Location: From Denver, take highway 85 south to Sedalia. Then take highway 67 west until you come across Rampart Road (well marked). After turning left on Rampart Road, you’ll wind your way down a very bumpy dirt road until you get to the trail head. We’ve always taken our car there, so your car will work great just be prepared for slow going and a jostling ride. It’s a 1.4 mile one-way hike (2.8 miles total).
Things to Keep in Mind: This is a popular hike so no matter what time you go, you will most likely be sharing the trail with lots of people. There is parking but it fills up quite quickly so early mornings are the best time to go. There are plenty of picnic spots on the way up so if you’re on your ‘A’ game, pack a lunch and enjoy. Finally, you will be hiking to the highest point around so if it looks stormy it might not be the best day to complete the hike.
One of our favorite hikes around is to Devil’s Head Fire Lookout. It’s almost straight west of where we live and the views from the top are gorgeous. We’ve also found that, while breaks might be necessary, it’s a great hike to bring visitors on.
For some reason, this hike took a while for Cale and I to make it out to. Since then, we’ve done it at least 2 times a year. Until this year. We made it half way there when we came across signs everywhere saying the trail was closed. Turns out a little tornado had made it’s way through the area and the trail was closed for repairs.
We made it back up this past weekend and barely recognized the beginning of the trail. It used to be heavily wooded and almost made us feel like we were back in the midwest. Now, the first bit of the trail is slightly more exposed.
Why am I even going on about that?!? The best part of the trail is the very end. It’s the only operation fire tower left in Colorado and on a clear day you can see 100 miles in every direction.
Talk about views.
So back to the hike. Once the trail part is over, there are 143 steps to the top of the fire tower. If you go while the tower is open (between 8-5 in the summer months) you will run into a nice man named Bill. Great guy. Highly entertaining. You should go.
Finally, there are plenty of places to camp along Rampart Range Road. We have never been (no flush toilets, people) but it is on the list of places to check out next summer. Fall turned out to be a gorgeous time to go hiking. We were able to catch the last of fall mixed with the first bit of snow. Winter is coming!