Roxborough State Park

Plants at Roxborough State Park

Plants

The park contains high-quality and relatively undisturbed examples of several natural communities, including ponderosa pine, woodlands, Douglas fir forests, Gambel oak thickets, and tall and mixed grass prairie.

Gambel Oak, Mixed Grass Prairie Mesic oak thickets cover about half of Roxborough and are dominated by Gambel oak, mountain mahogany, buckbrush, skunkbrush, snowberry and yucca. Mixed grass prairie occupies relatively level areas where soils are deep and well-drained. Dominant grass species are western wheatgrass, green needlegrass, big and little bluestem, prairie sandreed, blue and side-oats grama and needle-and-thread grass. Douglas fir forms almost pure stands in steep, moist, north and east facing ravines in higher elevations, mostly near the western boundary. Ponderosa pine scrub woodlands occur on east-facing foothill slopes of the Dakota and Lyons Hogbacks in dry, shallow, rocky soils.

Grass Communities Persist
Tall grass prairie is dominated by big and little bluestem, yellow Indian grass, prairie sandreed, prairie dropseed and porcupine grass. Uncommon in Colorado, this natural community is thought to persist as a relict from cooler, moister times 10,000 years ago. Several small aspen stands also may be relict populations. The park was designated a National Natural Landmark in part for the atypical occurrence of tall grass prairie and low-elevation aspen groves.

Riparian and Weland Communities
A variety of riparian and wetland communities are present along Willow Creek, tributary drainages and on seeps and springs. Chokecherry, Rocky Mountain maple, Boulder raspberry and wax currant commonly grow along drainages. Several uncommon species on the park include Roxborough currant, wood lily, Joe-pye weed, yellow rockrose, pine drops pinesap and carrion-flower.

Directions

From Wadsworth
Take Wadsworth south past Chatfield State Park. Turn left on Waterton Road (just before the entrance to Lockheed Martin.) Continue on Waterton Road?crossing the South Platte River, until it ends at North Rampart Range Road (1.6 miles) Turn right (south) on North Rampart Range Road. Continue south past Roxborough Village and the Foothills Water Treatment Plant. (2.3 miles) At the intersection of North Rampart Range Road and Roxborough Park Road (just before the entrance to Arrowhead golf course), turn left onto Roxborough Park Road. Take the next right (about 50 yards away) to enter the park.

From Santa Fe
Head south on Santa Fe (Highway 85) to Titan Road. (4.2 miles south of C-470 intersection) Turn right (west) on Titan Road. Continue heading west on Titan Road. It will curve and begin to head south?becoming North Rampart Range Road (3 miles). Continue south on North Rampart Range Road past Roxborough Village and the Foothills Water Treatment Plant (3.5 miles). At the intersection of North Rampart Range Road and Roxborough Park Road, turn left onto Roxborough Park Road. Take the next right (about 50 yards away) to enter the park.