Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Morrison CO 80465
- Mon: 7am-7pm
- Tue: 7am-7pm
- Wed: 7am-7pm
- Thu: 7am-7pm
- Fri: 7am-7pm
- Sat: 7am-7pm
- Sun: 7am-7pm
As a destination for music lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike, Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO, has the unique draw of being accessible and beautiful at any time of day and almost any time of year. The amphitheatre itself is a marvel to behold, and seeing a musical act perform amidst the sandstone monoliths is a unique experience. The theatre is surrounded by hiking trails that traverse the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and offer something for hikers of all abilities.
Parking and public transportation at Red Rocks
Red Rocks has several large parking areas that are free and open to the public. On concert days, lots can fill up quickly and latecomers are forced to park along the winding road that leads up to the amphitheatre from the entrance gates. Unfortunately, there are no great public transportation options for getting to Red Rocks. The best option is to take the W line of the RTD Light Rail (which you can access from Union Station, Denver's main train station), and get off at Federal Center Station or Jeffco Government Center Station. You can then take a cab, Uber or Lyft from either of these places, but keep in mind that getting a ride after a show gets out can be a lengthy and frustrating process.
Best and worst time to go to Red Rocks
Though it is dependent on your intended activity, there is hardly a wrong time to visit Red Rocks. The concert season runs from April – October (with limited concerts occurring throughout the winter as well). Though most shows occur Friday-Sunday, there are several that occur midweek as well, and if you want to avoid a big crowd, these would be the way to go. Shows typically start around 7 or 8 p.m., so arrive early to tailgate in the parking lot and catch the sun set amid the outcroppings. If you intend to hike, mornings are a beautiful time at Red Rocks. To avoid weather extremities (the area can receive a lot of snow during winter storms and can be quite hot during summer afternoons), try to visit in the early summer or early fall, June or October in particular. Avoid visiting during or after particularly heavy snowstorms, as County Road 93 leading up to the park is steep and winding.
Admission to Red Rocks
Admission to the park itself is free. You are welcome to wander the trails at your leisure, climb the amphitheatre steps, and even check out the perspective from the stage, as long as there is not setup for a show going on. Concert tickets typically range from $40 – $60. Concessions are available during events, and prices are rather high, as is typical of large concert venues.
Must see/do at Red Rocks
Climb up to the top of the amphitheatre steps before the sun sets so you can see the city of Denver rising up out of the surrounding plains and plateaus. And of course, you really can't beat seeing a live show at Red Rocks. The way the rocks surround the crowd makes the venue feel very intimate, despite its large capacity. And once the sun sets, the sound reverberating all around you, while the stars shine above, makes for a truly magical experience.
Other places to visit near Red Rocks
If you visit Red Rocks during the day, head into Morrison after to grab a drink or lunch at one of the restaurants or bars along the main drag, which is less than 10 minutes away. The town of Golden, about 20 minutes away, is also a pleasant little town to explore. You can wander the downtown riverwalk along the Clear Creek or venture for a tour and free beer at the Coors factory.
Insider tip for visitors to Red Rocks
Fitness junkies flock to Red Rocks not only for the hiking trails, but for the opportunity presented by the theatre itself. If you're craving an intense workout on your trip, join the hundreds of others who run the stairs every day before or after work. If something a little lighter is more your style, there is a sunrise yoga program that runs every Saturday in the summer for $12 a session.
Author's bio: Julia O'Connor is a full-time editor and part-time freelance writer transplanted from Boston to Denver. She is thriving on the transition and has enjoyed the exploration of both cities and everything in between.