Castle Rock is named for its iconic castle-shaped butte, perched above downtown. The sizable interstate community’s population has grown over the last several decades, with an estimated population of around 70,000 residents in 2020.
It’s located on I-25, south of Denver, well before Colorado Springs. It resides at an elevation of 6,224 feet in Douglas County. There is a historic district with plenty of restaurants and some small shops downtown. For dining try Castle Cafe, a former hotel and bar, now known for its family-style dishes including a pan-fried chicken dinner.
Castle Rock was founded in 1874 and incorporated on April 14, 1881. Prior to this, the land was home to the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes, who resided in the geography between the South Platte River and Arkansas River.
In the 1870s, a few homesteaders, quarry workers, and other hired people called Castle Rock home. A few years later, a depot for the Denver & Rio Grande Railway was constructed for transporting supplies. As with most Colorado towns, this rail line provided a path to the rapid expansion of the population and businesses alike.
You can still visit the original depot structure with its furnishings from the 1800s today. Learn more about the town’s history and visit the depot at the local Castle Rock Historical Society and Museum.
Castlewood Canyon State Park – Cherry Creek cuts through this ten-mile sandstone canyon, a dramatic sightseeing attraction. This year-round day-use park is located fifteen minutes east of town in Franktown.
Outlets at Castle Rock – Shopping bargains on brand-name merchandise at over 130 stores. It’s located beside highway I-25 and has a large food court as well.
Read about the top things to do in Castle Rock.
Camping – Campgrounds are non-existent within the Castle Rock town limits, but there are plenty of opportunities nearby.
- Your best bet for camping is to head to the mountains west of town past Sedalia. There are more than a dozen USFS campgrounds within the Pike National Forest around Sedalia and Deckers.
- You can also head south to Larkspur or Monument for a couple of great private campgrounds.
- Read about the camping near Castle Rock, Larkspur, and Monument.
- The Ridge at Castle Pines North and The Golf Club at Bear Dance are both consistently rated among the top courses in the nation.
- Red Hawk Ridge is a newer public course with exceptional butte and mountain views.
Fishing – There are no fishing spots in town, but if you head south to Monument Lake there is great shore fishing for blue gill and trout.
Read about the fishing spots near Castle Rock.
- The best hiking is at nearby Castlewood Canyon State Park. Trails of all types can be found, including those allowing pets.
- A fun, short hike is up to the “Castle Rock” above the town. The trail leads to the top and is about 1.4 miles out and back.
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Holiday Inn Express – Consistently rated as the top accommodation in town, this hotel offers a modern interior, indoor pool, and fitness center.
Best Western Plus – A classic motel vibe with massive, cozy beds in each room and a great complimentary breakfast buffet.
Comfort Suites – These suites are centrally located to all of Castle Rock’s attractions and have a great sense of hospitality.
Read about the best hotels in Castle Rock.
Scileppi’s at The Old Stone Church – Step inside a church dating back to 1888 to enjoy Italian classics such as pizza, pasta, and sandwiches.
Great Divide Brewery & Roadhouse – Offering hearty meals and flights of craft beer to taste.
Crush Wine Bar – This rustic wine bar has a great selection of small plates and drink selections from family owned vineyards.
Read about the best bars in Castle Rock.
Jun – Starlight Movie Night – Free movie night in Festival Park held annually once it gets warm.
Jun – Classic Rock Cruise-In Car Show – In partnership with the Vintage Car Club, Castle Rock closes the main downtown streets and turns the town into a giant car show.
Jul – Castle Rock WineFest – Held in July, features a week of wine-paired dinners and live jazz leading up to the Grand Tasting on Saturday with more than 25 Colorado wineries.
Jul – Boots & Brews – Join your neighbors in Festival Park for an old fashioned fair with a bounce house, live music, and beer following the Douglas County Fair parade.
Sep – Colorado Artfest at Castle Rock – Held the weekend after Labor Day, this is Castle Rock’s largest festival with more than 170 high-quality artists from across the country.
Sep – Oktoberfest – All of Colorado’s best breweries, food trucks, and entertainment in one place to celebrate this German event.
Oct – Trick or Treat Street – Show off your costume and collect some candy at this annual Halloween event at Castle View High School.
Nov – Starlighting – A tradition since 1962, this is a full day celebration of the lighting of The Star in Castle Rock. There will be live performances, chili with Santa, and food trucks to enjoy before the lighting ceremony.
Nov-Dec – Holiday at Outlets at Castle Rock – Boasting holiday shopping deals, tree lighting events, and chances to meet Santa, visit the outlets to get all your winter needs.
Activities near Castle Rock
- Castlewood Canyon State Park (12mi)
- Castle Pines (8mi)
- Colorado Springs (40mi)
- Deckers (38mi)
- Denver (28mi)
- Elbert (25mi)
- Elizabeth (15mi)
- Franktown (8mi)
- Highlands Ranch (17mi)
- Kiowa (23mi)
- Larkspur (11mi)
- Littleton (22mi)
- Lone Tree (13mi)
- Monument (23mi)
- Parker (13mi)
- Roxborough Park (21mi)
- Sedalia (8mi)
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