Daniels Park is situated atop a long ridge just north of Castle Rock and offers splendid views of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, from Pike's Peak to the south to the Rocky Mountain National Park to the north. There are several scenic picnic areas along the ridge, a picnic shelter, and pit toilets. In this photo Stephen is overlooking the private Castle Pines Golf Club which is the longest course and the only Colorado stop on the PGA tour.
Unfortunately the views from Daniels Park are marred somewhat by the effects of a devastating forest fire which ravaged this area in the summer of 2003. However, time and nature are working quickly to heal the scars. Even with the charred trees, the views will still take your breath away. This panorama is one of the last things the famed cowboy Kit Carson saw before he died. It is an excellent vantage point from which to watch the sun set over the mountains.
Daniels Park is about 8 miles northwest of Castle Rock. Take Hwy. 85 (Santa Fe Road) north, then turn east at the directional sign before reaching the small town of Sedalia. The road at the Park is unpaved.
The park is always open and admission is free.
Directly across from Daniels Park is a large fenced in area where Buffalo (American Bison) may be seen. We loved watching these magnificent beasts. The only problem was taking a picture without getting any of the new subdivisions in the area into the background of the shot. We feel we acomplished that with this picture.
This is not a zoo. The Bison are being raised by a private rancher. At different times they may be seen on either side of the road as there is a passage beneath the road which allows them access to pasture on either side.
In the same enclosure with the Bison, across the road from Daniels Park, look closely and you may see a village of Prairie Dogs. Some ranchers view these burrowing animals as a pest. We see them as winsome living symbols of the old West, when the range was open and free.
Prairie dogs are nervous little creatures and may duck for cover when you appear. But stay still long enough and you will soon see them going about their normal activities. Prairie dogs apparently do not hibernate as I have seen them in this area in summer as well as when temperatures were well below freezing.
It's been awhile since I've attended a Renaissance Faire, and those that I did attend, were not permanent structures and so well organized as Colorado's in historic Castle Rock. Large castle of enchantment with many village squares, stores, keeps, a museum, a maze, a climbing wall; kids were able to ride elephants, camels, horses, and llamas ... much merriment and some spectacular shows .... fun for all ages ... from kid rides to adult entertainment. The Ren Faire won't let you down; bring your shillings as there is much to buy and eat ... A good time was had by all ... Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Just a short trip south of Castle Rock is a lovely hippy like town called Manitou Springs. There are a dozen or more natural occuring springs that you can taste. Take along your own cup and start at the welcome center for a map. Part of the fun of it is finding the springs interspersed in this town which is built largely into the side of a rock. You'll just have to go see it to believe what I'm telling you. It's a nice walk with many shops and places to eat between all the spring tastings you do.