You can almost make out Denver at the top of this photo.
The Red Rocks Amphitheater is made up of dramatic sandstone formations that naturally provide great acoustics as well as history of animal and plant life in the area for the past 250 million years. I couldn’t help but feel like I was on a Flintstones set!
Colorado was once a raised land mass surrounded by an ancient ocean. Gradual earth movement pushed the huge sandstone ledges from the prehistoric ocean floor to form the "walls" of the amphitheater. This area is part of what’s left of the Ancestral Rocky Mountains as wind and weather wore them away. The “current” Rocky Mountains were formed from 80 million to 55 million years ago!
Artists have been performing in this area nestled between the rock formations (both taller than Niagara Falls) that create perfect acoustic surroundings since the early 1900’s. Labor and materials for the amphitheater completed in 1941 were provided by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Work Projects Administration.
About 15 miles west of Denver in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the amphitheater is also part of a park where you can roam about freely when there isn’t a performance scheduled (and I do mean “free”!). Along with the hiking and biking trails, lots of people jog/lunge along the 69 rows of concrete benches – both vertically and horizontally. Crazy? Yes, to me, especially at 6,400 feet! But it’s great to see people out and about and so active.
We’ll continue on with our Flintstones tour and find time to visit the neighboring site, Dinosaur Ridge. Within those walls is another record of the ages as dinosaur tracks tell of the Jurassic period of 160 million years ago.
Stay tuned for more!