Guide to Rampart Range’s Spooky History
Rampart Range in the Pike National Forest has a long, even haunted history.
Read on to explore the history and waypoints for your guided tour of all things spooky and interesting.
👻 – Spooky Stop – Flat Rocks
39.327339, -105.087312 – The first recorded murder at Rampart was in 1868 and remains unsolved. A truly shocking number of bodies are discovered at Rampart, usually by hikers, and most remain unsolved. One year during the Poker Run, a dismembered body was uncovered below the Flat Rocks campground.
In 1991, 13 year old Heather Dawn Church went missing from her Colorado Springs home. Her body was discovered by a hiker near an old rusty car off Rampart Range Road on the southern end by Rainbow Falls.
In 1993, a hiker found the body of a young woman clad only in a motorcycle t-shirt near hwy 67. She had been dead for about 2-3 days and was likely attending a motorcycle rally in the area, but her case remains unsolved.
In 2005, two separate groups camping on the southern end near Rainbow Falls got into a battle royal fight leaving two injured and one dead.
There have been many reported sightings of “Bigfoot” over the years starting in the 1980s and as recently as October of 2005.
On the southern end of Rampart Range Road and north of Woodland Park, there was a lone white house. Locals were convinced satanic rituals were taking place and were regularly frustrated that their animals kept going missing. One year, the house burned to the ground. During the first snowfall the following winter, a bare patch of charred ground remained, untouched by the snow. Legend has it that to this day, the snow never touches the ground where the house once stood.
Between 1942 and 1945, the USAF had to train young, inexperienced pilots how to fly. During that time, appx 300 bombers, fighters, and training planes crashed in along the front range from Denver to Colorado Springs. Many crash sites have been location, but Wreck Chasers, going by the name of “Aviation Archeologists of the Colorado Aviation Historical Society,” still search for the remains of the planes today. Dozens are still undocumented. When sites are found, the searchers document the finding but leave the remains as they find them because anything older than 50 years found on public land is protected by the Antiquities Act. This law also applies to trash that’s 50+ years old. When new trails are proposed in the area, the RRMMC and the USFS have to get approval from Archeologists in addition to the environmental scientists, and old soup cans have held up the development of new trails.
👻 – Spooky Stop – 770a – Rock Climber & Tunnel
39.312908°N 105.103°W – On the back side of the tall rock is a plaque memorial for Gene Harris, Jr. Colorado Mountain Club rock climber that fell to his death in that spot. Despite how COTREX has 770a labeled, this trail is named “Tunnel” after the rock feature that creates a tunnel over the trail. The plastic chair that resides in the tunnel is known as the Throne of the Trail King and has been there since the trail was under construction.
👻 – Spooky Stop – Dutch Fred
39.290559°N 105.093°W – To the west is Dutch Fred TH, which has 2 bathrooms, a Kiddy Corral cornering practice area, and Lightfoot’s Loop. This is also the future home of the Enduro Skills Training Area and the Beginner Training Area.
Lightfoot’s Loop is the only trail at Rampart that is one way. It is one mile long and serves as an introduction to the rest of the trail system.
👻 – Spooky Stop – Devil’s Head Fire Lookout
Devil’s Head Tower Fire Lookout, just south of Dutch Fred, was built in 1912. The first ever female firefighter Helen Rowe worked here from 1919-1921 and reported 16 fires during her tenure. The tower is accessible by hike only.
Legend has it that somewhere between the town of Deckers and Devil’s Head Tower, there is a fortune hidden in the woods. In the early 1870s, train robbers stopped a train on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad near Deckers and made off with $60,000 worth of gold. When the pursuing posse got too close, the bandits buried the gold near Devil’s Head, marking a tree to remind them of the spot. Unfortunately for the robbers, a forest fire swept the area and removed all traces of their marked tree. Imagine what $60,000 in 1870s gold would be worth today.
On April 29, 1981, the Reverand Maurice Gordon “Doc” Dametz and author of “Dead at the Top” and “Trouble Transformed,” was hunting topaz near Devil’s Head with a supposed friend when he suddenly and mysteriously disappeared along with all of his tools. The Sheriff and Douglas County Search and Rescue with search dogs were never able to find any trace of him.
In 1960, Adolf Coors III was kidnapped and murdered in a failed ransom attempt. His body was found in a pit near the Brotherhood of the White Temple, due east of Dutch Fred. The murderer was convicted in part because of the tell-tale felspar and decomposed granite of the Rampart area that was found on the undercarriage of his car. Coors’ father, Adolf Coors II, had also been kidnapped in 1934 by prohibitionists for a ransom of $50,000 and survived the ordeal.
👻 – Spooky Stop – Scotty’s Rock
A notorious rock obstacle that is long and steep. Scotty was the Yamaha rep for the region during the 70s and 80s and this whole trail was his favorite. Many bikes have seen their demise on the obstacle, which is rated as a black diamond.
👻 – Kipps Bridge
39.33745°N 105.057°W – Kipp was a kid that passed away in the 90s. He loved riding the trails at Rampart so his parents donated the funds for the building of the first Kipp’s Bridge in his name. Because the trails see so much traffic, the bridge has been rebuilt several times since then. There used to be a plaque at the site, but people kept stealing it.
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