Red Rocks National Park and Amphitheatre

admin October 17, 2010 0

Red Rocks National Park is located near Morrison, Colorado in Jefferson County. It is part of the Denver Mountain Parks system.  What gives the national park its name is the very large red sandstone outcrops.  Many of these rock formations have names.  Some of the names are the mushroom shaped Seat of Pluto to the inclined Caves of the Seven Ladders.

Around the amphitheatre, some of the most visited rocks are the Ship Rock to the south,   the Stage Rock to the east, and the Creation Rock to the north.  The red sandstone is geologically identified as belonging to the Fountain Formation.  Other Fountain Formations include Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs, Roxborough State Park, and The Flatirons near Boulder.  These rock formations were formed when the Ancestral Rocky Mountains eroded nearly 290-296 million years ago.  The rocks were titled to the angle they sit today during the uplift period of the Laramide orogeny.

In the far past, the park was the favorite campground of the Ute Indians.  Its earliest name was the Garden of the Angels.  This was in 1870 by a pioneer Colorado judge.  It was renamed Garden of the Titans in 1906.  It was always known by the name Red Rocks since it was settled.  It was officially given the name Red Rocks when Denver acquired it in 1928.

In the parks boundaries is the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre.  It has been the host for many concerts and events.  It was also the site for the start and finish of The Amazing Race 9, which aired in the spring of 2006.

There are also hiking and biking trails at the Red Rocks National Park.  One hiking trail is 1.4 miles in length and goes through some spectacular rock formations, a natural meadow, and valleys.  The trail is 6280 feet above sea level and the majority of the trail is less than 30 inches wide.  The biking trail starts at the lower north lot.  It is also used as a trail for horse back riding, hiking, and mountain biking.  The Red Rocks trail is a dramatic six-mile loop.

When you visit Red Rocks National Park, you can also take a guided tour.  This includes interactive educational displays, and you can learn about geology, wildlife, and the history of the park.  In the amphitheatre Ship Rock and Creation Rock provide acoustic perfection for any performance.

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