Friday, August 15, 2014

Devil's Head Fire Tower

View of Devil's Head looking west from Castle Rock, CO
Devil's Head is located in the Pike National Forest a few miles west (and above) Castle Rock, CO.  It has a National Forest lookout fire tower perched on top of the granite there at 9748 feet above sea level.

Originally used from 1912, then built in 1919, and updated in 1952 to the current lookout, the Tower has been in constant use for over 100 years.  For campers there is a campground nearby, LINK HERE.

The Fire Tower is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  A tiny caretaker's cabin is located below the tower, the Ranger carrying food and supplies in by backpack weekly.  Still today, it is the last "manned" fire tower in Colorado, maybe in the United States, all the others being automated.  That makes it somewhat of a tourist attraction and a great place to take your kids.

The day we went, the parking lot off Rampart Range Road was packed.  The summer weather in the Rockies was awesome!  The trail was an easy hike, with lots of views and neat Pikes Peak granite formations along the way.  At the end our trip was rewarded with a card signed by the Ranger in the tower.
Pikes Peak Granite
The view from the top
I am a Squirrel : )
Those last 143 steps up the steel stairs were steep, but the 2.8 mile approach trail is rated easy.  The view is well worth the effort and you can see 100 miles in almost every direction.  It is like looking out onto a flat map before you, the hills and valleys seem all the same.
Counting steps
Getting there is easy, from Denver, go south on highway 86 to Sedalia.  Then go right at the light onto CO 67.  Turn left onto Rampart Range Road and follow the dirt road to the parking area on your left. Beware of weather closures.
Devil's Head Lookout Fire Tower

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