Dawson Butte Ranch is located in Southeast Castle Rock. I actually thought that is was Not a part of Castle Rock, but the Douglas County website says differently. The Park has a main 5-mile loop, and a few little Spur To get there, Get off of I-25 at the Plum Creek Parkway exit, and get on the Frontage Road on the East side of I-25 and head South. After about 5 miles, you will turn Right onto Tomah Rd. For you Golfers, that is the same road as Bear Dance G.C.Anyway, after you get on Tomah Rd. you will go about 1 1/2 miles, and the park will be on your Right. There is limited ATT Cell coverage in the parking lot. I know this because I always try to update Twitter and it is sometime difficult! There is a fair amount of parking and there is a large area to park your Horse-Trailer, as DBR allows Horses on the Trails, and Mountain Bikes, besides us Runners. I was there on a few early Weekdays and have only come across one horse. Directly below, you will find the Douglas County URL, which will have, among other things, a nice Adobe map, and other directions to the Park.
OK, the main trail is a loop that is stated as 5 miles, but is really about 4.9 miles according to my Garmin 405CX. I say this only because I am a stickler for running distances that I set, and to me, that .1 or .15 miles bugs me if if I come up short. Anyway, the times that I have run the DBR, I ran it Counter-Clockwise. This is minorly important because the low point is around mile 3 and then there is a gradual, but consistent 2 mile climb. Definitely doable though. If you run Clockwise, them you would have 2 miles of gradual descent, and then a 3 mile climb. Either way, the climbing is about 325 feet in total. Besides the 5 mile Main Loop, there are a few little Spur trails that come off of the main trail, and then hook back up. I have not run many of these, and that is because the DBR allows horses, and these Spur Trails have small horse jumps along the side. I suppose if you wanted to add some Steeple-Chase, you could hop on some of these Spurs, but I felt that the Main Trail was enough for me. The Trail bed is quite dusty, almost sandy in spots, so really, any running shoes will do. You will not need specialized Trail Running Shoes at Dawson Butte.
So, the Directions to the Park and the URL to get the Park Map are listed above. The Park is open from 1 hour before Sunrise, until 1 hour after Sunset. The Park does have a bathroom (Well OK, it’s really an over-glorified Port-o-let) and picnic tables for after your run. There are also many Log benches along the main trail if you want to take a seat and take in the views .It does not mention, nor could I find any running water, so MAKE SURE to bring your Own! DBR allows, Runners (Hikers), Dogs on leash, Horses, and Mountain Bikes. There are not Motorized Vehicles allowed. The Douglas County Website also mentions Snowshoeing, and I think that this might be an AWESOME place to do Snow Runs. There is Plenty of Private Property around the Park, and a Private Residence in the middle of the Park, so it is important to stay on the Trails. As I said earlier, there is limited ATT Coverage, so your Twitter posts might not go through right away. I am not too sure about other Wireless Providers, but as my Blog Grows, I will get other phones and test this out! 🙂
So, there you go, you just read my FIRST Trail Running Review. I hope that you found it of some use. I can always improve this, and I hope that I get feedback from readers so I know what YOU want to see in these.
Thanks, and look for Next weeks review. I believe that I will be bringing these out on Wednesday’s for the near Future!