Devil’s Head National Recreation Trail

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Difficulty

Moderate. Elevation gain 940 ft.

Trail Length

3 miles round trip.

Trail Description

Devils Head Trail View From Tower

Devil’s Head Trail begins by passing through several large Aspen stands that are quite beautiful; especially in autumn. The hike continues to wind its way up through Evergreen forest and around huge granite boulders. Through the breaks in the trees you will be able to catch several glimpses of the Eastern plains. The trail is well established and well maintained. It is a popular hike site and sees a lot of traffic.

Devils Head Trail

The trail ends atop a massive granite outcrop where Devil’s Head Fire Tower Lookout is located. It is the last operating fire lookout on the Front Range. The staircase up to the fire tower is steep and not for the faint of heart. You will need to be cautious climbing these 143 steps. From the tower you will have a full 360 degree view of the Rockies and the eastern plains. Absolutely breathtaking!!

Devils Head Fire Tower

The station is manned during the summer months by a National Forest Service Ranger. Kids really enjoy climbing the tower and seeing the ranger at work in his/her post. It is one office that literally sits on top of the world. The trail is open year round, and the tower is accessible during the off-season as well. Devil’s Head Trail and campground (at the trailhead) are very busy during the summer. It is good to arrive early to avoid crowds and the frequent afternoon storms Colorado produces.

Devils Tower Tower Stairs

Restrooms are available at parking lot/trailhead AND at the base of the fire tower. Picnic spot recommendation:The ideal picnic site for this hike is at the end of the trail (on top of the mountain) at the base of the stairway that leads to the fire tower. There is a picnic table and a pleasant grassy area with huge pine trees – ideal for resting or even a good game of Frisbee.

Devils Head Inside Fire Tower

Devils Tower Map Inside Fire Tower

Directions

Click Map below for directions. From Littleton take U.S. Highway 85 to Sedalia. Turn right (west) on Highway 67. Go 10 miles to Rampart Range Rd. Turn left (south) onto Rampart Range Road and drive 10 miles. Follow the signs indicating Devil's Head National Rec Trail and Devil's Head Campground.

Attractions

Devil's Head Campground is located at the base of the trailhead. In Sedalia (Hwy 85 and Rt 67) there is a Mexican eatery that offers good, authentic tamales. Tasty after a long hike to devil's head tower.

About Mary Norton, Contributor of this Hike

Mary grew up hiking in Colorado, so she knows all the best places to go! With a family of 6 children and no lack of enthusiasm for the outdoors, Mary is well qualified to give you tips and hike spots that will challenge you as well as delight your whole family. Whether you have kids, dogs, or are just looking to enjoy nature by yourself, Mary will show you where to go to find what you are looking for. Check out my Google+ page

  • jme

    Are dogs allowed?

  • http://6webdesign.com/ Tim Norton

    Yes as long as they are on leash.

  • marynorton

    Take a camera for this one! One of the best views in Colorado! And there are huge stands of Aspen trees that are changing color now (September)!

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  • Kellie

    is it open year round?

    • http://funcoloradohikes.com Mary Norton

      Yes it is open year round, but the tower is not manned during the winter months (you still can climb to the look out).

  • Angelstars1969

    dear mary…….
     well was reading some of the past notes posted… and have to tell you that my hubby and  i can usually be found there at a certain spot and we have been very successful in our rock hounding trips…  just look for the chick standin on the side of the roads with  rock hammer in her hand…maybe she’ll tell you….and maybe not 

  • Ted willoughby

    Can you recomend other hiking trails close the DH ?

    • Anonymous

      Hi. We’ve tried other hikes in that area but found that the motor bikes share those same trails which makes it a really unpleasant hike. Sorry, no recommendations for any trails up near Rampart Range Road.

      -Mary

      • Kline6102

        There is great hiking about .5 miles west of hwy 67 and rampart range road, it’s called indian creek campground. Beautiful 5′ ferns in the summer and some great wildflowers. From DH I would say it is about 11 miles north.

        • http://6webdesign.com/ Tim Norton

          Thanks for the recommendation, we went and did the hike you are talking about, it’s very nice and you just drive past rampart range to get to it, like you said. Thanks again! Here’s that hike which Mary more recently posted:

          http://funcoloradohikes.com/indian-creek-trail.html

    • Kline6102

      There is great hiking about .5 miles west of hwy 67 and rampart range road, it’s called indian creek campground. Beautiful 5′ ferns in the summer and some great wildflowers. From DH I would say it is about 11 miles north.

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  • Daaabird3

    Mary I am hearing that it closes Oct 1 can you still make the full climb or is the whole trail closed?

    • Anonymous

      Hi.

      You can still make the whole climb. You can still climb the stairs up to the fire tower. If it is closed, it means that the tower is not manned and you cannot go inside. You will be able to walk around the balcony and get that wonderful 360 degree view!
      Enjoy! It’s a great day for hiking.
      Mary

  • Ldsqtpie16

    Hey mary, I am having a hard time finding directions from my house to devils head on how to get there? I looked at the map on this website but its not giving me anything.. Any advice. I live in Castle Rock?

    • Anonymous

      Hi.
      Try double clicking on the map or the “view larger map” words at the bottom of the map on the devil’s head Trail page on the websiteand then typing your home address into box A OR, Try this google mapto get you from Castle Rock to Devil’s Head National Rec. Trail.

      One of these should get you there. Good luck.
      -Mary

  • Rex Mammel

    As of April 17 access is still closed. There is about 4 inches of snow from a late storm to contend with. I would guess a week until Rampart Range Road Opens at the intersection with CO67.

    • Kline6102

      Rampart & hwy 67 gate is open as of May1st.

  • Sarah

     Hi Mary, I was wondering if I could get some input. My mom and sisters are visiting next weekend and I’m trying to figure out where I should take them where they feel like they’ve experienced the “wilderness” of Colorado. The tricky part is there will be 8 of us altogether – 5 adults, 2 infants (9 and 10 months), and an almost-2-year-old. They’re all from sea level. While I want to take them somewhere where they feel like they’re in the beautiful mountains of Colorado, I also want/need something that is not too far from me (I live in Golden), and is not too strenuous for carrying babies and toddlers. Any suggestions? :-) Thank you!

    • marynorton

       Hi Sarah
      I have a one recommendation for you taking into account your situation:

      St Mary’s Glacier (a 30 minute drive from Golden, breathtaking scenery, short hike 1 mile roundtrip, trail is not steep.
      Go early on a weekend to avoid crowds or go on a weekday. See all the details at this link.
      http://funcoloradohikes.com/st_marys_glacier.html

      Another, not as grand as St Mary’s Glacier, is Meadow View Trail at Elk Meadow Open Space Park http://funcoloradohikes.com/elk_meadow.html.

      Again, nice, but not as grand – Golden Gate Canyon State Park Raccoon Trail http://funcoloradohikes.com/raccoon-trail.html

      I’d be glad to answer any more questions.
      -mary

    • MountainAnnie

      Hi, Sarah, I’m not Mary, but I’m an out-of-shape senior who enjoys Lair of the Bear hike on the way to Kittridge.  It follows a stream bed, is shady, and you can turn back if it’s too strenuous.  

  • happyhiker

    just did this one with the kids for fathers day — awesome hike. bring lots of water. If you are scared of heights there are about 150 steps to the tower. just look at the steps and keep going, especially from 100-150!

  • Julie

    Hi Mary –

    How is the camping in the area? Is there any water nearby?

    Thanks.

    Julie

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001415673317 Mary Norton

      There is Devil’s Head Campground near the trailhead. It is down in the trees. I have not camped there, but I can tell you this trailhead sees 10,000 visitors a summer so it is super busy (lots of cars and off road vehicles). There are no creeks or ponds in the area. You may want to visit this website to see more details. http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gDfxMDT8MwRydLA1cj72BTJw8jAwjQL8h2VAQAzHJMsQ!!/?ss=110212&navid=110000000000000&pnavid=null&cid=FSE_003741&recid=12925&ttype=recarea&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&position=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&pname=PSICC+-+Devil%27s+Head+Campground

  • Meg

    Mary, Are there any restaurants nearby that yoiu could recommend? We are thinking of hiking up to the top in the afternoon and then stopping off for dinner in the area.

    • http://funcoloradohikes.com Mary Norton

      There is one in Sedalia that I have heard rave reviews about from my sister-in-law and her family…it’s called Gabriel’s Northern Italian. Sedalia is the closest town to that hike and you pass it on the way to and from the hike. Hope that works out for you ! Google it or here’s the address and phone:
      5450 Manhart Street
      Sedalia, CO 80135
      (303) 688-2323

    • marynorton

      Yes, there is one restaurant in Sedalia that I have hear rave reviews from my sister-in-law and her whole family, its called Gabriel’s Northern Italian Restaurant. You will pass it on the way to and from the hike. Good luck! I hope it works out for you! Google it or : Gabriel’s Northern Italian 5450 Manhart Street
      Sedalia, CO 80135
      (303) 688-2323

  • Bob Doyle

    Great hike – just know rampart range is dirt road – can be bumpy for those of us in small hybrids

  • Skyli2a1

    Good Day Friends. Just had a question about this trail….would it be a good choice for a “day hike” with kiddos ranging in age from 8-16 yrs?

  • Skyli2a1

    Thinking to take kids who’s ages range from 8 to 16 …think it’ll be alright?? Weather? Snow?

  • http://funcoloradohikes.com Mary Norton

    That’s a great question. There are huge rock outcroppings everywhere, but we haven’t seen “gem hunters” out there. I suppose if you know what you’re looking for, you could take one look at the surroundings and know if there are any collectibles around. Keep asking around, if someone told you there are some out there, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised. Good luck.

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