Rampart Range Road, Colorado

It’s a cool fall morning in Colorado, James and I get an early start to the day.  We get on County Road 38 in Castle Rock, Colorado which will join Forest Road 502.  Right at the forest service border the road turn from paved to dirt.  A-little way into the National Forest, we  find a gated road; we  pull over and drop the tire pressure from 28PSI to 18PSI to make a smoother ride.  502 joins into 507 which then takes us to 300 which is Rampart Range Road.  Right off the start the corrugation/wash board road is really bad in most sections.  It’s gets to the point where our speed in under 10 MPH.   

The views and fall foliage are just breathtaking this morning.  It feels so good to be out in nature.

We take a side road, part to explore more but mostly to get off the rough washboard road.  We get on 324, Saylor Park Road and Windning stairs (Both spelled correctly).  On the maps it’s the same first service road number but two different names.  Over halfway down the road we come to an outstanding overlook, I have geo-tagged it for a camping location in the future.  This is just a breathtaking overlook.  We take some time walking around taking pictures.  Just before joining Rampart Rand Road we stop at another over look.  This one has an outstanding view of Pikes Peak.  We have had 2 outstanding smoke free days with outstanding visibility.  Smoke and low visibility have been an issues all summer due to the forest fires.  Unknowing we will drive through a section of road that was part of a huge fire a few years ago.  

Continuing down we are at a slow speed almost all day due tp the bad condition of the road. County and Forest Service maintenance vehicles are working on the road, and it does make a world of difference.  

As we pass above Woodland Park, we enter what was an old forest fire.  The only tress alive are healthy Aspens.  They are a golden yellow, and stand out against the charred forest.

In June/July 2012 18,247 acres, 346 building and 2 deaths happened when the Waldo Canyon Fire happened.  Humans were suspected of starting the fire, but the US Forest Service and FBI have been unable to find the true nature how the fire started.  It was amazing to drive through here and see how the forest natural heals itself.

We end the day driving through the Garden of the Gods.  

We have lunch and walk around Manitou Springs before hading back to Castle Rock.

This is has be great day the over look on Saylor Park Road and Windning stairs ( were absolutely breathtaking.  I hope to camp there someday.  However the bad corrugation in the road took a toll on us, we wanted to cover more ground, but time was not on our side.  So we took the highway home.


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