Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I have been on a quest the last few years to visit outdoor amphitheaters, and of all those I have visited, the Red Rocks Amphitheater is the most spectacular, in terms of its natural setting. It is located a few miles west of Denver, Colorado; in fact, the Denver skyline is visible in the distance when one is sitting in the upper levels of the amphitheater. This is by no means, a new amphitheater, although its components have been updated to make it "state of the art", in terms of concert and performance venues. Its use as an amphitheater for performances dates back to around 1910, when John Brisben Walker produced concerts there on a temporary platform. Those early beginnings planted the "seeds" for the Red Rocks Amphitheater becoming a world famous entertainment venue. Famous artists have helped cultivate those seeds during the past several decades. This was most famously done because of a video put out by the band U2, from a concert event that they performed there in 1983. People around the world viewed the video, and were in awe, not only of the band, but also the scenic location of the concert. It was later listed in Rolling Stone's magazine list of the "50 moments that changed Rock and Roll." None of the famous concerts held there would have been possible, if the city of Denver had not purchased the property in 1927. With the help of the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) and WPA (Works Projects Administration), the amphitheater structures were built. It was formally dedicated in 1941.

This stunning scene from midway down into the amphitheater shows the seating that is bordered by a huge sandstone vertical rock, angled outwards from stage right. It is called Creation Rock.

The amphitheater holds 9, 450 people. This photo shows that there are other choices for concert viewing besides the typical bleachers. This biker couple is stretched out on the graveled and shaded plaza areas that border both sides of the bleachers. Judging from the number of families with strollers I saw using these same plazas, it is also a good location for a baby to sleep!

This 300 foot sandstone monolith sits at the top of the amphitheater, where there is as expansive concrete plaza with concession stands and restrooms, as well as a sit-down, air conditioned restaurant. It is noteworthy that the restaurant is open daily, even if there is not a concert scheduled. Likewise, one can take a guided tour of the amphitheater, on most days of the year. You can find out information on this, and about all the surrounding park has to offer (such as hiking trails, picnic areas, Visitor Center, etc) by visiting their official website, Since Denver has the nickname of the "Mile High City", and the rocks shown on these photos are even higher than that, I was reminded of the verse in the second part of Psalm 61:2 that says "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I." Of course, the psalmist is referring to God, yet I would also recommend being led to the high rocks (and rock concerts) of this gorgeous place! It will give you miles of (vertical!) smiles! Tricia

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