Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hiking Thursday - Dawson Butte

Dawson Butte is an open space located in southern Douglas County between the towns of Castle Rock and Larkspur. This is not a well known open space area that sees a lot of visitors. When Zack and I visited this open space back in September we literal had the entire place to ourselves. When we arrived there was not one car in the entire parking lot. However, when we left there were two other cars there but we didn't see anyone. So if you are looking for solitude it seems likely that this open space can provide it to you.
Dawson Butte open space was formed when Douglas county bought out a ranch in the early 2000's. The center piece of the open space is the aptly named "Dawson Butte". The Butte is a sensitive area for wildlife and is closed to people. However, there is a 5 mile long trail that loops round the entire perimeter of the open space.
(Zack with Dawson Butte in the background.)
The trail winds through a variety of habitat from open meadows that provide excellent forage for elk and mule deer to forest made up of thick stands of pine trees. There is not much elevation gain or loss along the entire trail so it is a relatively easy hike. There are a few areas of elevation change but nothing is significant.
(Zack standing in one of the meadows.)
Zack and I hiked this open space when Zack was in the midst of in anxiety meltdown at the beginning of the school year. It was a great hike for us as it gave us a lot of time to talk. At several points throughout the hike we just sat down in the middle of the trail and talked. I don't know if it did a lot to ease Zack's anxiety but it at least helped me to talk to him about what was going on. Given the solitude of the area, it offered us a perfect opportunity to spend time talking with one another with out interruption from anyone else.
For a quick and easy get away hike from Denver, Dawson Butte is an excellent option that provides lots of good scenery and a not too hard hike.
On a totally different note.... I thought I would acknowledge in this blog that I am seeing someone. I feel it is important to put it out there so she knows the depth of my feelings. I am not going to start naming names as I besides myself, Zack and Nancy I really don't like to put a lot names into this blog. Anyway... it was something that was important and had to be said. Much of what I have accomplished with Zack in recent weeks has been inspired by this wonderful woman's words and thoughts.
I hope everyone is having a great week so far.
Thanks and peace to all! ~J.

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