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Castlewood Canyon State Park

Welcome

Coordinates: 39.3247, -104.7260


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Castlewood Canyon State Park is a Colorado state park near Franktown, Colorado.  The park protects a unique part of Colorado's history (the Castlewood Canyon Dam).  Visitors can still see the remnants and damage from that dam which burst in 1933.  The event sent a 15-foot wave of water all the way to downtown Denver resulting in a flood. Also contained with the park is the historic Cherry Creek Bridge.

Recreation

This park hosts a multitude of hiking/running trails and rock climbing opportunities.  Located within the northernmost extension of the Black Forest, Castle Wood Canyon encompasses 2,136 acres with elevations ranging from 6,200 to 6,600 feet.  Many urban dwellers come for the picnic opportunity away from the city (group picnic facilities can be reserved), others visit the park because of the unusual geology, particularly the Caprock features.

Wildlife, Ecology, and Geography

Among the many species living in the park are coyote, cottontail rabbit, red fox, black bear, prairie rattlesnake, mountain lion, meadow jumping mouse, golden eagle, prairie falcon, virile crayfish, Woodhouse's toad and the northern leopard frog.

Ecosystem Zones in the park are Grasslands, Shrublands, Riparian, Foothills-Conifer, and Caprock.
Castlewood Canyon is on the edge of the Palmer Divide, a geologically upraised area that results in more moisture falling than is normal in Eastern Colorado and waters the Black Forest.

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