Red Rocks Amphitheatre is not just a concert destination, but also a favorite spot for locals and tourists to enjoy amazing Colorado scenery. With hiking and biking trails, picturesque picnic spots and a Visitor Center chock-full of amenities - including Ship Rock Grille, the venue’s on-site restaurant open for lunch, weekend brunch and pre-show dinner – visitors are encouraged to leisurely enjoy the amphitheatre and surrounding Red Rocks Park.
Download Red Rocks Trailmap
The Trading Post Trail is 1.4 miles in length, and goes through spectacular rock formations, valleys and a natural meadow. Some of the terrain is rough, so hiking boots/ shoes are recommended. Also, hikers should be prepared for adverse weather conditions as the weather can change very quickly.
The trail is 6,280 feet above sea level, so persons with health conditions may wish to consult a doctor before attempting the hike. If children are joining the hike, provide good supervision, as some areas of the trail are drop-offs, steep grades, and road crossings. The majority of the trail is less than 30 inches wide, and rock climbing is prohibited.
The Red Rocks Trail starts at the lower north lot and can be used for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. The trail splits with one segment going north to connect to Jefferson County's Matthews-Winters park and the other segment goes east to connect to the Dakota Ridge Trail. The Red Rocks Trail continues on to Matthews-Winters, creatign a dramatic 6-mile loop.
All trails close one-half hour before sunset. Hikers are advised to allow themselves up to two hours to complete the hike.
Hours, Rules & Regulations
Visitor Center Hours
May-September: 8:00am - 7:00pm
October-April: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Park and Amphitheatre Hours
The park is open from 5AM to 11PM, daily free of charge. In the event of a performance the Amphitheatre and Visitor Center will generally close to the public in the early afternoon hours.
• Motorized vehicles and bicycles are allowed only on designated roads, parking areas and trails.
• Fires and camping are prohibited.
• No glass bottles or containers are allowed
• No littering- Please use trash receptacles
• No hunting
• No fireworks or firearms permitted
• Pets must be on a leash at all times
• Consumption of beer, liquor or wine is prohibited
• Rock climbing is prohibited
• All governing state statutes apply in the park. Dinosaur Ridge is located in close proximity to Red Rocks Park. This area contains actual dinosaur footprints and has its own visitor’s center. For more information, go to www.dinoridge.org.
Exercising at Red Rocks
Colorado is known for its health-conscious culture and with 69 rows of benches and an abundance of stairs, Red Rocks Amphitheatre has become a popular site for runners and those looking for a challenging workout at 6,400 feet. Individuals and groups are welcome to take advantage of the venue’s natural beauty and unique physical challenges whenever the amphitheatre is open to the public. We do ask that these activities do not negatively impact the enjoyment of others, or contribute to any structural damage of the venue. When working out at Red Rocks, please keep the following rules in mind:
• Respect the personal enjoyment of everyone at the amphitheatre.
• Amplified music is not allowed; please limit the enjoyment of music to earphones.
• Equipment that obstructs the access to stairs, benches and all other areas is not allowed.
• Equipment that has the potential to cause damage to the venue or injury to others is not allowed.
• Hanging on or from venue structures is not allowed.
Thank you for helping us to keep Red Rocks a beautiful and peaceful environment for everyone who visits.
Animals and fauna
Red Rocks serves as a home to a number of animals. Though they more often visit Red Rocks in winter, herds of deer are frequently seen in the park throughout the year. Occasionally a mountain lion from the hills searching for deer and other smaller animals is seen in the park.At dusk, it is not unusual to spot a fox, raccoon, skunk, chipmunk, or squirrel (especially after a concert munching on the gourmet buffet of leftovers).
Mule deer are another animal often spotted in Red Rocks Park. These deer weigh up to 200 pounds. Their fur is a gray to rich reddish brown hue. These deer have large ears, similar to those of a mule. A potentially dangerous inhabitant of the park is the rattlesnake. Though they are seen more frequently in the summer months, rattlesnakes do take advantage of the rocks for sun bathing in the early spring and late fall. Rattlesnakes are naturally shy, though they may become aggressive if they feel threatened. These snakes usually flee when they sense danger, however they are venomous and Red Rocks visitors are urged to use caution when hiking off of the trails.
Red Rocks is home to an array of feathered inhabitants. Birds such as house finches, scrub jays, pigeons and magpies are often spotted in Red Rocks Park. In the winter months, golden crowned sparrows and rosy finches also attract bird watchers to the park.
On occasion, the American kestrel is seen hovering over the park. This bird is a falcon that feeds on large insects, small birds and rodents. Both male and female American kestrels have a blue-gray stripe on its head and dark sideburns.
Another bird seen in Red Rocks is the mountain blue bird. This bird is in the North American thrush family. These birds sing a lovely song. Mountain blue birds can be identified by their thin bill, stocky body and forked tail. Males are a soft peacock blue, and females are grayish blue.
Plants and flowers
The trees found in Red Rocks Park include mountain mahogany, three-leaf sumac, cottonwoods and ponderosa pine. Wild plum and chokecherry trees are found in the gulch south of the Trading Post. Wildflowers serve as natural groundcover throughout the park. Flowers such as the Indian Paintbrush, the Blue Columbine (Colorado’s state flower), Yucca, and Bull Thistles thrive and beautify the park.
The Evening Primrose (oenothera caespitosa) is an herb-like perennial that grows in cooler climates on the dry, sunny slopes of the park. Its large white four-petal flower opens in the evenings and wilts the next day. Since only one flower opens at a time, the plant may bloom for days or even weeks throughout summer.
The Common Chokecherry (prunus virginiana) is found in loose thickets and rarely grows beyond nine to ten feet. However, in some unusual cases it has been known to grow tree-like reaching heights up to 15 feet. It is primarily found on hillsides, in canyons and along streams. The fruit has a bitter taste if eaten before it is ripe, giving rise to the name chokecherry.
Yuccas (yucca glauca) grows happily in arid regions and in sandy soil. This low evergreen plant is familiar to desert explorers. Its leafy fibers were used by Native Americans to make cord, sandals and mats. The flowers are a creamy to greenish-white colored bells, two to three inches wide, with large apple-green pistils.
The Creeping Mohonia (mohonia repens) is a low, shrub-like plant that can be found on dry open hillsides and rocky slopes of the park. It has woody underground stems, but is most recognizable by its leathery holly-like evergreen leaflets and dark blue berries.
Mountain Mahogany trees are members of the rose family that can be found on sunny, dry, rocky slopes. It usually grows from four to six feet tall, though they have occasionally grown from 12 to 20 feet tall. Because of the hardness of the wood, Native Americans used the wood as staffs to hold wool when spinning it, and as an ingredient in preparing a reddish dye for the wool.