The Rampart Range

The Rampart Range of Colorado stretches from the south side of Waterton Canyon, in southwest Metro Denver, to Colorado Springs.  North of the Palmer Divide, this mountain wall rises west of the Plum Creek Valley, with its scenic landscape of mesas, while, south of the Divide, it towers above the Fountain Creek Valley.  West of the Rampart Range is the spectacular canyon of the South Platte River, characterized by towering walls, domes and pinnacles of granite.

Indeed, the Rampart Range itself is studded with outcrops of granite, culminating in the jagged crest of Devil's Head, southwest of Castle Rock.  Colorado 67, crosses the range, leading west from Sedalia, soon climbing through Jarre Canyon and then zig-zagging southwestward to Deckers, on the South Platte River.  Rampart Range Road leads southward along the crest of the ridge, passes Devil's Head and eventually drops toward Woodland Park and Colorado Springs.  Visitors are advised that most of these roadways are unpaved and may be difficult to traverse after snow or heavy rains.

Montane forest cloaks the Rampart Range; ponderosa parklands cover the sunny, south-facing slopes while Douglas fir is dominant on the shaded, north-facing hillsides; scenic meadows and some residential areas are spaced throughout the range.  Outlooks along Rampart Range Road offer spectacular views of the eastern Plains, the rugged South Platte Canyon and higher ranges to the west and south, including the Pike's Peak massif.  Visitors are almost certain to see herds of mule deer on the open meadows; other wild residents include black bear, wintering elk, Abert's squirrels, wild turkey, golden eagles, mountain lions (rarely encountered) and a host of other montane birds and mammals.