The five-mile loop trail on Dawson Butte Open Space travels through mostly forested areas with open meadows and views of the Front Range Mountains. The trail follows gently rolling terrain There is no access to the top of the butte.
Bring your cameras, deer, elk, bears, mountain lions, coyotes and many other wildlife species call this land home. Many of the meadows on the north side of the open space support a healthy herd of deer who can often be seen grazing. Dawson Butte itself offers some good picture opportunities if you know how to stitch digital images or have a view camera or a DSLR with a panorama function.
We'll take a break at the picnic and hitching post area where you can lay in the grass or saddle up to picnic table for an energy bar or trail mix.
5-mile loop rated as easy. With gently ascending and descending sandy trails.
Keep your eyes out for mountain bikers, they like to zoom on the downhills.
2919 Tomah Rd. Larkspur, CO 80118 (Map (https://www.google.com/maps/place/2919+Tomah+Rdemail@example.com,-104.9187595,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x876ca3c99fce2035:0xaad4c51184b8abe1)) Do not use the address on the Trail Map, google doesn't like it.
From the north: From I-25, take the Plum Creek Parkway exit 181 in Castle Rock, west and head south five miles on the frontage road; turn right/west at Tomah Road; follow 1.5 miles to the Dawson Butte Ranch entrance on the right.
From the south: From I-25 take the Sky View Ln. exit 174, west and head north for 2.1 miles on the frontage road; turn left/west at Tomah Road' follow 1.5 miles to the Dawson Butte Ranch entrance on the right.
Dawson Butte Ranch Open Space Trail Map (http://www.douglas.co.us/dcoutdoors/documents/dawson-butte-ranch-open-space-trail-map.pdf)
What to Bring
Keep in mind that the hike begins at 9:00 am, so in order to attend the hike you need to arrive closer to 8:30 am to sign the waiver, go to the bathroom (Note: there is a porta potty at the trailhead. There is no water source.) If you are not ready to leave at 9:00am, then you will not be included in the hike. All participants must sign a waiver in order to go on this hike. These hikes are for adults only with no dogs. Remember that it is summer so it will can be hot and sunny; bring plenty of water, sunscreen and a hat. Afternoon rainstorms are a possibility so please bring appropriate rain gear just in case. You may also want to bring something to eat.
This outing will be co-lead with Colleen Finnerty, but Jim Luidl is the leader for this outing and the main contact person, so please contact Jim Luidl if you have any questions or concerns here on Meetup prior to the outing.
Support Sierra Club Outings
***As with all DMN Sierra Club events a $5 donation is recommended but certainly not required. This money helps the DMN maintain the high quality you have come to expect from our outings.***