Clouds building to the west
Dakan Mountain, the namesake mountain of the Dakan Mountain Quad, is a laid-back and casual little summit in the Rampart Range. It sits quietly, just southeast of much better-known neighbor Devils Head
. While indistinctive while on foot, on the map, Dakan Mountain has a peculiar, spear-head shape to it. Dakan Mountain rises to the east above Watson Park Creek, while Forest Service Road 563 flanks the mountain to the east. There are limited views from the forested top of this peak, but the summit itself sees relatively few visitors and affords some level of sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the city within a relatively short drive from either Colorado Springs or Denver.
2,818th highest peak in Colorado
Trails Illustrated #135 (Deckers | Rampart Range)
Rank & Prominence: Lists of John
Angel's First Summit
On the summit
Rampart Range Road:
This is the most direct approach to Dakan Mountain. The area sees heavy motorized recreation use and is subject to seasonal closures (typically between November and April, depending on conditions).
There are no user fees to access this area and no permits are required. Note, however, that there is a large parcel of private property to the west of Dakan Mountain. Save yourself the hassle and approach the peak from the east, south or north.
•Do not litter and dispose properly of human waste.
•Much of Rampart Range Road is a “no shoot” zone. That means: Shoot only in designated target ranges.
•Operate motor vehicles only on designated roadways.
•For everyone’s safety, the National Forest officials segregate street legal, licensed motor vehicle traffic from OHV traffic. Adhere to posted placards managing this traffic. (In plain English: Keep your Jeep off the trails and keep your dirt bike / quad runner off the roads.)
Camping & Lodging
Shrouded summit views
Shrouded summit views
Views to the west
Rustic camping in “unofficial” campsites is available throughout the Rampart Range Road area, right off the main road and spur dirt roads off of it. These campsites are available on a first-come, first served basis and provide no services (they are entirely rustic). Most are dry campsites and will require water to be hauled in for cooking and bathing.
Be forewarned that the proximity of this area to the urban I-25 corridor means that crowding can be an issue, especially in the summer, and that unsavory characters are known to frequent this area. Be prepared for heavy ATV use, large crowds, drunkenness and casual firearms usage.
The National Forest Service operates three general-use campgrounds in its Manitou Park Recreation Area. The Manitou Park Recreation Area is located about 5 miles north of Woodland Park along Hwy 67. Below is information about these campgrounds as provided by the Forest Service.
South Meadows Campground:
Site has 64 camp sites with parking areas up to 30' long within the 8,000' elevation. Camping season is year round with a user fee of $15.00/per night/per site. The camp-ground has paved roads. Limited sites are reserved by calling 1-877-444-6777. Reservations may be made 240 days prior to arrival and there is a reservation fee. There is also a 2-night minimum stay if your reservation is for Friday or Saturday nights.
Site has 81 campsites with parking areas up to 30' long within the 7800' elevation. Camping season usually begins late May and runs until early September. The user fee is $15.00 per night/per site. This campground has paved roads. Limited site reservations can be made 240 days prior to arrival by calling 1-877-444-6777. There is a reservation fee. There is also a 2-night minimum stay if your reservations are for Friday or Saturday night.
Painted Rocks Campground:
Area has 18 campsites with parking areas up to 30' long within the 7800' elevation. Camping season usually begins in May and runs through early September. A user fee of $13.00 per night/per site is charged. Limited sites are reserved by calling 1-877-444-6777 and can be made 240 days prior to arrival. There is a reservation fee.
A few simple hotels (many family-run) are available in Woodland Park (elevation 8,465 feet) along with several RV sites and cabins. For more information visit The Greater Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce
Visitor Information page.
Weather & Seasons
Limited summit views
•IMPORTANT: This section of FS 300 (Rampart Range Road) is closed from roughly 1 December through 1 April annually. Exact closure dates can vary year-to-year, so please check with the Forest Service (Pike National Forest) prior to heading toward Turtle Mountain during the transition period.
•During the summer months and into early fall, the Rampart Range Road area is very, very busy. It is a popular area for OHV enthusiasts and target shooters. While Turtle Mountain is relatively secluded in its own little nook, expect to climb with the background noise of ATVs and live fire.
•In the fall, the days would be cooler and crisp, the aspen turning golden and the likelihood of afternoon thundershowers decreased significantly.