Red Rocks Park
World-Famous Amphitheater and Park Near Denver
Red Rocks. When people hear this, they think of epic outdoor concerts by A-list acts. Those who have been to shows there will tell you what an uh-may-zing time they had there enjoying the music under the stars. Red Rocks is the world’s only naturally occurring amphitheater, thanks to the giant rocks jutting from the earth where the plains meet the Rocky Mountains. In the early 1900s, there were a few outdoor concerts here. Then, in 1936, plans for an amphitheater were finalized and construction began, thanks to federal funding through the CCC and WPA. Dedication took place in 1941, though construction was not completed until 1947. Since then, acts ranging from the Beatles to the Dum Dum Girls have played here.
The amphitheater open to visitors and it’s free (when there isn’t a show.) This is your chance to be on stage, look up at the 10,000 seats, and pretend, just for a moment, that you are being called out for a second encore. The visitors’ center underneath the seats has a restaurant, cafe, small gift shop, geological displays (the rocks held the remains of a 160 million year-old 40-foot sea monster!) and a chronicle of every concert played here. Oh yeah, and restrooms. When you finish being your own guitar hero, venture out and explore the park’s hiking and biking trails. We were lucky enough to visit on a 65 degree sunny day in November. The sun was shining, the air was dry and there was just enough of a breeze to keep us cool as we hiked up and down the steps. It is impossible to take a bad photo here; the red sandstone monoliths contrast with the bright blue sky.
If you have a chance, hike the trails around the park. They aren’t too strenuous, and the scenery is gorgeous.
Know Before You Go:
The park is at an elevation of 6450 feet. Be sure to stay hydrated and take it easy on the trails.
This is a truly amazing geological formation and it should not be missed. We’ll be going back to see a concert as soon as we can.
Published on Dec 05 2011