Devil’s Head Lookout Trail
The Devil’s Head Lookout Trail is a perfect family-friendly excursion in the Front Range. Located in the Pike National Forest, the Devil’s Head Fire Lookout is the last of the original seven fire lookouts that dotted the granite peaks in the Front Range. Hike up 143 steps to the Devil’s Head Lookout and enjoy the expansive views of the surrounding Colorado wilderness.
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Route Description for Devil’s Head Lookout Trail
Historical buffs and hikers alike will enjoy the adventure up the Devil’s Head Lookout Trail. Hike through the aspen and pine woods up to the granite outcrop. This trail is extremely popular, especially on the weekends in the summer months, and it’s no wonder why. Because this excursion is a crowd-favorite, the parking lot fills up fast. We recommend arriving early to secure a spot, but if you don’t wake up in time, don’t worry. If the parking lot is full at the trailhead, simply park at the Devil’s Head Campground just up the road.
On warm summer days the trail itself will be heavily trafficked, do your best to stay to one side of the marked path and wait your turn at the stairs, as their maximum capacity is limited to 10 people at a time. The Devil’s Head Lookout Hike is a family-friendly excursion, but note that there are steep sections, and the stairs up to the lookout are challenging. Take your time and enjoy the hike up to the observation decks and the cabin and bring plenty of water to quench your thirst. Note that the Rampart Range Road to access the trailhead closes seasonally from December to April.
The Devil’s Head Lookout Hike is the perfect day hike for anyone in the Front Range. Enjoy the scenic wooded trail up to an observation deck that delivers 360-panoramic views of the Colorado mountain ranges and forested valleys below. If you are seeking a quick, but sweaty hike in the Front Range, then the Devil’s Head Lookout Trail is it. Hike the short, but steep trail to the summit, bask in the insane views and descend all before noon. We love this historical route up to the lookout, and we know you will too.
Embark on your adventure up the Devil’s Head Lookout Trail from the carpark and picnic area. Begin by heading south down the Devil’s Head Trail. Hike the wooded path through verdant aspen and pine trees. Enjoy the initial gradual climb of the hike before it picks up in intensity. Continue tracking along the well-marked path and it will begin to curve you east. This section of the hike will get steeper, and the terrain will get increasingly rocky.
Hike east before the route winds you south again and through switchbacks. Navigate the switchbacks before hitting the halfway mark. Take a seat on one of the many shaded benches along the trail and catch your breath. Enjoy sights of the impressive aspen and pine trees that line the path before continuing your adventure.
Trek along the forested route until you encounter a junction. Stay right and maintain along the Devil’s Head Trail. Hike through the woodlands and navigate another set of switchbacks before the path opens up to an alpine meadow. Enjoy sights of colorful wildflowers in the summer months as you walk across the lush plain. Cross the meadow as the impressive granite outcrop emerges in the south. Continue trekking along the route and you will soon encounter a cabin.
Explore the base of the granite knob and see the Ranger’s cabin at the bottom of the famous metal steps. When you are ready, begin your ascent up 143 stairs to the overlook. Exercise caution as you climb up the impeccably steep set of stairs up that line the ridges of the granite outcrop. At the top of the stairs, you will be rewarded with striking views of the Rampart Range and the surrounding Colorado landscape. Explore the Devil’s Head Lookout and peak inside. Walk around the perimeter of the observation deck and revel in the expansive views.
Take a break and enjoy the incredible vistas of the Front Range and the lush forests that encompass them. Snap a few pictures and refuel before beginning your descent. Be careful as you maneuver the steep terrain down the route. To get back to the parking lot simply retrace your steps along the trail.
Devil’s Head Fire Lookout
The Devil’s Head Fire Lookout is the last of the original seven fire towers located across the Front Range. Originally built in 1912, the fire lookout is now more than 100 years old, and in 1991 the popular lookout was awarded a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Since its construction, this tower has remained a staple tourist destination for those visiting the ranges. Hike up the rock outcrop and enjoy 360-degree views of the surrounding peaks and aspen forests from the lookout and check out the living quarters below. From May-September the lookout is staffed, and a park ranger lives in the small cabin below the granite knob. Hike up the steep trail and up 143 metal stairs to the historically rich fire lookout on the Devil’s Head.
Insider Hints for Devil’s Head Lookout Trail
- Camp at the Devil’s Head Campground near the trailhead and be the first ones on the trail in the morning.
- Bring plenty of water! Though the hike is short, it is steep. Pack more than you anticipate needing—trust us.
- Hike the Devil’s Head Lookout Trail in the autumn. The colors of the changing aspen trees from the lookout are truly breathtaking.
Getting to the Devil’s Head Lookout Trail Trailhead
Find the Devil’s Head Lookout Trailhead off of the Rampart Range Road. The parking lot and trailhead are just past the Devil’s Head Campground near the picnic area.
Devil’s Head Lookout Trail Elevation Graph
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