Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater
- Type: Entertainment and Nightlife, Hiking, Recreation
- Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
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With its excellent views of the Rocky Mountains, miles of hiking trails and cinnamon-hued sandstone cliffs, Red Rocks Park draws many an outdoorsy traveler. Occupying nearly 900 acres, this impressive park offers visitors the opportunity to experience the fascinating geographic transition between the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains. If you only have a short amount of time here, stretch your legs along the Trading Post Trail; this 1.4-mile-long path weaves through the rust-colored buttes, making for some spectacular scenery. Before you head out, travelers recommend stopping by the visitors center, which features information on the parks history and trails, as well as some examples of fossils found in the area.
Another big draw is the expansive amphitheater, which has hosted such headliners as The Beatles, Tom Petty and John Denver. You'll soon find (and hear) that the theater — geologically formed by the red rocks — boasts amazing acoustics and an enjoyable atmosphere. "No matter the show, I have always found myself having a good time and entirely absorbed by the majestic scene this stage sets," one TripAdvisor user said. Even if you can't fit a concert into your schedule, many visitors agree that the theater is worth a stop for the photos alone, while the park's visitors center features displays dedicated to past acts.
You will need a car to get to Red Rocks Park, which is located about 16 miles west of downtown Denver. The park is open every day from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset, and admission is free. You also won't have to pay to explore the visitors center, which is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. from May through September and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from October through April. Concert tickets vary in price depending on demand; for more information on upcoming shows and ticket prices, visit the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre website.