red rocks all set about in green meadows

We saw plenty of red rocks on our trip through the Four Corners area, but what I found striking were the red rock monoliths set in the green mountain meadows of Denver on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains.  We took a 4.6 mile hike on the Red Rocks Trail and the Morrison Slide Trail on a Saturday morning in early May.  Red Rocks Park also contains the Red Rock Amphitheater, a popular concert venue, and other trails including the Trading Post Trail, which we didn’t take. We encountered hikers, runners and mountain bikers on this glorious spring day, as well as owls sitting in a small cave in a rock face, creeping barberry and fragrant cliffrose, colorful lichen and amazing views of the Denver plains, Bear Creek State Park and the Soda Lakes.


Red Rocks Trail


lichen on red rocks


lichen and greenery


view of Denver and the plains


view of Denver and the plains


view over Bear Creek State Park & the Soda Lakes


red monoliths


Red Rocks Trail


Red Rocks Trail


Red Rocks Trail


Red Rocks Trail


Red Rocks Trail


Red Rocks Trail


Red Rocks Trail

Near the Red Rocks Amphitheater is another trail, the Trading Post Trail, which we didn’t take.  This trail features whimsical rocks such as Creation Rock, Ship Rock (formerly called Titanic), and Stage Rock.


Near the Trading Post Trail


Near the Trading Post Trail


Near the Trading Post Trail


Near the Trading Post Trail

The red sandstone found throughout Red Rocks Park is geologically identified as belonging to the Fountain Formation, formed about 290-296 million years ago when the Ancestral Rocky Mountains were eroded. Later, uplift tilted the rocks to the angle at which they sit today.

The park, discovered on an Army expedition in 1820, once offered natural cover to an Ute tribe who camped here. Its earliest known name was the Garden of the Angels, reputedly given to it on July 4, 1870, by Martin Van Buren Luther, a pioneer Colorado judge. It was renamed Garden of the Titans in 1906 by famed editor John Brisben Walker when he purchased the place with proceeds from his sale of Cosmopolitan Magazine. Known by the folk name of Red Rocks since the area was settled, it was formally given that name when Denver acquired it in 1928 from Walker.

As it was Cinco de Mayo, we enjoyed margaritas and Mexican food at El Tapatio in Denver.


El Tapatio

*Saturday, May 5, 2108*


“PHOTOGRAPHY” INVITATION:  I invite you to create a photography intention and then create a blog post for a place you have visited. Alternately, you can post a thematic post about a place, photos of whatever you discovered that set your heart afire. You can also do a thematic post of something you have found throughout all your travels: churches, doors, people reading, people hiking, mountains, patterns, all black & white, whatever!

You probably have your own ideas about this, but in case you’d like some ideas, you can visit my page: photography inspiration.

I challenge you to post no more than 20 photos (fewer is better) and to write less than 350-400 words about any travel-related photography intention you set for yourself. Include the link in the comments below by Wednesday, June 20 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  When I write my post in response to this challenge on Thursday, June 21, I’ll include your links in that post.

This will be an ongoing invitation, every first and third Thursday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!

the ~ wander.essence ~ community

I invite you all to settle in and read a few posts from our wandering community.  I promise, you’ll be inspired!

  • Jude, of Under a Cornish Sky, wrote about an installation called ‘Rites of Dionysus’ inspired by “accounts of the Bacchanal – of women who roamed mountains in a trance and at the height of ecstasy seized an animal, tore it apart and ate it raw.”
  • Jo, of Restless Jo, wrote about a walk through the stunning gardens at Northumberlandia, a place that brings back fond memories of a dear friend.

Thanks to all of you who shared posts on the “photography” invitation. 🙂