The Highlands Ranch vs Castle Pines Dilemma

The time has come to settle the debate. Which of Rock Canyon’s main feeder cities is superior, according to the student body?

by Luka Owen, Reporter

The day has come to settle the timeless debate that has shaken up modern society for ages. Not nature vs nurture, not Lebron vs Jordan, or even Led Zeppelin vs The Rolling Stones, but rather the question that constantly lingers over the minds of Rock Canyon students: Highlands Ranch vs. Castle Pines.

While Rock Canyon High School officially resides in the city of Highlands Ranch, its student body is made up primarily of students residing in both Highlands Ranch and Castle Pines. 

Although the size and average income of the two cities are relatively similar, students living in the areas will argue that there are some major differences that set the two apart, therefore creating an ongoing debate over which city is superior. 

One of the first main arguments often presented by students from both areas is the convenience traveling by car. 

“Castle Pines is better for getting to the highway,” Charlie Littleton ‘21, Castle Pines resident said. “So if you need to drive long distances, it is easier. I turn out of my neighborhood and it only takes me a minute to get onto I-25.”

But of course, many Highlands Ranch residents argue that it is their city with the more convenient roadways. 

“Highlands Ranch’s biggest benefit is accessibility,” Jack Zilligen ‘21, Highlands Ranch resident said. “Most places that I go to regularly are north of Monarch Blvd, so it is less travel time for Highlands Ranch residents.”

Furthermore, some students from Highlands Ranch add that being closer to the highway is no real advantage for those living in Castle Pines. 

“Being further from the highway, [Highlands Ranch] receives less unwanted traffic on the main roads and in the neighborhoods. It is still perfectly distanced from lots of main locations that people from Castle Pines have to drive further to get to such as Park Meadows Mall and downtown Denver.” Jakob Zuckermandel ‘21, Highlands Ranch resident said. 

Without a shadow of a doubt, another crucial point in the dilemma is the selection of restaurants and fast food places in each area. When students want to grab a bite to eat for lunch, they argue that it is their local selection that is superior.

“[Highlands Ranch] has many more Chick-Fil-A and Raising Canes locations,” said Zuckermandel. 

Adding to this point, Adrienne Markey ’21, Highlands Ranch resident said, “There [are] just so many more options of where to get good food in Highlands Ranch.”

Meanwhile, Ty Hall ‘21, Castle Pines resident said, “The only Sonic and Popeyes locations are further south, so Highlands Ranch kids have to drive a long way to get to them.”

Finally, the last major point of argument by both sides is community and friendships formed by students from each area. 

“I have lived [in Castle Pines] my whole life and all of my closest friends are people that I met there. All of my closest relationships developed in Castle Pines,” Hall said. 

On a similar note, Sarah Jenkins ‘23 said, “All of my closest friends live in Highlands Ranch too, so we are all super close.”

In conclusion: it is all subjective. There is no one city that is factually and evidently better than the other. The answer to the timeless question is simply that it depends where you are from. 

Students residing in either city tend to argue that their city is superior as they look back fondly on memories of meeting friends there, and they defend the practicality of things such as dining and transportation.

The most important thing to note is that regardless of whether you come from Highlands Ranch or Castle Pines, we are united as one embracing community at Rock Canyon.