Trading Post Trail
The Trading Post Trail is an epic hike that will guide adventurers around Colorado’s famous sandstone red rocks and near the jaw-dropping open-air amphitheater. This excursion will reveal dozens of incredible red rock formations etched into the arid terrain of the Front Range Foothills region. This awesome journey packs a punch, and it is undoubtedly a must-add to your Denver itinerary.
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Route Description for Trading Post Trail
The Trading Post Trail is a go-to for Denverites and tourists alike. This short, but astoundingly scenic route reveals some of the most intriguing perspectives of the red granite slates that litter the countryside. Unfortunately, you will likely be sharing the trail with several other outdoor enthusiasts, no matter when you hike. If you are seeking seclusion, try an early morning weekday hike, crowds should be a bit thinner. This awesome journey will guide you through the crevasses of the rocks and along rocky ridges, so keep an eye on little ones and dogs as you navigate the narrow and steep terrain. It is also worth noting that like us, rattlesnakes like to sunbathe, so be mindful of them as you hike the trails. As there is limited shade on this path, it is recommended to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and wear sun hats on hot days to avoid overexposure.
This incredibly popular hike is popular for a reason, and the cool red rocks and manageable terrain play a hand. Frequented by tourists and locals alike, you know this trail must be good. The Trading Post Trail exhibits astonishing views of the unique geological formations that sit on the boundary of the Foothills. This hike is the perfect weekend escape from the hustle and bustle of the city! The limited elevation change and the short distance of the loop enable novice hikers and children to easily manage the terrain, how awesome? Revel in the sights of the famous amphitheater, the mountainous landscape, and the Denver skyline as you trek around the loop. This trail has it all, and we can’t wait for you to hike it too!
Begin your adventure around the Red Rocks Park from the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. From here, veer left, tracking the Trading Post Hike clockwise. Hike southeast along the Trading Post Trail, immediately passing a large sculpture of red rocks. Travel past the outcropping and over the Red Rocks Road. Continue trekking the Trading Post Trail, keeping right at the fork in the road. Soon, you will pass the Morrison Cemetery and another set of red craggy cliffs. Admire the grandeur of the rocks and follow the path as it curves you west, and over the Red Rocks Road again.
At this point in your hike, the terrain will begin to gradually ascend the ridge. Still, on the Trading Post Trail, you will travel past the western side of the large granite cliff which better reveals its sheerness. Track north through the meadowlands and enjoy the sights of Mount Morrison in the northwest. This section of the route is our favorite, the path will guide adventurers through the crevasse of two towering red rocks. These rocks are especially cool because you can obviously see the layers of sediment which formed the rock millions of years ago. Revel in the stripping and continue through the fissure, appreciating the immense rocks that loom above.
Eventually, the path will guide you around the base of the red rock and curve east. Take the time to enjoy the views, flowers, birds, and sometimes the occasional lizard. Notice the sights of the amphitheater and its granite sculptures in the north. Follow the route all the way back to the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, marking the end of your adventure. If you still have some gas left in the tank, we suggest trekking the short distance over to the amphitheater and exploring the impressive music stadium. If the stadium is open to visitors that day, hike up to the top of the stairs for an epic view of the city of Denver!
Red Rocks Amphitheater
The Red Rocks Amphitheatre is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Denver area. Thousands flock to the venue where The Beatles, The Grateful Dead, Sonny and Cher, U2, Rush, and many other talents have performed. Etched into the side of the Red Rocks outcroppings and hemmed by large rock slates, the open-air amphitheater is known for its incredible acoustics and epic views of the Denver cityscape. With over 192 stairs from the stage to the top of the arena, you will also get a leg workout as you try to find your seat. Many people head to the amphitheater to work out, I mean what better way to get in your steps than hiking up to a scenic overlook of the park and cityscape. Whether you go to a concert or visit the theatre after a hike in Red Rocks Park, we know you will be impressed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it free to visit Red Rocks Park?
Yes, admission is free to the Red Rocks Park.
Why is Red Rocks Famous?
Within the Red Rocks Park, there is the amphitheater, which is one of the most popular open-air music venues in the country.
How do I get to the Trading Post Trail?
The Trading Post Trailhead is located within the Red Rocks Park off the Trading Post Road. We suggest parking at the Music Hall of Fame and departing from there.
Insider Hints for Trading Post Trail
- Keep an eye and ear out for rattlesnakes, they love sunbathing on the rocks.
- Sections of this trail are quite narrow and steep, so keep a close eye on the kids!
- Hike around the loop, and if the amphitheater is open, climb up to the top of the stadium and enjoy epic views of the Denver skyline.
- Make sure to pack plenty of water as the terrain is almost entirely exposed!
- Check the red rocks concert schedule. If you get a chance, see a show while you’re in the area – it’s worth it!
Getting to the Trading Post Trail Trailhead
The Trading Post Trail departs from the Colorado Music Hall of Fame in the Red Rocks Park, off the Trading Post Road.
Trading Post Trail Elevation Graph
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