Here’s a hike that rewards you with amazing 360º views – a little way north of Colorado Springs, up Rampart Range Road, is Devil’s Head Lookout Tower. It was built by the National Forest Service to spot wildfires, and is one of the few fire lookout towers still in use today.
The trail to the top is around one and a half mile, one way, and then you’ll climb 143 steps to get to the tower. You know it’s a pretty good hike when they give you a little “certificate of achievement” card when you arrive at the top!
Make sure you strike up a conversation with the ranger – he and his wife live at the base of the tower all summer long and have done it for decades. It’s a fascinating story! (There’s a Denver Post article about him here.)
The inside of the tower is filled with pictures and scraps of paper with anecdotes of the people who have hiked up this trail over the decades. (After looking at this picture again, if Augustus Charles Ellis hiked the whole way at 2 years old with a 3 lb pack, I’m not sure why Jeremy had to carry our kids a good part of the way! :)
We made this hike with a 5 year old, 3 year old, and 1 year old – and I was 8 months pregnant. I wouldn’t recommend that – the hike felt a lot longer than 2.8 miles round trip, but it was a great memory!
You can find out more about the hike to Devil’s Head Fire Lookout Tower, including directions to the trailhead, here.