Highlands Ranch Backcountry Wilderness

Highlands Ranch is a densely populated, unincorporated community located 12 miles south
of Denver in Douglas County, but it hosts a hidden gem:  a backcountry
wilderness area encompassing some 8,200 acres of open country, covered by 26
miles of trails.  The Highlands Ranch Backcountry Wilderness Area (“BWA”)
can routinely be enjoyed by homeowners belonging to the Highlands Ranch
Community Association, but they host scheduled activities which permit
non-members to experience this “urban wilderness” by just signing up.  Some
of these activities include nature walks, birding outings, and the like; it is
apparently also possible to create one’s own outing, involving a guide from the

Their website is hrcaonline.org, and a contact phone number is 303-471-8885.

As a wilderness area at the southern edge of the greater Denver metro-area, the BWA
location necessarily causes a great deal of interaction between humans and
wildlife, but it also offers wildlife an easy chance to escape from areas of
threatened habitat.  For instance, in the July 11th edition of Yourhub,
an Arapahoe County newspaper, the front page article is about members taking a
walk to check out a golden eagle nest.  Golden Eagles are losing habitat
across their range, and in particular they have been seen to be moving away
from the Front Range and its booming population.

Author: Tom Loucks

Leave a Reply