After spending a week in Indiana, I returned to Colorado in need of an adventure. I’ve been hearing about Red Rocks for months and Wednesday’s weather report told me the snow wouldn’t arrive until the afternoon, so I grabbed my fanny pack (they are incredibly convenient, and you can all be quiet about it already!) and began driving west. A CD bearing a collection of songs played live at Red Rocks (thank you to the loaner for those timely tunes) was the perfect accompaniment to the journey.
My excitement began to build as the highway entered the foothills – I was in the mountains! The closer I got to Red Rocks Park, the more dramatic the scenery became. Beautiful homes were tucked between sandstone rock formations and scrubby trees. I pulled off the road at Red Rocks trail to enjoy the view of the valley below.
I continued my steep and winding drive towards the amphitheater, passing few cars on the way. I parked at the Trading Post (gift shop/Colorado welcome center), picked up a map, and began the short but strenuous hike to the theater. The guy working at the Trading Post told me I wasn’t allowed to claim altitude adjustment anymore, but some kind of evil forces were afoot on that walk. The road is so steep you can easily walk it on tiptoes, and I was already winded a third of the way up, let alone the million steps to the top of the theater itself. Alright, fine – 192 steps. Apparently people do boot camp here, and I tip my hat to you fools.
As you can imagine based on the photo above, it was WORTH IT. The view is absolutely stunning. It was a perfect winter Colorado day: sunny, crisp, and clear, and as a hawk circled above, I felt such gratitude for the opportunity to live here.
There’s a little museum area with memorabilia and audio from concerts past, and I strolled through, reading about the location’s history. The amphitheater (more or less as it is today) opened in 1941, and construction was part of the efforts to employ workers during the Great Depression. Before that, people had been performing in the naturally occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheater. And even before that, there were dinosaurs!
After perusing the museum, I wandered down to the stage and imagined how sublime it must be to perform there. My reverie was interrupted by a girl belting out Journey, and then she and her friends joined me on the stage to do some ballet moves while talking much louder than was necessary in an amphitheater. HOWEVER, they turned out to be very nice and offered to take my photo on the stage.
I left the park feeling refreshed and excited for future explorations. Stay tuned for an upcoming trip to the Beach at Arapahoe Basin!