This blog post should probably start with a little disclaimer: I took way too many photos during our visit to Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre…
If you read my One week in Colorado itinerary post, you’ll notice I included a few there, but I have so many more to share! It’d be a shame to leave them in a hard drive collecting virtual dust, hence this “photo blog” was born.
“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is” – Anonymous
Mind you, these are just amateur photos, so I’ll try to complement the lack of photography skills with some storytelling and fun Red Rocks Amphitheatre facts along the way! 🙂
Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a fun 25 minute drive from Denver. As soon as you leave the city you’ll be mesmerized by the scenic landscape all around.
We rented a car and drove ourselves, but you can also join a tour if driving is not an option.
Access to the park is free and open year-round from sunrise to sunset. We visited in 2020, and it was open even during the pandemic!
Getting from the parking lot to the amphitheatre is part of the adventure. You can expect some light hiking and amazing 360 degrees views, make sure to wear the right shoes.
It was not too busy when we visited, but I’ve read that under normal circumstances you need to arrive early to avoid the crowds.
In case you are wondering how these red rocks made their way to the middle of the Rocky Mountains, let me tell you that the walls of the amphitheatre are all natural formations…
Actually, they are older than the actual mountain range and rose up from a prehistoric ocean floor millions of years ago!
Similar formations surfaced all across Colorado, including the famous Garden of the Gods.
These are all part of what geologists call the Fountain Formation, which after a series of major tectonic events shaped the Rocky Mountains.
After these geological events, erosion led to the iconic slabs of Red Rocks, which are higher than Niagara Falls! Then, the oxidation of minerals resulted in those attractive reddish hues we all want to witness.
But that’s not the coolest part…
Due to the physical shape of the rock formations, Red Rocks has a natural acoustic splendor.
Numerous world-class concerts take place here every year, and musicians love to take advantage of the sound propagation perks!
Even the Beatles performed at Red Rocks Amphitheatre back in 1964!
At an elevation of 6,450 feet above sea level, the venue includes two staircases on each side of the seating area, and there are about 380 vertical steps to climb to the top!
The climb up the stairs is kind of exhausting at that elevation, but well worth the hike! Several people take advantage of the physical challenge and use the amphitheatre as a fitness venue.
Firefighters, EMTs, flight crews, and supporters do nine complete rounds of stair climbing during anniversary events commemorating the 9/11 tragedy.
Such efforts are done to reflect the 110 stories of stairs climbed by emergency crews on September 11, 2001.
Even though it was still early September, we got to see some snow during our visit! A very early snow storm broke the September temperature drop records only two days before our visit.
Seeing the melting snow over the benches made our experience even more memorable.
Aside from the amphitheatre, there are also plenty of good hiking trails to explore in the park.
Movie nights are often hosted at Red Rocks, another fun and unique reason to visit.
If you are not planning to go hiking, I’d say allocate at least 1-1.5 hours to explore the amphitheatre.
The view from the park is also stunning and a picnic is not a bad idea.
Once you’re at the top you can see for miles!
Not the best photo, but squint! Can you spot Denver skyline in the background?
We really enjoyed our visit and would love to see a live show here one day.
If you are visiting soon, hope you like the venue as much as we did and have a fantastic time during your stay in Colorado!
Also, check out my Colorado itinerary blog post for more unique and fascinating places to explore during your visit.
Happy travels! – Lianet