|Devils Head Fire Tower|
It was one of the clearest, brightest blue skies I had seen in some time. The area wildfire smoke had been blown away by the cool breezes and the fall color was in bloom. Devils Head Fire Tower turns 103 years old this year.
I wrote last about this trail HERE, of when I used to live with my family in Colorado. I have moved back to Colorado last year and will be staying for awhile.
The drive from Sedalia up to Rampart Range Road was quiet and cool, driving through the front range ridges twisting and turning into the Pike National Forest. Turning left onto gravel Rampart Range Road was nice too as the road passes campsites and motorized vehicle trails, small 4 wheelers and off-road motorcycles. It is an 8-mile drive over the washboards at 20 MPH to the Devils Head Trailhead. Camping and a picnic area are available there also.
|Trail Damage by an EF1 Tornado|
The hike starts in a blow down of trees that happened this July 21st, caused by an EF1 Tornado. Trees are scattered in every direction, many blown down or snapped off. A once-beautiful Aspen grove laid toppled, the large trees mostly blown over. Cut logs laid stacked everywhere where they had to cut most everything to clear the trail.
Years ago I had backpacked through such a tornado tangle in eastern Kentucky. Crawling over and under still loose and sliding trees, it was one of the hardest things I had ever done. I ended up removing and pushing my backpack ahead of me or pulling it behind me through the snarl. Smaller than this area, it still took me 2 hours to cross about one hundred fifty yards and made me late to reach camp that night.
|Remaining Aspen Grove|
|View West to one of the Devils 'horns'|
|Stairs up to the tower|
|View South to Pikes Peak|
|View West across Pike National Forest|
|Steel strips cemented to prevent sliding|
|Enjoying one last trip through the aspens|