The Devil's Head Lookout Trail begins in the picnic area adjacent to Devil's Head Campground and ends at Devil’s Head Lookout, the last of the seven original Front Range Lookout towers still in service. The 1.4 mile long trail takes approximately 45 to 90 minutes on a one way hike, with an elevation gain of 940 feet. Once there, there are 143 steps to get to the actual fire lookout. The lookout is at 9,748 feet elevation. This trail receives heavy use from nearly 20,000 visitors per year.
Devil’s Head Lookout, the last of the seven original Front Range Lookout towers still in continuous use, turns 103 years old this year and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The site shall undergo restoration work this year, aimed at preserving this nationally significant historic site for another century. The Forest Service, along with Historicorps, will engage youth in the restoration of the deteriorated roof of the lookout’s residence cabin.
The cabin restoration project is made possible due to the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) Partnership between Historicorps and the US Forest Service. The 21CSC is a national effort to put America’s youth and veterans to work protecting, restoring, and enhancing America’s Great Outdoors. The 21CSC recognizes the importance of developing the next generation of conservation stewards through job opportunities that connect American’s to the nation’s lands and waters.
The lookout tower is open to public visitation while staffed. The tower is typically staffed mid-May through mid-September. Visitors will be allowed to access the trail and lookout site while restoration work is underway in early June of 2015. However, in support of the restoration project, the popular Devil’s Head Lookout Trail and the stairs leading to the Tower shall undergo temporary closures between late-April and mid-June of 2015. The temporary closures are necessary for public safety reasons while the Rocky Mountain Specialty Mule Pack string transports materials in and out of the work site. Please contact the South Platte Ranger District Office (303-275-5610) for additional trail closure updates.
At a Glance
Winter closure: Rampart Range Road is closed December 1 of the year and remains closed throughout the winter. Rampart Range Road opens when conditions are favorable for summer recreation. A target date is April 1, but weather conditions may delay until late April-early May. Contact the South Platte Ranger District at 303.275.5610 for more information.
National Geographic Trails Illustrated #135 (Deckers / Rampart Range)
Contact the South Platte Ranger District at 303.275.5610 for more information.
Devil's Head Lookout Trail can be reached by traveling approximately ten miles west of Sedalia on Highway 67 to the Rampart Range Road. Turn left (south) on the Rampart Range Road for approximately eight and one-half miles to the trailhead.