Exploring the iconic Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater – Morrison, CO

There were numerous hiking trails to choose from near our RV Park in Golden, Colorado, yet we kept going back to Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater – not once but three times! The first time was with John and Pam, then with Al and Ingrid and finally Steve and I took a last hike there before moving on.

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater
Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater viewed from Dakota Ridge

Our inclination toward Red Rocks Park had a lot to do with its scenic trails, geologic features and its music venue like no other.  We learned that a lot of big-name bands have returned repeatedly to this beautiful amphitheater set into the towering rocks and offering amazing acoustics for their music.

Creation Rock
The back side of one of the natural sandstone walls lining the amphitheater- Creation Rock
 Eroded sandstone and siltstone Red Rocks
Checking out the eroded sandstone and siltstone

The top of the outdoor amphitheater is a perfect place to take in the 200-mile panorama of Denver and the distant plains.

Red Rocks Amphitheater
Dakota Ridge is the first one across the valley, and the Denver skyline is in the distance

The amphitheater is open to the public for viewing and exercise activities when events aren’t scheduled.

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater
Ingrid, Al and Steve watch the hoards performing their daily exercise rituals

We also saw several people capturing the beauty of the area with strokes of a brush.

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater
A lone painter doing her thing

We were happy to see abundant wildlife and wildflowers during several hikes through and around the park.

We marveled at the open air amphitheater built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and the National Park Service – without any help from machinery – between 1931-1941.

Red Rocks Amphitheater
I would love to watch a concert at this 9,000 seat venue!

We discovered a great music museum within the amphitheater.  It had nice displays showing the hundreds of acts that had performed here during the past decades.

Our hiking muscles were quickly whipped back into shape as we explored several of the many hiking trails surrounding the geological formations.  On one day we met with avid hikers John and Pam to tackle the Red Rocks Trail, a 6-mile loop that lead out of the Park and connected with the Dakota Ridge Trail.  We also traversed the Matthew Winters Open Space area that day on the way back to our cars.

Hans and Lisa had already hiked these trails several days before, so we mostly followed their path.  Rather than rehashing the details of these scenic trails, I invite you to check the accounts of Metamorphis Road and Oh the Places They Go for more information about them.

Red Rocks Trail
The gang at the trailhead with Dakota Ridge in the distance
Dakota Ridge Trail
These beauties took a break at the top of Dakota Ridge
Red Rock Parks
Steve and John are dwarfed by one of the sandstone formations

When Al and Ingrid arrived in town a few days later we hiked the Trading Post Trail, a 1.4-mile loop that wound through spectacular formations, valleys and a natural meadow.

Trading Post Trail
Ingrid gives Steve instructions on how to take our picture.  Gee, I never do that!
Trading Post Trail
I think he listened well!
Red Rocks formations
These red rocks appeared to be neatly arranged
Trading Post Trail
Final stretch for the ladies in blue

Steve and I went back on another day to climb the Funicular Trail to the north entrance of the amphitheater.

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater
Those are “hogbacks” on the left and in the valley

Before audiences are amazed by a performance here, they can choose to get a good workout by walking up from one of the parking lots to the amphitheater.  There are plenty of steps up to and around the seating area to get the blood pumping.

Red Rocks Amphitheater
Just some of the stairs leading up to the amphitheater
Red Rocks Amphitheater
Looking up from the stage

Another place we kept going back to, this time for authentic and fresh mexican food, was La Casa Alba in Golden.  Lisa found this hole-in-the-wall restaurant, and by the time we left town we had been there for lunch with special people four times!

LA casa Alba, Mexican Restaurant
Another great meal at La Casa Alba. Don’t miss this place if you love authentic mexican food!

And that’s how we spent ten days with friend bloggers in and around Golden after my return from the Philippines.  Till we meet again, my friends, see you somewhere out west this fall and winter!