Bennett Mountain is a very cool little peak with a neat summit ridge that provides wide-open views for relatively little effort. The best views are from the outcrop to the south, which you’ll share with skittish little lizards. Views include downtown Denver and the Tech Center, fellow Rampart Range peaks like Devils Head and nearby rocky peaks like Thunder Butte. You’ll also see the Lost Creek Wilderness and the bulky Twelvers and Thirteeners just west of Fairplay and Jefferson.
This peak is easily accessible, very close to south Denver and north Colorado Springs, and sits at the junction of “the woods” and “civilization,” in the Rampart Range. This is a great place to spend half a day when time, energy or weather conditions do not allow for a more committing adventure.
Colorado Rank: 3,628th highest peak in Colorado
Prominence: 545 feet
USGS Quad: Kassler
Trails Illustrated Map: #135 Deckers, Rampart Range
Rank & Prominence Source: Lists of John
Bennett Mountain is about 15 miles due west of Castle Rock in Douglas County. The primary access road is Colorado 67 / County Road 67. The peak is also bordered by Rt 97 to the west and Rt 40 to the south.
There is very little red tape in this part of the Pike National Forest. Note that there is a fee to use the Archery Range, where there is parking for the Russell Ridge route north from Moonridge. It is unclear whether the fee must be paid for parking alone, or specifically if using the archery range only.
Dogs on Bennett Mountain
In some respects, this is a great peak for dogs: Plenty of shade on the approach, not too rocky of an approach and the lack of an “official” trail to the summit results in thinner crowds. However, the parking area for the Russell Ridge Route begins in an archery range and the area is generally popular with hunters. For everyone’s safety and happiness, I recommend your dog be leashed or under absolutely bullet-proof (no pun intended) voice command in this area (especially when in the archery range and along the old dirt roads).
The nearest National Forest campgrounds to Bennett Mountain are Indian Creek and Flat Rock.
Visit this National Forest Service page for more information about camping in this area.
Weather & Seasons
The summit of Bennett Mountain can be enjoyed relatively easily year-round.
Winter & Spring: The relatively dry Rampart Range area receives modest snow (compared to the Colorado high country), but be aware that road closures may lengthen your walk and affect the availability of parking in the winter and early spring. This area melts out fairly quickly in the late spring.
Summer: Summers here are hot, dusty and crowded and you may wish to visit early or late in the day to avoid heat and crowds.
Autumn: While the cool crisp days and bright blue skies combined with golden aspen are attractive, be aware that this is a popular hunting area and appropriate precautions should be taken to ensure you are not mistaken for table meat.