I finally got to check Colorado off my bucket list, and I’m going to call it – it’s a Top 5 for me. And that’s only after visiting the Denver area. As soon as we knew we were going to Denver, I started researching how to tour Red Rocks Amphitheater. One of the most famous venues in the world, I knew we couldn’t visit Colorado without seeing it! It was even better than I expected, and I’m going to share everything you need to know to plan your trip to Red Rocks in Colorado – no concert necessary!
How to Tour Red Rocks Amphitheater
A super quick backstory, in case you’ve never heard of Red Rocks before or are uncertain about exactly what it is.
Red Rocks Amphitheater is a concert venue literally carved into giant red rocks. The rocks that the amphitheater is so famous for are over 300 feet tall, and flank both sides of the venue. Completed in 1941, the venue itself is located 6,450 feet above sea level (about 1,000 feet higher than Denver itself). If you’re new to the area, this change in altitude is NO JOKE…especially when you’re climbing up those 150 stairs to get back to the top! Today the venue brings in the world’s best bands for a once-in-a-lifetime concert experience, with stunning views and amazing acoustics.
When is Red Rocks concert season?
Because it’s outside, in the mountains, the concert season is built around the weather and runs roughly April-November (with a winter-themed show in January, I believe). During the off-season, you can attend Red Rocks and see live music and tour backstage during the Local Sets conert series (which is what we did – more on that below!).
Where is Red Rocks located?
Red Rocks Amphitheater is located in the town of Morrison, Colorado. Morrison is home to lots of restaurants and cute shops. If you’re visiting, you can plan to eat and shop for a couple hours in Morrison before heading up to Red Rocks (which is just a short drive from the town).
Can you visit Red Rocks during the day?
Yep! You can visit during the day. I’m not sure what the policy is when a concert is happening that night, but we visited on a non-concert night and people were still there at dusk. Some people were even running up the stairs and concert seats (on purpose, y’all!) and this was super impressive because I got out of breath just walking up a few stairs!
Is Local Set at Red Rocks worth the money?
We so badly wanted to see a show while we were in town, but it was the off-season. I found about Local Sets, an indoor musical performance with dinner showcasing local bands, and we immediately signed up! The cost is $60 and includes two bands and a full dinner. For an extra $10 you can tour backstage at Red Rocks (worth. every. penny.).
They also have a cash bar going (although they accepted debit cards, too). The bands were great (we saw Sugar Ridge and Oli McCracken), the food was on point, and the venue was so fun. The concert is in the Visitor’s Center, which is also really cool because there’s a little museum inside to wander while you’re waiting for everything to start (which I’d like to note, with appreciation, started right on time).
After dinner, you get to take the tour – dress warmly!
How to Tour Red Rocks
You can visit Red Rocks anytime and walk around the venue and the amphitheater and take a self-guided tour. Guided, backstage tours only take place in the off-season. You can find out more and get tickets here. Our backstage tour took us under Red Rocks – we got to see the dining area, sit in the same rooms (and probably chairs!) as famous bands, and even take the “celebrity” tunnel to a prime viewing area (this is where celebs go to watch the shows, or band member’s friends and family). We also got to go onstage AND THAT WAS AMAZING.
Then we had to walk up 149 stairs to get to the top (nope, no elevator).
Can you get to Red Rocks without a car?
You can Uber to and from Red Rocks, or hike in (it’s a 6 mile round trip hike). So, yes – you can definitely get there without a car!
Chevy was kind enough to loan us a vehicle for our trip – we had a Chevy Equinox the entire time we were in Denver and it was perfect for exploring! It has Apple Carplay (which my current ride does not have), and that was super helpful because it mirrors your phone’s screen – so I could see my Waze or Google Maps map up on the screen.
We also loved that the Equinox had room for all our luggage (we brought a lot of stuff to Colorado!). It had lots of room but it wasn’t so big that it was awkward to drive in the Denver downtown areas, or to park.
We didn’t have any kids with us (girls’ trip, woohoo!) but we ended up filling up the backseats with shopping bags and backpacks and all that fun stuff as we expored Denver and surroundings areas – we were so grateful for the extra space.
If you’re visiting Colorado – specifically the Denver area – I can’t recommend a trip to Red Rocks enough. Put it on your list of places to visit!