I am referring to Roxborough State Park and its natural red rock formations which lean at 60 degree angles and add breathtaking beauty to this wonderful hiking area. This park, which is about 11 miles from my house in Highlands Ranch, was set aside as a state park in 1975, but was not opened to the public until 1987. It started out as 500 acres and was increased to more than 3300 acres that sit any where from 5900 ft to 7200 + ft above sea level.
The most beautiful part of the park are the red rock formations which were created over millions of years as a result of uplift and erosion just as the ones in Garden of the Gods at Colorado Springs, at Perry Park in Larkspur and the Red Rocks Amphitheater just outside Morrison. Nature presents herself in many forms in the park such as prairies and meadows with prairie grasses and flowers, in her beautiful tree species of Douglas Fir, Ponderosa Pine and Aspen, in other smaller species of yucca, chokecherry, Gambel oak, Rocky Mountain maple, mountain mahogany and Boulder raspberry and, also, in the wonderful wildlife you may have a chance to witness while you are there. There are red foxes, coyotes, prairie dogs, cottontail rabbits, squirrels and mule deer that are quite abundant. There are occasional sightings of black bear, mountain lion, bobcat and elk. The park is also home to the western rattlesnake, milk snake, western chorus frog, short horned lizard, woodhouse toad, snapping turtle, more than 50 species of butterflies, moths and skippers and 42 species of birds with another 100 species that sometimes visit there.
Things to do in the park:
There are many trails for all abilities beginning with the half mile trail to Fountain Overlook with its spectacular view of the red rock formations to the 6.4 mile trail to 7,160 ft. Carpenter Peak. Many of the trails connect to other trails in the neighboring Pike National Forest, Waterton Canyon and others in Douglas county. Hazards include poison ivy and rattlesnakes.
Pets, horses, bikes and rock climbing are prohibited in order to preserve the naturalness of the park.
Bird watching is a favorite because of the great number of species.
Cross country skiing, sledding and snowshoeing are allowed only on the trails. You can call ahead to get the snow conditions.
Educational tours are available. Check the website http://parks.state.co.us/Parks/Roxborough for information.
There are no picnicking areas, but visitors are welcome to picnic along the trails at any of the numerous bench locations.
Trail Maps are available at the Visitor Center. Annual passes are $60, but are good at any state park. Any Colorado resident 64 or over can purchase one for $30. Any CO resident over 86 can get one for free. Disabled and income eligible CO residents can purchase one for $12.50 and Disabled veterans can get into all state parks free with a disabled veterans license plate. Check the website above for information on where to purchase the various passes.
Directions from Santa Fe and C470: Head south on Santa Fe (Highway 85) to Titan Road. (4.2 miles south of C-470 intersection) Turn right (west) on Titan Road. Continue heading west on Titan Road. It will curve and begin to head south-becoming North Rampart Range Road (3 miles). Continue south on North Rampart Range Road past Roxborough Village and the Foothills Water Treatment Plant (3.5 miles). At the intersection of North Rampart Range Road and Roxborough Park Road, turn left onto Roxborough Park Road. Take the next right (about 50 yards away) to enter the park.