Devil's Head Lookout is located about an hour or so south of Denver. The drive to this destination is very scenic, but the last 10 miles is on some pretty rough dirt/gravel that will rattle your teeth loose. During our recent trip to Colorado (almost 2 weeks ago now!), we decided to take a hike up this beautiful trail to the summit of Devil's Head. The hike is a short 1.5 miles to the top, with approximately 951 feet of elevation gain. At the summit of this pinnacle of Pike's Peak granite (elevation 9,748 feet) sits a U.S. Forest Service lookout tower. Access to the lookout is via 143 leg-burning, lung-searing, steel stairs.
The hike is a fairly easy one, and the trail is well-marked and maintained. Although there were several cars in the trailhead parking lot, the trail wasn't overly crowded.
As we had on our previous hikes, we encountered plenty of chipmunks along the trail. Other than a few birds, there wasn't much other wildlife to be seen.
There were plenty of scenic vistas along the hiking route. The day started out clear, but it wasn't long before the clouds started moving back into the area.
Taking a look at some details along the trail...
At the top of the trail sits a U.S. Forest Service cabin. Personnel manning the lookout tower stay here for the season, making weekly trips down the trail for supplies. No running water, but the cabin does have some amenities, such as electricity. The nights up here must be amazingly serene.
As you know, I like to take the time to smell the flowers along the way...
Just because you've reached the top of the trail doesn't mean you're at the summit of Devil's Head. There is still the small matter of 143 stairs to negotiate to reach that vantage point.
The view from the summit of Devil's Head is amazing. It is said that you can see 100 miles in every direction on a clear day. Our day wasn't exactly clear, but it was still a great view.
The original lookout tower was constructed here in 1919, but after being dismantled in 1951, the current structure was built. Devil's Head Lookout was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991 and is now the last of its kind still in service along the Front Range of Colorado.
It was a beautiful day and a great hike. Although the clouds looked threatening at times, we remained dry for the entire hike. I suspect we will be back here again someday...