Note: As of 10-2020 the trail is closed until December 1st. As a separate item, the stairs leading to the tower and the tower are currently closed due to safety concerns. Currently there is no ETA on a tower reopening.
Devils Head Lookout was the last of the seven original Front Range lookout towers in continuous use since the 1800’s. It was closed in 2018 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Bill Ellis and his wife operated the lookout over the last 25 years, and many visitors remark that their discussions with Bill were the highlight of their trip.
The tower was typically staffed mid-May through mid-September. Located in the Pike National Forest, in the Rampart Range Mountains, the lookout is close to Castle Rock. Situated at 9,748 feet, views extend 100 miles in every direction on clear days.
- Trailhead: Devils Head Lookout
- Round trip: 2.8 miles / 4.5km
- Elevation: 8,797′-9,748′ (+951′) / 2,681m-2,971m (+290m)
The trail begins in the picnic area adjacent to Devil’s Head Campground and ends at the 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. There is a bathroom at the base of the tower. Once there, there are 143 steps to get to the actual fire lookout.
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.