Red Rocks Park
Red Rocks Park is a mountain park in Jefferson County, Colorado, owned and maintained by the city of Denver as part of the Denver Mountain Parks system. The park is known for its very large red sandstone outcrops. Many of these rock formations within the park have names, from the mushroom-shaped Seat of Pluto to the inclined Cave of the Seven Ladders. The most visited rocks, around the amphitheater, are Creation Rock to the north, Ship Rock to the south, and Stage Rock to the east.
Red Rocks Park District
Red Rocks area from Dakota Ridge
|Architect||Hoyt, Burnham; Rosche, W. R.|
|MPS||Denver Mountain Parks MPS|
|NRHP reference #||90000725 |
|Added to NRHP||May 18, 1990|
The red sandstone found throughout Red Rocks Park is geologically identified as belonging to the Fountain Formation. Other Colorado examples of Fountain Formation geology include nearby Roxborough State Park, Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs, and the Flatirons near Boulder. The rocks were formed about 290-296 million years ago when the Ancestral Rocky Mountains were eroded during the Pennsylvanian epoch. Later, uplift during the Laramide orogeny tilted the rocks to the angle at which they sit today.
An Army expedition led by Stephen Long discovered present day Red Rocks in 1820. The park was in times far past a favored campsite of the Ute tribe for it provided natural cover from the elements. Its earliest known name was the Garden of the Angels, reputedly given to it on July 4, 1870, by Martin Van Buren Luther, a pioneer Colorado judge. It was renamed Garden of the Titans in 1906 by famed editor John Brisben Walker when he purchased the place with proceeds from his sale of Cosmopolitan Magazine; John Brisben Walker organized concerts on a temporary platform at the Garden of the Titans. Known however by the folk name of Red Rocks since the area was settled, it was formally given that name when Denver acquired it in 1928 from John Brisben Walker.
Within the park boundaries is the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, a world-famous venue used since 1941, which hosts many concerts and other events. The amphitheater is an award-winning venue for concerts. Denver Mayor Ben Stapleton resisted developing the already beautiful Red Rocks but city Park Planner George Cranmer used a program developed by Franklin D Roosevelt to build an amphitheater. Ultimately, the Amphitheater was designed by Burnam Hoyt within the area between two massive slabs of Red stone (Ship Rock and Creation Rock).
After being awarded Pollstar magazine's Best Small Outdoor Venue for the 11th time, the popular magazine named the award after the venue taking it out of the running.
Red Rocks Park was also the site of the Start and Finish line of The Amazing Race 9 which aired in the spring of 2006.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2006-03-15.
- Dick Gibson. "Geology of Boulder Flatirons – The Fountain Formation".
- Added July 21, 2015. See http://www.nps.gov/nhl/find/statelists/co/CO.pdf. For media coverage, see http://www.denverpost.com/golden/ci_28584880/red-rocks-conservation-corps-camp-named-national-historic; http://www.austin360.com/news/news/national/red-rocks-park-named-national-historic-landmark/nnDzY/; http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/red-rocks-park-named-national-historic-landmark
Klun, Kerry. "Historic Homes of Denver: Entertainment Series-Red Rocks." (n.d.): n. pag. 18 Feb. 2011. Web.