Douglas County Colorado Ranches for Sale – A Profile
Population estimate, 2011: 292,167 209 persons/sq. mi.
Square miles: 843
Approximate driving time from Denver: 1 hour
General Aviation Airport: Centennial
Ski Areas: None
Major Communities: Castle Rock (48,000), Parker (45,000), Lone Tree (10,200), Castle Pines North (3,600), Larkspur (200)
Elevations: 6000 to 9000 feet
Major streams: South Platte River, Cherry Creek
Average ranch/farm size: 175 acres (NAICS, 2007) vs. Colorado average 991 acres
Pros: Easy access to major metro areas, mild climate
Cons: Encroaching urbanization
Douglas County, situated between Denver and Colorado Springs, is one of the nation’s most-rapidly growing counties. Much of the county lies at elevations from 6000 to 7000 feet, and thus supports many forested areas of ponderosa pine, separated by broad, rolling grasslands. Views of the mountains to the west and Pikes Peak to the southwest are broad and inviting. The terrain in the eastern half of the county is ideal for horse ranches, and many have become established here. The western half of the county is dominated by the rugged Rampart Range and is mostly under the jurisdiction of Pike National Forest.
Douglas County has experienced explosive residential growth over the past twenty years. Many mid-sized ranch properties remain, however, and the possibilities of locating prime horse and wildlife properties remain good. Given the proximity to two major metropolitan areas, dividing ranches into 35-acre or larger parcels makes good sense for land developers in Douglas County.
Hunting: Douglas County is home to herds of mule deer and elk, which prefer the mixed forest and meadow land in the eastern half of the county. Some private land hunting is possible, but is not extensive in this more-populated part of the county. Pike National Forest to the west provides better opportunities for pursuing deer and elk, as well as black bear, mountain lion and turkey hunting.
Fishing: The Gold Medal South Platte River forms the western boundary of Douglas County. Many miles of the South Platte are public, with the best fishing located in the tailwater directly below Cheesman Canyon Reservoir. A solid population of rainbows and browns from 16 to 24 inches have made the South Platte a well-known destination to Front Range anglers. The largest lake in the county is Chatfield Reservoir, popular with Denver anglers for rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, channel catfish and walleye.