How to Hike to Devil’s Head Fire Lookout

There are so many beautiful places to visit in Colorado, especially in the summer. From gorgeous lakes to stunning mountain views, Colorado has quite the reputation. This is just one of the reasons I chose to study geology at the Colorado School of Mines. What better place to study geologic processes than a place that has some of the most colorful landscapes in the world? “It is written in the rocks…” some say.

My first years of college afforded me the opportunity to travel to places like Red Rocks, the Great Sand Dunes, and the Golden Gate Canyon, all while “in class.” After my third year, I spent six weeks traveling around Colorado and Utah, mapping geologically rich areas. Starting out in Moab, Utah, moving to Durango then Salida, Saguache and Molas Lake, before finishing up at the Edgar Mine. An unforgettable four years of travel, hiking, camping, mapping and of course, learning.

After graduation I found it difficult to continue exploring. Time is limited when working a 40-hour work week. With only two days a week off, I had to find adventures closer to Denver.

After some research, I found that there are several free-entry hikes near Denver. The one I decided to tackle first was the trail to the Devil’s Head Fire Lookout. This one-and-a-half-mile walk leads to a steep 143-step staircase, eventually bringing you to the Fire Lookout. From the Devil’s Head Fire Lookout, you can see up to 100 miles in all directions. Rolling hills and fluffy clouds, the 360-views are awe inspiring.

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View from Devil’s Head Fire Lookout.
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Alternate view from Devil’s Head Fire Lookout.

Tips to make your trip easier:

-Take Highway 67 and spend ten fewer minutes on unpaved road. (We saw a mustang stuck in a tree while taking the winding unpaved road up to the trail head.)
-Be prepared for a swarm of bugs (mainly mosquitoes!) at the top of the tall staircase leading to the lookout. (Bring bug spray.)
-Arrive early if you want to miss the crowds. We arrived by 9 a.m. and were lucky to find a parking spot in the main lot. (There is an overflow lot, but it is much further from the start of the trail head.)

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Dancer pose before beginning the summit up the staircase.

Unit next time,

Leah Pinkus

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