April 25, 2022 4 min read

Colorado prides itself on natural beauty and vibrant culture, and there’s no better place to find both than at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. Red Rocks is known as one of the most incredible music venues in the world. Where else can you dance your heart out while enjoying jaw-dropping landscapes and perfect natural acoustics?

Whether you’re following your favorite band or just looking for an unforgettable concert experience, Red Rocks is a trip that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Make the most out of your Red Rocks experience with our guide for visiting Red Rocks Park for the first time.

Plan To Arrive Early

As with any big event, the more time you have, the easier your experience will be. Red Rocks features a large venue and an even bigger park, so give yourself plenty of time to navigate the area without stress. Be flexible with your driving time in case you run into traffic or the long lines that often jam the entrance to the park.

Arriving early also makes it easier to snag a good parking spot. Red Rocks has five parking lots: Upper North Lot, Upper South Lot, Lower North Lot, Lower South Lot 1, and Lower South Lot 2. The Upper Lots are closest to the Amphitheatre, and are therefore the shortest walk, but they fill up fast.

Of course, there’s plenty to do around Red Rocks before the show starts. If you want to explore the hiking trails, learn more about the venue, or just hang out with the incredible Red Rocks community, put some spare time in your itinerary and show up early.

Tailgating at Red Rocks

At Red Rocks, the party begins long before the music starts playing. Tailgating is a popular way to spend time before the show. The lots open two hours before an event, so come early and bring a cooler.

You can’t grill in the park, and glass is prohibited. Make sure you bring plenty of appropriate snacks and drinks so that you can have fun without breaking any of the park rules. This is a great time to relax before the show and meet some of your fellow music lovers before you enter the venue.

Consider a Shuttle

If you don’t want to drive to the venue, don’t worry! There are plenty of shuttles in the area that can take you to Red Rocks. You can grab a shuttle or bus from Denver, Ft. Collins, Boulder, and other nearby areas. Taking a shuttle is convenient, safe, and affordable at around $25 to $35 a ticket. Depending on what bus or shuttle option you choose, you can enjoy drinks, snacks, and even an on-board DJ to start the party early.

Be Prepared for a Hike

No Colorado venue would be complete without a bit of a hike. Red Rocks is full of trails around the parking lot and venue. If you park in the lower lots, you’re going to need to walk up to the venue. Even if you have a closer parking spot, it’s still fun to roam the trails and explore more of the beautiful park. Plus, the venue itself features a lot of stairs, so chances are, you’ll have at least a small climb to get to your seat. Bring comfortable shoes and plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Mind the Elevation

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre sits at 6,450 feet above sea level. If you’re not used to the higher elevation—and even if you are—make sure you have everything you need to stay safe and comfortable throughout the night. Don’t be surprised if the walk to your seat is harder than usual. Don’t worry—everyone else will be a little out of breath, too. Other tips for dealing with the elevation include staying hydrated and pacing yourself if you’re drinking.

Make Time for the Trading Post

If you have time before the show, head over to the Trading Post to shop, learn about the venue, and enjoy the views. The Trading Post is just above the Lower South Lot 1 and is the perfect place to kick off your exploration of the park. Here you can find souvenirs to commemorate your trip to the park.

The Trading Post is also home to the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, which features exhibits revolving around over 40 Colorado artists through the ages. From Dianne Reeves to John Denver, the Colorado Music Hall of Fame is a colorful and enthusiastic celebration of the state’s rich music history.

Dress for the Weather

The foothills tend to have their own weather patterns, so make sure you’re prepared for anything. A rain jacket is a good idea even if the forecast is clear. It’s also important to note that umbrellas aren’t allowed inside the venue.

The temperature can fluctuate, so try to dress in layers. It might be sunny and warm as you’re hiking around the park, but as soon as the sun sets behind the rocks, it’s going to get colder. A jacket or hoodie that you can take on and off as you please will help keep you comfortable throughout the entire event.

Enjoy the Experience

Of course, the most important part of any guide for visiting Red Rocks Park for the first time is to have fun! Red Rocks is truly a venue like no other. Cherish your time there and let yourself enjoy every moment. Give yourself plenty of time to take it all in before the show begins. Take plenty of pictures, too—but remember to put your phone down, experience the breathtaking views, and focus on the show.

Don’t worry if things don’t go completely to plan. If you mess something up or wish you’d done something differently, you just have another reason to come back again. Red Rocks sees hundreds of performances from an incredible variety of musicians every year. Once you experience your first concert here, you’ll want to keep coming back every season.

Are you ready for your first trip to Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre? Pack your best Colorado merch from YoColorado, fill your cooler with drinks, and head out to one of the world’s most gorgeous music venues. A world of incredible music and unforgettable experiences awaits you!

A Guide for Visiting Red Rocks Park for the First Time
Bryan Howley
Bryan Howley

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