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Sedalia, Colorado, United States

Devil's Head Fire Lookout

A "must do" hike to the area's only working fire lookout

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 (3 votes, 2 reviews)
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 2.8 miles / 4.5 km
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly • Dog Friendly
 
Overview: Devils head is a distinct granite rock outcropping in the front range west of Castle Rock. The outcropping is clearly visible from Castle Rock to Woodland Park. The outcropping is also home to the only fire lookout, in Colorado, that is staffed by the National Forest Service. This grants it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. It should also have a spot on your hiking list. If you are in the front range it should be near the top. This hike does not offer you solitude or a particularly beautiful trail. It does offer you historical significance, views of 100 miles in all directions, and a whole lot of fun!! The hike to Devils head is perhaps the best in the area to take kids on.

The majority of this hike is shaded by mixed Aspen and Pine forest. There are plenty of shaded benches where you can take a break to cool off, and catch your breath. A sign even marks the halfway point for you.

The trail gains 950ft in elevation over 1.4 miles, and ends with a climb up 143 stairs. A person in average shape should easily be able to complete this hike.


Tips:

  • The tower is the highest object around for miles, so it is a magnet for lightning. If there is any indication of storms you should plan your visit for a different day.


  • There is good camping in the area, and Rampart Range road is a fun drive.

  • Pack a lunch. Near the top there is a nice meadow and some boulders where you can picnic.

  • The audio in this guide contains lots of interesting background on the area. Make sure you bring some headphones so you can listen in.

Points of Interest

Campground
map

Trailhead

Getting There. From Sedalia go south 9.9 miles. Look for a large sign on the left for Rampart Range Road. Take Rampart Range Road 9 miles to Devils Head Campground. Rampart Range road is a dirt road that is passable by 2wd car in the summer. Care should be taken as the road does experience wash boarding.

The trail head does have a restroom and ample parking available. This is a popular hike so expect to have plenty of company on a summer weekend.

The trail leaves from the picnic area of the campground (look for the large concrete stairs).
Other Resources
Devils head Campground
Audio
Please install flash to listen to the audio
History of Devils Head
Junction
map

Zinn Trail

About 3 switchbacks before the end of the trail you will hit the intersection with Zinn trail. This trail heads off down and to your left. It takes you 3/4 of a mile to a lookout below devils head fire station. The trail is somewhat overgrown and has some dead-fall across it which can make it hard to follow.

You can catch some views of the lookout above, and the "Pikes Peak Mastiff"
map

Cabin / Bottom of Staircase

At the top of the trail you will break through the rocks and into a small meadow containing a cabin and the bottom of the staircase to the lookout. This is a good place to take a break before climbing the steep 143 stairs to the lookout.

The lookout ranger lives in this cabin. A backpack is used to bring his supplies up from the road.

There are public facilties available here if you need to use them
Audio
Please install flash to listen to the audio
Who Lives In This Cabin?
Landmark
map

Devils Head Lookout

Once at the top of the trail your work is not yet finished. You now need to climb 143 steep stairs to the lookout. You may have to wait your turn as the number of people allowed at the lookout is limited to 10 at a time.

Be sure and take time to look around inside the lookout there is lots of interesting things to see here.

The views from the observation decks are spectacular, walk around the entire perimeter and enjoy them!

Other Resources
PeakFinder
Audio
Please install flash to listen to the audio
About the Fire Lookout
Pictures in this guide taken by: colokeith, davin_anderson, Steve Garufi, Peak Finder, Joshua Nigro

Keith Ganger (2011) All Rights Reserved
Reviews
kwarren1970
My friend and I thought this was a great hike with spectacular views! Hike wasn't too hard either. Kids can handle this one. I would recommend you bring a fleece even in the summertime. It rained a little on us and it was cold, but we toughed it out! I've also been told that the road leading up to the trailhead is closed during the winter due to mud and snow so you'd want to wait until May or so to even attempt it.
I came from Colorado Springs and the way I got to the trail was via I-25. I took the Outlets of Castle Rock (Founders) exit and turned North onto CO-67 (Lowes is right there). Then turned West on Deckers which is Sadalia. I stayed on this road past town until I saw Rampart Range Rd. This is a dirt road so you'll have to drive slowly. Posted speed limit is 20mph. We were in a car and had no problems driving. You'll drive for 9 miles on this dirt road. Lots of camping opportunities along the drive! There are outhouses at the beginning of the trail and actually on the trail too. Also lots of benches to rest if you need them. Once you get to the top, you'll see a cabin where the park ranger lives from May through September. Not far from it, several stairs will take you to the actual fire lookout where you can sign the visitor roster, visit with the ranger, and of course enjoy the view!

Visited on Jun 14, 2014

by kwarren1970 on Jun 15, 2014
eric.torigian
Excellent hike. The drive up Rampart Range is half the fun - be prepared for a long drive off highway. Once you get there parking is $5 but make sure you have cash. You fill out a small envelope and put in a locked box. So no change or debit cards!

The climb is steep (12% grade) but easy. Very well marked trail and a fair amount of traffic.

Bill the ranger at the fire station makes the journey worth it

Visited on May 05, 2012

by eric.torigian on May 06, 2012

Devil's Head Fire Lookout Trail Map


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About the Author

colokeith
colokeith
7 guides
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I am a Colorado native and outdoor enthusiast. I enjoy most outdoor activities. Follow me on twitter...

Devil's Head Fire Lookout 3 Day Forecast

Extended Forecast
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