Castle Rock, Colorado
Castle Rock is an affluent home rule municipality that is the county seat of Douglas County, Colorado, United States. The most populous municipality of the county, the community's population was 48,231 at the 2010 United States Census, with an estimated population of 64,827 as of 2018. It is named for the prominent, castle tower-shaped butte near the center of town. Located midway between Denver and Colorado Springs, Castle Rock is part of the Denver metropolitan area and the Front Range Urban Corridor.
Castle Rock, Colorado
Looking down Wilcox Street
Location of Castle Rock in Douglas County, Colorado
Location of Castle Rock in the State of Colorado
|Coordinates: 39°22′34″N 104°51′13″W|
|Incorporated (town)||April 14, 1881|
|• Type||Home Rule Municipality|
|• Town Manager||Dave Corliss|
|• Mayor-At-Large||Jason Gray|
|• Total||34.22 sq mi (88.64 km2)|
|• Land||34.22 sq mi (88.64 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)|
|Elevation||6,224 ft (1,897 m)|
|• Density||1,684.96/sq mi (650.57/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-7 (MST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-6 (MDT)|
|Area code(s)||303 & 720|
White settlers were drawn to the area by rumors of gold and by land opened through the Homestead Act of 1862. However, it was the discovery of rhyolite stone, not gold, that ultimately led to the settlement of Castle Rock.
Castle Rock was founded in 1874 when the eastern Douglas County border was redrawn to its present location. Castle Rock was chosen as the county seat because of its central location.
One of the first homesteaders in the area near today's Castle Rock was Jeremiah Gould. He owned about 160 acres (0.65 km2) to the south of "The (Castle) Rock." At that time, the settlement consisted of just a few buildings for prospectors, workers, and cowboys. In 1874, Jeremiah Gould donated 120 acres (0.49 km2) to the new town that was also now home to the Douglas County government. For the beginning the six streets named Elbert, Jerry, Wilcox, Perry, Castle and Front were laid out to build the actual town of Castle Rock. The Courthouse Square was defined and about 77 lots, each 50 by 112 feet (34 m), were auctioned off for a total profit of US$3,400.
A new train depot brought the Denver and Rio Grande Railway to the area.
During the late 1800s and early 1900s, Castle Rock had a very active Rhyolite quarrying industry. Many Swedish immigrants arrived in the area to work in the quarries.
Castle Rock is located at 39°22′20″N 104°51′22″W (39.372212, -104.856090) at an elevation of 6,224 feet (1,897 m). Located in central Colorado at the junction of Interstate 25 and State Highway 86, Castle Rock is 28 mi (45 km) south of downtown Denver and 37 mi (60 km) north of Colorado Springs.
The town lies a few miles east of the Rampart Range of the Rocky Mountains on the western edge of the Great Plains. Castle Rock, the butte that is the town's namesake, sits just north of the town center. Other prominent landforms visible from Castle Rock include Dawson Butte, Devils Head, Mount Evans and Pikes Peak.
East Plum Creek, a stream within the South Platte River watershed, flows generally north through Castle Rock. Hangman's Gulch, which runs northwest then west around the north side of the town center, drains into East Plum Creek as do multiple unnamed gulches in the southern and western areas of town. McMurdo Gulch and Mitchell Gulch run north then northeast through eastern Castle Rock and drain into Cherry Creek east of town.
Castle Rock is within the Colorado Foothills Life Zone. The hillsides are covered with large meadows of grass, small plants, scattered juniper trees and open ponderosa pine woodlands. Other trees common in the area include Gambel oak (scrub oak or oak brush) and pinyon pine. Local wildlife includes the American badger, American black bear, bobcat, coyote, Colorado chipmunk, crow, garter snakes, gray fox, mountain cottontail rabbit, mountain lion, mule deer, pocket gopher, porcupine, skunk, and tadpoles. Birds that can be found in the area include the golden eagle, peregrine falcon, sharp-shinned hawk, black-billed magpie, red-tailed hawk, pinyon jay and western tanager.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Castle Rock has a total area of 33.79 square miles (87.5 km2), all of it land.
Lying within the Front Range Urban Corridor, the town is part of the greater Denver metropolitan area. Castle Rock borders three communities, all to its north; from west to east, these are Castle Pines Village, the city of Castle Pines, and The Pinery. Other nearby communities include Franktown to the east, Larkspur to the south, Perry Park to the southwest, and Sedalia to the northwest.
Castle Rock experiences a semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk) with cold, dry, snowy winters and hot, wetter summers. On average, the town receives 18.79 inches (477 mm) of precipitation annually. Snowfall averages 61.8 inches (157 cm) per year. On average, January is the coldest month, July is the hottest month, and August is the month with the most precipitation. The hottest temperature recorded in Castle Rock was 99 °F (37 °C) in July 1973; the coldest temperature recorded was −35 °F (−37 °C) in January 1963.
|Climate data for Castle Rock, Colorado|
|Record high °F (°C)||73
|Average high °F (°C)||45.5
|Daily mean °F (°C)||31.7
|Average low °F (°C)||17.8
|Record low °F (°C)||−35
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||0.62
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||8.2
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||3.5||3.8||5.3||5.7||7.9||7.6||7.4||9.4||5.8||3.8||3.8||3.9||67.8|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||3.1||3.5||3.9||3.1||0.4||0||0||0||0.3||1.1||2.9||3.7||21.9|
|Source: National Weather Service; The Weather Channel|
Castle Rock's ZIP codes include many neighborhoods:
Meadows, Founders and Crystal Valley Ranch
North of Downtown / West of I-25
South of Downtown / West of I-25
North of Downtown / East of I-25
South of Downtown / East of I-25
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2010 census, there were 48,231 people, 16,688 households, and 12,974 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,526.3 people per square mile (589.3/km²). There were 17,626 housing units at an average density of 557.8 per square mile (215.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 90.7% White, 1.7% Asian, 1.1% African American, 0.6% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.9% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race were 10.0% of the population.
There were 16,688 households out of which 48.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.4% were married couples living together, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.3% were non-families. 17.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86, and the average family size was 3.27.
In the town, the population was spread out with 32.4% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 33.0% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 6.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.5 males age 18 and over.
The median income for a household in the town was $85,461, and the median income for a family was $95,973. Males had a median income of $66,993 versus $47,087 for females. The per capita income for the town was $34,089. About 4.0% of families and 6.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.2% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.
Because of its optimal front range location, many of Castle Rock’s high-tech residents commute nearly 20 miles to northern Colorado Springs or the Denver Technological Center, better known as "The Denver Tech Center" (DTC), which is an 18-mile drive north on I-25, with Downtown Denver roughly 30 miles north, and Denver International Airport about 45 miles north.
As of 2011, 78.2% of the population over the age of 16 was in the labor force. 0.4% was in the armed forces, and 77.7% was in the civilian labor force with 72.6% employed and 5.1% unemployed. The composition, by occupation, of the employed civilian labor force was: 48.0% in management, business, science, and arts; 25.8% in sales and office occupations; 14.7% in service occupations; 6.4% in natural resources, construction, and maintenance; 5.2% in production, transportation, and material moving. The three industries employing the largest percentages of the working civilian labor force were: educational services, health care, and social assistance (15.5%); professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (13.2%); and finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (12.6%).
The cost of living in Castle Rock is above average; compared to a U.S. average of 100, the cost of living index for the town is 106.3. As of 2011, the median home value in the town was $278,000, the median selected monthly owner cost was $2,067 for housing units with a mortgage and $492 for those without, and the median gross rent was $1,069.
Castle Rock is a Home Rule Municipality with a council-manager form of government. The Town's governing body is the Town Council, made up of seven members including the Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem. Each Councilmember is elected to represent an election district, and the Mayor is elected to represent the Town at large. One member, appointed by the council, serves as the Mayor Pro-Tem. The mayor presides over council meetings and casts one vote, like other council members.The council sets policy for the town, adopts ordinances, approves the town budget, makes major land-use decisions, and appoints key town government staff including the town manager, town attorney, municipal judge, and members of town boards and commissions. The current members of the Town Council are: Mayor - Jason Gray, District 1 - Jess Loban, District 2 - James Townsend, District 3 - Kevin Bracken, District 4 - Jason Bower, District 5 - Caryn Johnson, District 6 - George Teal. The town manager, David Corliss, supervises all departments, prepares and implements the town budget, and works with the council to develop policies and propose new plans.
Tax revenues are used to provide general government, fire, police, parks maintenance and programs, street maintenance and operations, support for recreation, and planning and code enforcement services. The town also provides development services, golf, water and sewer services to residents through self-supporting enterprise funds.
As the county seat, Castle Rock is the administrative center of Douglas County. The county courthouse, the Douglas County Justice Center, is located north of downtown, and most departments of the county government base their operations in the town.
As of 2013, Castle Rock lies within Colorado's 4th U.S. Congressional District. For the purposes of representation in the Colorado General Assembly, the town is located in the 4th district of the Colorado Senate and the 45th district of the Colorado House of Representatives.
Primary and secondary education
Douglas County School District is based in Castle Rock and operates 18 public schools in the town. These include ten elementary schools, two middle schools, two charter schools, one magnet school, one alternative high school, and two high schools: Castle View High School and Douglas County High School. In addition, there are three private primary schools located in Castle Rock.
The Douglas County Libraries public library system is based in Castle Rock, co-located with the local branch library, the Philip S. Miller Library, south of downtown. The Miller Library includes the Douglas County History Research Center and offers several educational and recreational programs to the public.
Interstate 25 and U.S. Route 87 run concurrently north-south through Castle Rock. U.S. Route 85, also a north-south route, enters the town from the northwest, meeting I-25 at Exit 184; south of the exit, it runs concurrently with I-25 and U.S. 87. Colorado State Highway 86, an east-west route, enters Castle Rock from the east, then turns north and west as Founders Parkway, terminating at its junction with I-25 at Exit 184.
For local transportation within Castle Rock, the town government sponsors a voucher program for reduced-fare taxi service. This service is available to town residents who are disabled or who do not have access to a vehicle. In addition, the Castle Rock Senior Center offers a shuttle service for resident senior citizens.
The Intermountain Rural Electric Association, based in nearby Sedalia, provides electric power. Black Hills Energy provides natural gas service. Waste Management and other businesses provide trash removal. The town government's Utilities Department oversees water provision, distribution, and infrastructure maintenance.
Within town there are several medical offices, an urgent care and an emergency room. Castle Rock Adventist Hospital, a full service hospital, opened on August 1, 2013. The 50 bed hospital offers comprehensive health care to the Douglas County area, with labor and delivery suites, NICU, orthopedic surgery, ICU and medical imaging.
Castle Rock has a weekly newspaper, The Douglas County News-Press.
Castle Rock is part of the Denver radio and television market. Radio station KJMN is licensed to Castle Rock, but broadcasts from Denver playing a Spanish Adult Hits format on 92.1 FM. Denver radio station 850 KOA, which broadcasts a news/talk and sports format, operates its 50,000 watt transmitter from a site 10 miles northeast of downtown Castle Rock, in the town of Parker. Another Denver station, KEZW "Studio 1430", a CNN affiliate with a nostalgia music format, operates its transmitter from Highlands Ranch, 13 miles north of downtown Castle Rock.
NPR programming can be heard on Colorado Public Radio's KCFR-FM. Castle Rock is also served by the AM signal of KGNU, a non-commercial affiliate of PRI, Pacifica, and the BBC World Service, and which also provides diverse music programming.
Parks and recreation
Castle Rock's open space and parks comprise 27% the town’s total land area (5,415 acres (21.91 km2) of parks and open space / 20,224 acres (81.84 km2) total land area). Additionally, there are nearly 75 miles (121 km) of soft-surface and paved trails.
- Parks - Baldwin Park, Bison Park, Butterfield Park, Castle Highlands Park, Castle North Park, Castlewood Canyon State Park, Centennial Park, Deputy Zack S. Parrish III Memorial Park, Festival Park, Founders Park, Gemstone Park, Glovers Tot Lot, Matney Park, Metzler Ranch Park, Mitchell Gulch Park, Paintbrush Park, Philip S. Miller Park, Plum Creek Park, Rhyolite Regional Park, Rosecrown Park, Triangle Park, Wrangler Park.
- Trails & Open Space - East Plum Creek Trail, Gateway Mesa Open Space, Hidden Mesa Open Space, Memmen Ridge Open Space, Mitchell Creek Canyon Trail, Mitchell Creek Trail System, Native Legend Open Space, Quarry Mesa Open Space, Ridgeline Open Space, Rock Park, The Bowl.
Points of interest
Castle Rock’s Philip S. Miller Park is the largest park project in the town of Castle Rock. "Phase One" of the park was opened to the public October 25, 2014. It remains under construction. The park is named after local banker and philanthropist Phillip S. Miller, because he and his wife, Jerry, left trust monies to the town of Castle Rock in the mid-1990s. The Phillip S. Miller Activity Center is included in the park's 300 acres.
The Castle Rock Historical Museum is located in the former Denver and Rio Grande Railway depot building on Elbert Street. This building is purported to have been built in 1875. It is made of rhyolite taken from local quarries. In this museum visitors can see history of how Castle Rock changed over the years.
Castle Rock Star Lighting
Since 1936, every year before Thanksgiving, the Town of Castle Rock lights the 45-foot electric star upon Castle Rock. A lighting event is held downtown the night of and is usually accompanied by a fireworks display. The star remains lit from the week before Thanksgiving to the end of the National Western Stock show in January.
In the media
In the 2000s, Castle Rock developed a positive reputation in American media as an affordable and family-friendly community:
- In 2014, Money magazine ranked Castle Rock No. 4 in the nation in its list of the “Best Places to Live 2014". "Our reporters then visit 35 of the top ranking places to choose a top 10 that not only look good on paper, but also have happy residents, manageable traffic, attractive parks and gathering places, plus intangibles like community spirit. "
- Money magazine ranked Castle Rock No. 19 in the nation in 2011 and No. 16 in 2012 its list of the “100 Best Places to Live in America". Ranking methodology was based on job growth, home affordability, safety, school quality, health care, arts and leisure, diversity and several ease-of-living criteria.
- Family Circle magazine ranked Castle Rock No. 1 in the nation in its list of the “10 Best Towns for Families," August 2010. The article shares the results of the magazine’s quest to identify "the best communities across the country that combine big-city opportunities with suburban charm" and "an ideal blend of affordable houses, good jobs, top-rated schools, wide-open spaces and a lot less stress." This is Castle Rock's second time making Family Circle's top ten list. In the August 2007 issue Castle Rock was ranked No. 9.
- Forbes magazine named Castle Rock No. 5 of “America's 25 Best Places To Move,” 7 July 2009
- Money magazine ranked Douglas County No. 5 in the United States for “Job Growth over the Last Eight Years”. (Towns include Castle Rock, Parker, Stonegate, Lone Tree, and Highlands Ranch), 18 August 2009
- American City Business Journals (ACBJ) ranked Douglas County No. 4 in the nation for “Quality of Life,” May 2004
- Denver Business Journal reported that Castle Rock was ranked No. 6 on Gadberry Group’s list of "2008 High-Growth Areas in the United States". 9 January 2009
- SchoolDigger.com ranked Douglas County School District No.1 in the Denver Metropolitan Area and No.12 in Colorado based on 2009 test scores. (School district rankings were determined by averaging the rankings of individual schools within each of the 122 districts evaluated). Source: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept of Education, and Colorado Department of Education.
Notable individuals who were born in or have lived in Castle Rock include:
- Amy Adams (1974- ), actress
- Kirsten Bomblies (1973- ), biologist
- Jim Cottrell (1983- ), NFL linebacker
- John Lewis Dyer (1812-1901), Methodist circuit riding missionary; resided part of his life in Castle Rock; buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery
- Gary Hallberg (1958- ), professional golfer
- Tom Hamilton (1951- ), Aerosmith bassist
- Beth Malone (1969- ), actress
- Christian McCaffrey (1996 - ), professional football player
- Nelson Rangell (1960- ), jazz musician
- Edward Seidensticker (1921-2007), Japanologist
- Ann Strother (1983- ), WNBA player, coach
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