The best way to see 360º panorama view of Colorado is the Devil’s Head Lookout.
The minute I stepped off the airplane in Colorado, I immediately fell in love. The fresh air outside and the beautiful scenery. What’s not there to like about Colorado? However, I knew there was so much more to Colorado than just Denver, so my friends and I researched and planned the whole 2 weeks of road trip and camping from Colorado to Utah and back to Colorado.
As soon as we got our rental car early in the morning, we headed out to Pike National Park. Since it’s only an hour and half drive from Denver, we were hoping to make it early so we can take a hike up to Devil’s Head and see the sunset.
It wasn’t such an easy access for us though. It turned out that there are two ways to get to the Devil’s Head Lookout.
The first route we took was actually made for 4×4 cars and mountain biking. We had a car rental: Hyundai Accent 2015, which is not 4×4 car. It wasn’t until we were far up that we realized that we weren’t going to make it through. We had to go all the way back down to find another way to get into Sedalia Park with an easier access.
Don’t make the same mistake we did when we first use google map!
Finally with wifi and some help from the locals, we were able to find the right way to get into the campground. The direction to use for Sedalia Park is:
From Sedalia along US 85 south of Denver, take CO 67 west for 12 miles to Rampart Range Road. The intersection is well marked. Take Rampart Range Road 11 miles to the turnout for Devil’s Head Lookout and campground. Follow the signs and veer right to the tower trailhead.
Since it was already late afternoon, we had no choice but to set up camp. Man, we found the perfect spot though. Not only were we were able to stargaze from our campsite at night, but it is still just as beautiful looking out during the day.
Early, freezing morning, we finally got ready for our first activity for Devil’s Head Lookout. Keep in mind, we just landed the day before. So, we weren’t properly prepared for the altitude which, we really should have taken it into consideration at first.
The hike is 1.4 miles one way with the elevation of 940′. When you get to the top of the trail, you must take an additional 143 stair steps to get to the actual lookout. However, before you go to the top, read the rules listed below.
Aside with a bit of altitude sickness and the stairs, it was definitely worth it. It’s literally breath-taking.
I was able to talk with the friendly park ranger, Bill Ellis who had worked there for over 31 summers. He understood that we are Deaf, so he was very patient with me and answered all my questions. He showed me vintage photographs of Devil’s Head tower and even gave me many pamphlets so I can learn more about the Lookout.
He explained that originally, people had to literally rock climb and use ropes to get to the top. The Devil’s Head lookout station was first established in 1912 and was accessible through ladders. It wasn’t until 1919 when they added the stairs and reconstructed the tower that is used today. Almost 100 years old!
The reason the lookout was established so that rangers can spot fires miles away especially during the summer months.
Devil’s Head Lookout is one of the hidden gems in Colorado, so it’s perfect for those who wants to escape the city for a day. It’s also one of the last lookouts used today that still has rangers service. If you also could camp there, I would really recommend it, because you really can see all the beautiful stars there and even possibly the milky way.
- It’s free to park and hike there but it’s $18 a night to camp at the trailhead campground. However, to save money, you can camp for free along the Rampart Range Rocks, right before you enter main trailhead/campground.
- Go early to not only beat the crowds but to avoid the heat as well. Be sure to go for the sunrise or sunset.
- Direction: From Sedalia along US 85 south of Denver, take CO 67 west for 12 miles to Rampart Range Road. The intersection is well marked. Take Rampart Range Road 11 miles to the turnout for Devil’s Head Lookout and campground. Follow the signs and veer right to the tower trailhead.
- The trail is only open from May to September. Always research the weather and conditions before you come. Here is the number 303.275.5610 if you need to talk with the park ranger for information.
- Dogs are allowed on this trail but only on leash
- Bring plenty of water! It’s important to stay hydrated!
Would you visit Devil’s Head Lookout?