United States

Red Rocks Park

Located fifteen miles west of downtown Denver on the eastern slope of the Front Range, Red Rocks Park includes a scenic drive, hiking trails, and an amphitheater. Formed by the erosion of the Rocky Mountains, the notable red color of the sandstone formations reveals its granite and gneiss composition. A favored campsite of the Ute Tribe, the formations were first known as the Garden of the Angels by the early settlers and then later renamed the Garden of the Titans in 1906 when it was purchased by John Walker. In 1928, the City of Denver acquired the 640-acre property from Walker to be included in the Denver Mountain Parks System.

Construction of a five-mile scenic road began in 1929 and was completed in one year. The road was designed to provide views of the jagged hogback formation and the Great Plains. To take advantage of the natural acoustics George Cranmer, Manager of Improvement and Parks for Denver, envisioned an amphitheater in the park and commissioned architect Burnham Hoyt to design the 10,000 seat venue. Between 1936 and 1941, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) labored on the construction of the park. The extant Mount Morrison CCC Camp is still in use as the maintenance headquarters for the Denver Mountain Parks. The park design minimized the impact of infrastructure on the experience; parking lots were carefully sited and screened to be hidden from view. The amphitheater, retention walls, and stairs are constructed of native sandstone and colored concrete. The site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1990 and in 2015 Red Rocks Park and the Mount Morrison CCC camp were granted National Historic Landmark status.

Location and Nearby Landscapes

Nearby Landscapes