By Ben Warwick

DENVER (CBS4) – Denver is getting a brand new mountain park. Denver City Council formally approved the acquisition of Axton Ranch as part of a block vote at their regular meeting Monday night.

(credit: Denver Mountain Parks)

The 450-acre ranch, donated to the city by the Axton Family, is Denver’s first new mountain park in more than 80 years.

RELATED: Residents In Gilpin County Share Concerns About Turning Axton Ranch Into A Denver Public Park

Axton Ranch is located within Jefferson and Gilpin counties and less than an hour drive from Denver. It’s adjacent to Roosevelt National Forest and near Arapahoe National Forest, Golden Gate Canyon State Park and Jefferson County Open Space. The property has mixed conifer and aspen stands, meadows, ponds, a small creek and historic trail constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps with access to nearby Mount Thorodin and Starr Peak.

(credit: Denver Mountain Parks)

The last time Denver saw a new mountain park was the donation of James Q. Newton Park in Conifer in 1939.

“It’s never been more important to grow our parks and acquire additional land for trails and open space,” Happy Haynes, Executive Director of Parks and Recreation said in a statement provided to CBS4. “This property will be managed primarily as a conservation area focused on sustainability and will also expand mountain park access for Denver residents and visitors.”

(credit: CBS)

It was first operated as a small cattle ranch and has been in the Axton family since 1954, spanning 4 generations.

“We are excited to donate this beautiful ranch to Denver Mountain Parks,” said the Axton Family in a statement. “We feel they will steward and preserve it for future generations to love and enjoy as we have. Congratulations City of Denver for your interest in preservation and your newest mountain park.”

The ranch will remain private property until the donation is formally closed later this year.

Ben Warwick