Red Rocks: More Than an Amphitheatre
Red Rocks Amphitheatre, famed for its outdoor concerts, offers a variety of other summer activities: hiking, biking, movies, a visitor’s center with gifts and history, and even dining. Red Rocks, 15 miles west of Denver, makes for more than just a scenic sound stage and offers at least one full day’s worth of entertainment and outdoor activities.
Red Rocks even offers fun during the work week. Once a week (usually on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday), Red Rocks takes its spin on the drive-in movie by hosting Film on the Rocks. Newer movies, such as The Hangover, as well as old favorites, such as Clueless and the Princess Bride, are shown outdoors in the very Colorado atmosphere that only Red Rocks can provide.
Movie tickets are $10.50 at any King Soopers, $10 online at denverfilm.org or $12 at the Red Rocks box office the day of the show. We suggest that you buy tickets in advance. Not only is it cheaper, but the shows usually sell out.
If it’s daytime activity that you crave, be sure to take a hike through Red Rocks Park. The Trading Post Trail is a perfect, 1.4-mile hike with great views of the rock formations and the valleys below.
The Red Rocks Trail is great for those who would rather peddle their way through the rocky scenery. Keep in mind, however, it is a multi-use trail for bikers, hikers and horseback riders. The trail eventually splits in two directions: one leads to Dakota Ridge, while the other heads off to connect with Matthews-Winters Park and loops back to Red Rocks.
If you’re into shopping, visit the Red Rocks Trading Post – or the Red Rocks Pueblo, as it’s known historically – for unique Red Rocks-themed souvenirs, anything from T-shirts and mugs to books on the history of the park.
CDs with recordings of some of the most noteworthy performances can also be found. Bands and singing groups, such as U2, The Carpenters, Sonny & Cher and The Greatful Dead, have all played Red Rocks, although the band Widespread Panic holds the record for 32 Red Rocks performances. Souvenirs can also be purchased at www.shopredrocks.com.
The Visitor’s Center, which resembles a southwestern adobe home, also has a select variety of gifts for sale, although the main attraction here is the history. There also is a Performer’s Hall of Fame, a dinosaur exhibit and other history-oriented displays. Guided tours may be arranged.
A great place to catch a pre-show dinner, lunch or brunch is the Ship Rock Grille, located at the Visitor’s Center. Of course, the Ship Rock Grille offers more amazing scenery, accompanied by a Colorado-inspired menu. Also located inside the Visitor’s Center is Java City, serving every roasted beverage – from espressos to iced café lattes.
A popular reception and meeting area is the Upper Terrace. With a capacity for up to 2,000 people, this area is usually reserved for larger events, as the fee is pricey.
The surrounding area is filled with do-not-miss attractions, as well. Bandimere Speedway, just down C-470 in the Rooney Valley area, offers a variety of racetrack shows. Dinosaur Ridge, off West Alameda Parkway, offers amazingly preserved dinosaur tracks, as well as a visitor’s center, a gift shop and snacks.
And who could forget the concerts? Red Rocks offers a variety of concerts and shows in an amphitheatre where nature is the architect.
If You Go