rock or Frog Rock.
Ship Rock, a hike up to its summit is very popular among joggers. Visitors will often witness professional athletes working out there early in the morning. Yoga on the Rocks sessions are held in the summer and offer an unique yoga experience. In the fall, the park hosts its annual weekend pre-season conditioning classes.
A trip to Red Rocks is not complete without watching the stunning sunrise from the amphitheatre. Arrive early to secure a parking spot. You can park either in the Top Circle Parking Lot, or the Upper North Parking Lot.
Hiking is permitted in Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, but visitors are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water. Since the park has a high elevation where sun exposure can be strong, you should use sunscreen. This is particularly important when you’re sitting down or walking without shade. Bring insect repellant as the mosquitoes are common.
Dogs are allowed on the trails in the park, but must be leashed at all times. This venue has a variety of native wildlife including hawks, rabbits, mule-deer and coyotes.
Red Rocks Park offers so much more than just a spectacular concert. The 868-acre site is home to countless other attractions. You can listen to the history of the park on the natural stage or test your strength on the steep stairs. There are also trails to hike, including the geologic Overlook trail and Dinosaur Ridge. And for an awe-inspiring workout, join the ambitious locals who come to run the stairs or take a downward dog class with the best view in town.
This iconic amphitheater was created by giant sandstone outcroppings. It was built out of the surrounding terrain and became a concert venue by 1941. The huge sandstone walls, higher than Niagara Falls and part of the Fountain Formation, were deposited about 280 million years ago. Its breathtaking scenery in Morrison is about 10 mile west of Denver and provides an amazing backdrop to concerts, weddings, or other special events.
Colorado Music Hall of Fame, souvenirs at the Visitor Center and fascinating exhibits on history are also available. Park is national historical landmark. Popular for weddings.
You will find limited options of food in the amphitheatre. So, bring your snacks and drinks. Be sure to drink a lot of water since the altitude will affect how well your body is able to hydrate. You’ll also want to wear comfortable shoes because many of the walking trails have uneven terrain. Arrive early if possible, because the concessions in the amphitheatre are often busy when concerts are at their peak. The premium hospitality sections offer all-inclusive services for VIP ticket holders.
The Red Rocks Amphitheatre may be the most famous concert venue in Colorado, but there’s plenty more to see and do here. The amphitheatre’s steps are a great place to test your strength. Hiking trails offer miles of views and you can trace dinosaur footprints.
Red Rocks were formed by the Fountain Formation which was laid down 280 million year ago. The sandstone was sculpted over time by erosion from the Ancestral Rocky Mountains and later pushed up by the Laramide Orogeny. The natural amphitheater’s round shape is acoustically ideal for live music. Ship Rock, and Creation Rock are the main stones that make up this natural amphitheater.
Red Rocks has a lot to offer, including concerts in the amphitheater. It’s also considered a National Historic Landmark. Hikers, bikers, bicyclists, and history enthusiasts love it. Red Rocks is an inspiring place for visitors to explore, either by attending a live show or exploring the beautiful natural scenery of the Rocky Mountains.
Visiting Red Rocks requires some planning, especially when it comes to parking. There are several lots at Red Rocks, and each has their own benefits. Talk to your friends in advance to decide where you will park.
Red Rocks Amphitheater is the first rock-built open air amphitheater in the United States. It’s also the only acoustically flawless outdoor venue on the planet. Located in Morrison, about ten miles west of Denver, the amphitheater’s pair of sandstone monoliths have charmed musicians from every genre from the Beatles and Grateful Dead to Jimi Hendrix and U2. A Performers Hall of Fame is also included in the extensive musical collection. The museum can be accessed for free throughout the day.