Red Rocks: The Pride of Colorado

The history

Pictures and information provided by Red Rocks Online and The Denver Post

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, located in Morrison, Colorado, is easily one of the most beautiful and well known phenomenons on earth. This Saturday marks the park's 78th anniversary, opening on June 15, 1941. To celebrate, we've released a line of Red Rocks stickers you can find at their Trading Post! 

While it opened in 1941, John Brisben Walker had been holding events and concerts there as early as 1906, when it was named the Garden of Angels. The first official Red Rocks event didn't actually happen until 1947 however, the very first Easter Sunday service. Standing at 6,450 ft., Red Rocks is taller than the Niagara Falls, and was once considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World! Roughly 10,000 people have perfect view of the stage, which sits 100 ft. in elevation lower than the top row; very smart planning on Denver architect Burnham Hoyt's part, the change in elevation gives every audience member a perfect view of the stage no matter where you stand. What goes better with a perfect view? Perfect sound. The amphitheater is the only naturally occurring amphitheater that is acoustically perfect. 

The geology

Starting as an ocean floor, Red Rocks took over 200 million years to form naturally (and it was worth every second). Dinosaur tracks once covered the grounds, and the remains of Plesiosaur, a 40-foot long sea serpent have even been found inside the park. Gradual movement of the earth very slowly formed two monoliths that now make the "walls" of the amphitheater. The southern monolith is named "Ship Rock," due to its ship-like resemblance. The northern monolith is named  "Creation Rock."

fun facts about the rocks

  • Barry Fey, the promoter credited with popularizing Red Rocks as a destination, hired planes that carried signs saying "I'd rather be at Red Rocks" to fly over Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre shortly after its opening
  • A 1971 Jethro Tull concert incited a riot so intense the venue had to be shut down for the remainder of the month after police used tear gas to control the crowd
  • Both monoliths, "Creation Rock" and "Ship Rock," stand 300 feet tall
  • Opera singer Regina Resnik provided the venue with its first instance of a "lighter in the crowd" moment. She asked the entire crowd to light matches and hold them up after the lights went out
  • Red Rocks is considered sacred by 32 American Indian tribes
  • Some locals swear the park is haunted by the Headless Hatchet Lady. Her prey? Lovesick teenagers
  • Widespread Panic hold the record for the most shows at the venue, reaching show #60 in 2018

additional information

Red Rocks is an absolute must-see for Colorado natives and visitors alike. If concerts aren't your thing, the park host a variety of events such as Yoga on the Rocks, Film on the Rocks, and Snow Shape on the Rocks, as well being open for hiking and photo adventures for all. For more information about the park, it's history or upcoming events, click the link below. 

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