Dakan Ranch

Larkspur, Colorado (Douglas County)
1,285 +/- Deeded Acres

With its brilliantly colored red rock formations rising from the lush green meadows, the 1,285-acre Dakan Ranch is a spectacularly scenic property with end-of-the-road privacy and adjacency to National Forest.

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  • 1,285 +/- acres with irrigated, gentle sloping hay meadows, scenic red rock formations, rocky ridges, forested hillsides, meandering creeks and ponds
  • Historic water rights from 1870s have been used to irrigate a 25 acre meadow, also includes a 6 acre pond and over one mile of creek frontage
  • 1.5 miles of common boundary with Pike National Forest
  • Surrounded by classic working ranches and equestrian estates
  • Represents one of the largest undeveloped properties available along the foothills between Denver and Colorado Springs
  • Secluded and private, yet convenient access to the Denver Metro Area
  • 40 miles south of Denver, 30 miles from Colorado Springs, 4 miles west of I-25 and Larkspur, and 15 miles from Castle Rock
  • Protected by a conservation easement with Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust
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With its brilliantly colored red rock formations rising from the lush green meadows, the 1,285-acre Dakan Ranch is a spectacularly scenic property with end-of-the-road privacy and adjacency to National Forest. Situated between Denver and Colorado Springs near the town of Larkspur, the ranch affords convenient access to amenities, but is unique in its seclusion, scenery and solitude. Located at the end of a private lane, the property opens to rolling pastures lined by meandering creeks and ponds that rise to the forested hillsides of the adjoining National Forest. A working ranch with historic water rights dating back to the 1870s, the surrounding West Plum Creek Valley is renown for its bucolic setting with historic ranches and equestrian estates set amidst towering buttes, hogbacks, grassy and oak brush hillsides. The Dakan Ranch is truly a unique opportunity for those seeking a ranch property with stunning scenery and proximity to Denver.
Lay of the Land
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Situated between a front range “hogback” and the foothills of the Pike National Forest, the 1,285-acre ranch embodies the ideal Colorado ranch with rolling grass and brush-covered hills, irrigated hay meadows, scenic creeks, and Cottonwood-lined riparian areas with ponderosa pine and Douglas fir trees adjoining the National Forest.

Centrally located in the ranch is a dramatic red sandstone formation, a rare feature for private land in the Front Range. In addition, there are other unique rock formations located throughout the ranch. The Fountain Formation shares the same geology of the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre to the north, and Roxborough State Park nearby. The scenic benefits of the attraction are complemented by the opportunity to enjoy and explore the numerous caves, crevices and holes contained therein.

The ranch has a hogback in the middle offering two distinct properties with drainages to the east and west. The east side of the ranch is mostly rolling hills, bisected by Spring Creek, which irrigates approximately 25 acres of flood-irrigated hay fields. Spring Creek is a small year­round creek, lined with wild plums, chokecherries and cottonwoods. An attractive pond sits near the southern boundary of the property through which Spring Creek flows.

Dry Creek originates in the Pike National Forest on the west and runs northeast through the western part of the ranch. Fed by springs, this gulch has stretches of live water for most of the year. The gulch is lined with cottonwoods, pine and oakbrush providing protected habitat for wildlife.

The western edge of the ranch overlooks spectacular views stretching to Sedalia, Dawson Butte, and Larkspur. The northwestern portion of the ranch is a mixture of brush and tree-covered hills and slopes with numerous valleys and grassy parks. Steeper mountainous land with ponderosa pines, spruce, cedar, gambel oak, and rock outcroppings cover part of the western and southwestern portions. Trails lead from the ranch directly to the Pike National Forest.


Only three families have owned the Dakan Ranch since it was originally homesteaded in the 1860s. At one time part of a larger cattle ranch, today it is one of the only remaining operating ranches in western Douglas County. The site of the original homestead, surrounded by cedars, locust trees and venerable apples trees, evokes a bygone era.


The ranch is unimproved with the exception of older sheds. The conservation easement allows for three building sites, each of which has a unique perspective as a future homesite. Electric and telephone service is available to the ranch. Domestic water is typically supplied by high quality wells, and gas by propane tanks.


The scenic Dakan Ranch has exceptional privacy combined with the conveniences of two major metropolitan areas, less than one hour away. It is located in the West Plum Creek Valley, 40 miles from downtown Denver and Colorado Springs. Access is along Dakan Road, just 2.5 miles from State Highway 105, a scenic drive between the towns of Sedalia and Monument.

Just 20 minutes away is Castle Rock, the county seat, providing stores, restaurants, hotels, and all major services. The business, shopping and entertainment corridor of the Denver Tech Center is a 30-minute drive. Centennial Jet Center is also just over 30 minutes, while Denver International Airport is an hour away.


Located in a protected valley, the ranch provides views of unique red rock formations, rolling grass and brush-covered hills, and the pine forests of the adjoining Pike National Forest. The ranch is punctuated by the dramatic Fountain Formation, a sandstone rock formation found only in Roxborough State Park, Garden of the Gods, and Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater.

The West Plum Creek is one of the few remaining areas along the front range that retains its rural character, with numerous large properties in the area placed under conservation easements and others home to important private equestrian operations. Douglas County, in its master plan, has identified the West Plum Creek Valley as a priority for preservation because of its wildlife habitat, important viewshed and low density.

The ranch is quite private, protected by its end-of-the-road location, topography, and its adjacency to Pike National Forest where it shares approximately 1 ½ miles of the ranch’s western boundary.


At an elevation of 6,300 – 7,600 feet, West Plum Creek Valley enjoys the temperate climate that the front range of the Rockies is well known for. Summer days have abundant sunshine with high temperatures in the 80s and low 90s followed by pleasantly cool evenings. Occasional cold snaps during the winter can result in several days where temperatures stay below freezing, but highs in the 40s and even 50s are not unusual.

Precipitation for most years is between 14 and 18 inches. Winter snow usually disappears from the open ground within a few days. Overall, Dakan Ranch has a very desirable year-round climate.

Sporting Features
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Located adjacent to Pike National Forest with a foothill climate and terrain, a large variety of wildlife is seen on the Dakan Ranch. The property is important habitat for elk, mule deer, and black bear. A number of raptors, including Golden Eagles, frequent the ranch as well. The Dakan is leased to an outfitter for both bow and rifle hunting of big game and wild turkey. Signs and occasional sighting of the elusive mountain lion are reported in the area. Many varieties of songbirds also frequent the property.

Ranch Attributes
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Ranch Operations

Dakan Ranch was once part of a much larger cattle operation. Current ownership has continued this tradition by lightly stocking the ranch for summer grazing and production of hay from irrigated meadows.

Typically, the ranch runs approximately 75 head of yearling cattle. The property is suitable for a seasonal cow-calf operation, or with proper management, a year-round program. The setting is nearly ideal for a small purebred ranch. There is a good hay market in the area supported by the numerous nearby equestrian facilities. The owner indicates average hay production of 37 tons annually on approximately 25 acres of meadow.

Water Rights

The ranch is watered by the reservoir, and live water in Spring Creek and Dry Gulch. There is also an old domestic well which current ownership has never utilized. The source of irrigation water is Spring Creek with a diversion right for 3 cfs, dated 1867.

Conservation Value

Dakan Ranch is protected by a conservation easement with Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust for its geology, hydrology, diversity of flora, and wildlife habitat, as well as scenic qualities, including:

  • The spectacular red rock Fountain formations on the property
  • Spring Creek and Dry Gulch meander through the property, both tributaries of West Plum Creek and Plum Creek, which flow into the South Platte River
  • Mixed grass prairie, Cottonwood riparian forests, wet prairies/wet meadows, ponderosa pine woodlands, Douglas fir forests, and scrub oak are all located on the ranch
  • A wide range of important wildlife habitat and migration routes for several species including elk, mule deer, and black bear, as well as raptors, mountain lion, fox, whitetail deer, and a high diversity of non-game wildlife and bird species
  • Dakan Ranch is part of the mountain backdrop for Douglas County, and lies in the center of the viewshed that is being protected through the I-25 Corridor Conservation Plan
  • The property is contiguous to a large tract of the Pike National Forest

The CE allows for construction of up to three single family residential dwellings with associated outbuildings. Contact broker for more information.

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