Deadman Lookout

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

The Canyon Lakes Ranger District's "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: Volunteers are scheduled to staff the site July 13 - September 30, Thursday - Sunday. Unforeseen circumstances may lead to the tower being unstaffed. If you arrive and a volunteer is not available, you will not be able to tour the tower, but please tour the grounds and enjoy the beautiful view. 
Closest Towns: Red Feather Lakes
Restroom: Vault Toilets

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.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Interpretive Areas

During the summer months, the tower is open for visitors to climb all 54 steps to the glass-enclosed cab.  The tower is set up with period furniture, and visitors can try out the original fire finding equipment.  Volunteers are on hand to share the history of the tower, as well as provide recreation information.

Visitor Centers

Know Before You Go

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Related Links

Campgrounds At-A-Glance

Featured Events


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation :