Ochre Tones & Tunes; Denver’s Red Rocks Geological Park & Amphitheatre


An easy ten-mile mountainous drive from Denver will take you into the community of Morrison, to the Red Rocks Geological Park and, what this park is most famous for, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

You could also take the Red Rocks Shuttle from Illegal Pete’s or the Thirsty Lion Gastropub in Denver, to the park, and back.


Red Rocks Park is a 640-acre park named after its striking red colour; ochre sandstone formations taller than Niagara Falls, estimated to be almost 300 million years old. On clear days, you can enjoy a 200-mile panoramic view of Denver’s mountains and plains.


It was called Garden of the Angels in the 1870s, later changed to Garden of the Titans, when a local named John Walker bought it in 1906.

He soon built a funicular to the top as wells as little tea and dancing pavilions, before his dream for the amphitheater came to fruition.


Walker reached out to the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Works Progress Administration, and to architect Burnham Hoyt who helped him design and build the amphitheater after the Acropolis Theatre of Dionysus in Greece.

It was finished in 1941 and began hosting live music, allegedly gaining notoriety after a famous opera singer named Mary Garden called it an “acoustically perfect” location.


Red Rocks Amphitheater is shaped by original formations, the only one of its kind in the world, and the massive rocks closest to the amphitheater are named Stage Rock, Ship Rock, and Creation Rock.

The park has been owned by the City of Denver since 1928 and has been named a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior.


Hiking is huge at Red Rocks. Try the 1.4-mile Trading Post Trail or go hiking, biking, or horseback riding along the Red Rocks Trail. Various hiking and biking groups meet up and explore together as well.


Check out Yoga on the Rocks, Film on the Rocks event every Friday and Saturday night during November and December, and the general event schedule to keep track of all the live music and other acts going on at Red Rocks.


Other features of Red Rocks include the Trading Post/Colorado Music Hall of Fame, Ship Rock Grille and gift shop, the Visitors Center and Red Rocks Hall of Fame


View the Live Cam before you go to monitor the weather conditions or to admire the views.


Friends of Red Rocks’ mission is to preserve the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre by hosting trail cleanups and activities to keep Red Rocks a beautiful place for all the amazing visitors each year.

The organization started in 1999 and continues to be heavily active on issues concerning the park and its preservation.


Friends of Red Rocks also maintains the park’s native garden and hosts events to educate visitors about following the Fan Code, packing out trash, recycling, staying on trails, and being respectful all around.


In the area for a while? Follow me to Breckenridge, Alma, Boulder, or Denver’s hip LoDo, RiNo, and Berkeley neighbourhoods.

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4 thoughts on “Ochre Tones & Tunes; Denver’s Red Rocks Geological Park & Amphitheatre

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