Located just 15 miles from downtown Denver is one of the most widely recognized concert amphitheatres in the United States. It is nestled into the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and surrounded by the red rocks that make the area geologically unique. The amphitheatre is open air and there is nothing like it anywhere else on earth. It was as if nature planned this venue with its two 300-foot monoliths that provide acoustic assistance for performances. These monoliths feature 250 million years worth of fossil imprints from animals and plant life in the area. In many ways, it is like viewing millenniums of natural history while enjoying a concert. The site also features fossil fragments from a 40-foot sea serpent, as well as several flying reptiles, and dinosaur tracks from 160 million years ago.
Originally the venue was known as the Garden of Angels. Some of the rock slopes are as great as 90 degrees and other tilt backward. The southern monolith in the amphitheatre is known as Ship Rock. The opposite rock is Creation Rock. Each is taller than Niagara Falls, and there was a time when the venue was listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
It was the early 1900's when the visionary of Red Rocks first imagined the potential of the location. John Brisben Walker knew a performing arts stage would be a perfect fit for the venue and he proceeded to produce numerous concerts at the location between 1906 and 1910. In 1927, then manager of the Denver Park system, George Cranmer, talked the City of Denver into purchasing Red Rocks from Walker. They paid him just over $54,000 for the site. The city then build on the foundation Walker had begun. In 1947, there was an Easter Sunday Sunrise Service, and ever since then performers the world over have been eager to perform at Red Rocks.
Red Rocks is more than a performance amphitheatre. Like everything in Colorado, it is majestic and breathtaking in its scenic capacity. There are trails for hiking and biking, and a visitor center where you can relax and stock up on necessities, and also enjoy a meal at the Ship Rock Grille. The restaurant is open for lunch, brunch on the weekend's a dinner pre-show. The Trading Post Trail is one of two of the area's most popular. It is 1.4 miles long and takes hikers through rock formations, meadows, and valleys. Hiking can be rough and weather can be sporadic, so preparing accordingly. The trail is over 6,000 feet above seas level. The Red Rocks Trail is easier hiking and also offers horseback riding and mountain biking. You can take the trail in two different directions, one of which takes you in a 6-mile loop.
You may know Red Rocks for its concert performance fame. It is well-loved by musicians and concert goers alike. However, there is so much more about Red rocks you can love. The next time you are in the area, head over to Red Rocks and check out all it has to offer that is not music related.
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