Deadman Lookout

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed

Gray metal framed lookout tower against a blue sky with pine trees on either side.

The Canyon Lakes Ranger District's only "Visitor Center in the Sky!"

On April 1, 1991, the Deadman Lookout Tower was officially recognized on the National Historic Lookout Register as meeting specific standards of historic and cultural significance. It is additionally recognized as the last of eight historic towers in the Front Range of northern Colorado and southern Wyoming. The Deadman Tower has not been permanently staffed since 1970, but the tower is operational and open to the public in the summer thanks to a crew of dedicated volunteers. Volunteers provide information about the tower and other, nearby recreation sites. 

In addition, the tower serves as a radio communications site for the Roosevelt National Forest and for the Larimer County Sheriff's Department. The transceivers are powered by solar panels and batteries. Look for the large photovoltaic arrays and battery house at the base of the tower. The original wood tower was built in 1937-38 by workers in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Many visitors said the tower swayed in heavy winds, just like a tree! The wood tower was dismantled in 1962; one year after the metal tower was erected.The footings for the original wood tower are still visible to the east of the existing metal tower.  Elevation at the site is 10,700 feet. The tower is snowed in for much of the year and typically opens in early July. Picnic tables are available for use.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: The site is open most days in the summer (starting around early July), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is staffed by volunteers, so you can call our information office (closed Wednesdays) at 970-295-6700 before heading up to ensure it is open.
Closest Towns: Red Feather Lakes
Restroom: Vault Toilets
Information Center: Canyon Lakes Ranger DistrictContact Us

General Information


From Fort Collins: Take U.S. Highway 287 north to Livermore. Turn left (west) onto County Road 74E (Red Feather Lakes Road). Drive 23 miles to Red Feather Lakes, and continue on 74E where the paved road ends and gravel begins; this is Deadman Road, County Road 86 (formerly County Road 162). Drive west for an additional 12 miles until you reach National Forest System Road 170. Go right (north) and drive the remaining two miles to the tower. The roads are suitable for passenger cars.

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