Location: Morrison, CO
Distance from Denver: 16mi (~25 min) ♡ ♡ ♡
Parking Situation: Multiple large lots but they fill up quickly for events (discussed below) ♡ ♡
Parking Fee: N/A
Red Rocks is Colorado's gem! It's hard not to see why when you visit - out of nowhere, nestled between the plains and the Rocky Mountains, this magical formation simply takes your breath away. It was formed over 200 million years ago as the earth shifted and revealed the sandstone rocks we all now love! There's so much to do here - from simply sightseeing, to hiking, concerts, yoga, movies, Church services, graduation, and exercising, Red Rocks really has it all!
What to Bring to Red Rocks Events - The funny thing about Red Rocks is that is always seems to rain when we go there! Umbrellas, among other things, are not allowed during concerts or movies, so we highly suggest always bringing a windbreaker when you go (we like these his & hers windbreakers). We have also brought a blanket in the past (seat cushions are also allowed), as well as food and drinks to tailgate with in the parking lot! Keep in mind that drinks are typically only allowed in the parking lots and if you try to bring a refillable water bottle into the amphitheatre, they will ask you to dump out the contents before going in.
Getting to Red Rocks - there are multiple ways to get to Red Rocks during events, including a party bus from downtown (~$40/person), Uber, or driving yourself. I've read people suggesting the party bus (you'll be offered this when you buy your tickets through the official website) but we think it is extremely overrated. Most locals either take an Uber or more accurately, drive themselves to Red Rocks. We typically drive and use Entrance 3 (more on that below). Driving has its perks - you get to tailgate along with your other concert-goers! We have even see people set up beer pong tables and speakers to blare music and get everyone in the mood! Now why would you ever want to miss out on this?
Parking at Red Rocks - the least strenuous (and thus most popular) lot is the Upper North lot, accessed via Entrance 1. You drive up the windy roads, past a tunnel, and the lot is to your left. It fills up really quickly (as in if doors open to the concert at 7pm, you should be in the lot by 2 or 3pm). The Lower North lot is also very popular, and if you are able to get there super early, these are the lots to be at because you enter the top of the amphitheater and only need to walk down to your row!
Of all of the concerts we have been to, we have never been able to leave work early enough to park at the Upper or Lower North lot. The next most popular lot is the Upper South lot, accessed via Entrance 4. This also fills up quickly - for a 7pm door open, you should aim to be here by 4-5pm to be able to park in the lot. The nice thing about this lot is that it is connected to a ramp that leads you up to the entrance. It is an easier entrance for those not wanting to hike a lot, but very crowded. The lines usually take between 45min - 1 hour if you try to enter through here.
We avoid parking at the Upper South lot because we do not want to wait in the lines! Keep in mind that this entrance opens to the bottom of the amphitheater so you will be climbing up to your seats (and sometimes quite a ways if you are seated at the top).
This leads us to the Lower South lot 1 & Lower South lot 2, accessed via Entrance 3. These are the lots we usually park at, and if you Uber this is where it will be waiting for you after the concert! Now, not going to lie, it is a bit of a haul to get into Red Rocks so this is the lot if you are either late (think getting there after 530pm for a 7pm door open), or are a glutton for punishment.
You walk up a path and the Lower South lots connect to the ramp from the Upper South lot. If you don't want to walk up stairs or are ok waiting in lines, this is how we suggest you go in. But we dislike lines. A lot. So we walk past the turn to get to the ramp, and less than a quarter of a mile up are stairs that lead you to a W I D E open entrance!
The stairs are HARD - especially because after the first set of stairs to get to the entrance, there is the second set that you climb to get to your seats. Just keep this in mind and mentally prepare yourself if this is the route you choose. But honestly, we think that it is worth the quad burn to not have to wait in lines. Again, where the ramp takes 45min to 1 hour to get in, the stairs are usually no wait to 10 min tops in our experience!
What About Restrooms? - Great question! While you are tailgating, there are port-a-potties set up in the parking lot. Once you are inside, there are a set of restrooms on either side of the stage at the bottom, as well as a less crowded restroom behind the concession stands on the left side of the stage (as you are facing the stage). We usually use the restrooms near the visitor center at the top of the amphitheater (I know we need to stop enjoying the climb!).
What to Expect - Honestly, the feeling you get when you are at Red Rocks is hard to describe. It is just so magical and awe-inspiring. It is unlike any concert/yoga/exercise/Church venue anywhere else in the world. We have watched a countless number of bands here, and without fail every single band has been overcome with emotion that they have the opportunity to perform here!
We hope that this guide is helpful to you! Is there anything that we missed?
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