Red Rocks: a quick day trip

red rocks amphitheater

If you’re visiting Denver, your friends will ask if you went to Red Rocks. So just go! It’s definitely worth it. A quick trip west from Ember Hostel and you’ll find yourself at the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater. The park offers drive up views, meadow picnics, remarkable rock formations and easy to moderate hikes.

There are two trails that venture through the park: Trading Post and Geologic Overlook. A third trail, Red Rocks Trail, runs through the park, splits and adjoins with the Matthews-Winters Park trails.

The Trading Post trail weaves through some of Colorado’s most majestic red rock formations, into lush meadows, and serves great views of Red Rocks park. The trail is narrow and has some steep areas, so climb carefully. At the top, you will stand 6,280 feet above sea level. For the most favorable views, hike the loop counterclockwise. The loop is a moderate 1.4 miles.

geologic overlook trailhead

The Geologic Overlook a is short, easy trail that provides beautiful views. Plains View Road takes you directly to the Geologic Marker & Picnic shelter. The trail is only a couple hundred yards long but you will end at a great overlook of Red Rocks Park.

The Red Rocks Trail runs the east side of the park and allows hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. The trail splits and one section heads north connecting to Matthews-Winters park and the other section goes east to the Dakota Ridge Trail.

Shallow cave

Shallow Cave at Red Rocks is a great spot for pictures. To get there from the lower north parking lot, take the stairs up to the road, then walk left up the road about 50 yards. Here you will see a shallow cave carved into the ancient sandstone. A tunnel is also carved out of the rock which is where the road passes through – so be mindful of moving cars.

Amphitheater view

For the best view of Denver city skyline, climb to the top stairs of the amphitheater.

 Once you’ve instagrammed your hike, why not head down to the quaint town of Morrison and grab a beer at the Red Rocks Beer Garden and enjoy the sun on their patio. Grab a FREE BEER coupon from our front desk.


  • You aren’t hiking among the trees so be prepared for lots of direct sunlight and wear sunscreen!

  • What’s that sound? A rattlesnake. They just want to sun bathe on rocks or other warm areas, so still enjoy the hike but keep your eyes peeled.

  • This is not the place to flex your bouldering skills. Rock climbing is prohibited.

  • Terrain is rough, where a solid shoe with a closed toe.

  • You can even catch the sunset or sunrise. Park opens one hour before and after the sun.

  • Check the weather radar.

  • An Uber or Lyft will take you there but grab a group and share the price (~$30/one way depending on time of ride).

And don’t forget to check out their concert listings to see if you are lucky enough to catch your fave band at this grand venue.



getawaysNicole CobbComment