Devil’s Head National Recreation Trail

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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


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.


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

What Others Are Saying

  1. jme September 6, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Are dogs allowed?

  2. Tim Norton September 6, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Yes as long as they are on leash.

  3. marynorton September 16, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    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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  5. Kellie April 13, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    is it open year round?

    • Mary Norton April 14, 2011 at 9:32 am

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

  6. Angelstars1969 May 22, 2011 at 12:54 am

    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 

  7. Ted willoughby June 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Can you recomend other hiking trails close the DH ?

    • Anonymous June 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm

      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.


      • Kline6102 May 4, 2012 at 5:21 pm

        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.

    • Kline6102 May 4, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      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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  9. Daaabird3 October 2, 2011 at 8:07 am

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

    • Anonymous October 2, 2011 at 8:40 am


      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.

  10. Ldsqtpie16 October 13, 2011 at 9:48 am

    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 October 13, 2011 at 10:22 am

      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.

  11. Rex Mammel April 17, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    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 May 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      Rampart & hwy 67 gate is open as of May1st.

  12. Sarah April 21, 2012 at 7:19 pm

     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 April 21, 2012 at 11:16 pm

       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.

      Another, not as grand as St Mary’s Glacier, is Meadow View Trail at Elk Meadow Open Space Park

      Again, nice, but not as grand – Golden Gate Canyon State Park Raccoon Trail

      I’d be glad to answer any more questions.

    • MountainAnnie June 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      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.  

  13. happyhiker June 18, 2012 at 9:25 am

    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!

  14. Julie June 23, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Hi Mary –

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



  15. Meg July 25, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    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.

    • Mary Norton July 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      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 July 25, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      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

  16. Bob Doyle October 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm

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

  17. Skyli2a1 March 13, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    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?

  18. Skyli2a1 March 15, 2014 at 10:04 am

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

  19. Mary Norton January 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    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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