Morrison is a quiet town tucked in the foothills of the Front Range. It’s most known for its music venue, Red Rocks, located just up the hillside from downtown. There are several places to eat and shop in this quaint historic area.
The town sits at 5,765 feet above sea level in Jefferson County. It has a small population of around 421 people as of 2020, and its motto is “The Nearest Faraway Place.”
Bear Creek is largely responsible for the creation of Morrison. It runs right through town, and before any settlers arrived it had carved a large, flat bench of land that was perfect for building on. A group of businessmen looking to expand the rail line eventually brought prosperity to the community in 1872.
Once the narrow gauge railroad was constructed, Morrison became a hotspot for transporting materials to and from Denver. It also provided easy access for tourists looking to visit Red Rocks. Unfortunately, the rail company decided to pursue a more logical route through the Platte Canyon. This meant the railroad would permanently end in Morrison.
The small town had enough momentum to continue prospering. Morrison’s namesake, George Morrison, had funded many buildings that gave the community a sense of permanence. There was a schoolhouse, guest lodging, a casino and a hotel that eventually turned into a university.
Red Rock Park & Amphitheater – One-of-a-kind concert venue situated at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Giant, 400-foot sandstone slabs form the amphitheater, which overlooks the city of Denver. It seats 9,450 people.
Morrison Natural History Museum – Many fossils were found near Morrison in the late 1800s, and some of them are on display at this awe-inspiring museum. The exhibits are meant to appeal to all ages and scientific abilities.
Tiny Town – Wander around this miniature town that has hundreds of 1/16 sized replica buildings. There is also a railroad you can ride to see even more structures.
Read about the top things to do in Morrison.
Camping – Bear Creek Lake offers boating, fishing, hiking, biking, in addition to a 47-site campground (open April 1- October 31). Reservations accepted. The park is located near the intersection of 470 and 285. Read about the camping near Morrison and Red Rocks.
Fishing – Bear Creek Lake, Chatfield Lake, and Evergreen Lake are all within a short drive and provide ample fishing.
Hiking – Red Rocks Amphitheater is a popular spot to hike year-round. Additionally, the Jackson County Open Space provides many great trails, with several through similar red sandstone formations.
Cliff House Lodge B&B – The original home of George Morrison, this beautiful lodge has been transformed into a cozy bed & breakfast. It’s within walking distance of many shops, but still in a peaceful secluded area.
Origin Hotel Red Rocks – Modern, pet-friendly accommodation with a beer garden and taqueria on the property. They also offer three extended-size suites for larger groups.
Read about the best hotels near Morrison and Red Rocks.
The Fort – An authentic replication of Bent’s Old Fort in Southeast Colorado. They serve a delicious and creative array of food from the Early West.
Cafe Prague – Serves Eastern European classics including wiener schnitzel and beef goulash.
Morrison Holiday Bar – The local watering hole with a rotating lineup of live music.
Red Rocks Grill – Find a mix of fare, from burgers and sandwiches to tacos and burritos at this local favorite.
Willy’s Wings – Wings and other fried goodies can be had at this classic spot.
May-Aug – Film on the Rocks – Annual summer movie series held at Red Rocks Amphitheater showcasing a range of films. Great for families, this event takes place on multiple days throughout the summer.
Jun-Aug – Yoga on the Rocks – Early rising yogis will love the open-air classroom setting provided by the spectacular Red Rocks Amphitheater. From early June to early August, guided yoga classes are happening at 7am, doors open at 6am. Bring your mat and get your space early!
Jul – Mile High Nationals – Bandimere Speedway hosts this kickoff of a three-part racing series known as the Western Swing. Fans will also have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers.
Aug – Colorado Symphony Acoustic on the Rocks – Four days of classical music at Red Rocks Amphitheater in mid-August. It features Colorado’s top string performers playing the likes of Mozart, Walker, Bartok, and Tchaikovsky.
Activities near Morrison
- Evergreen Lake (11mi)
- Bear Creek Lake (3mi)
- Crown Hill Lake
- Evergreen Lake (11mi)
- Lair o’ the Bear Park (5mi)
- Jefferson County Open Space
- Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre