Devils Head

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Elevation: 9,748'
Trailhead/Trail: Devils Head Trail
Trailhead elevation: 8,780'
Total Elevation Gain: 1,080'
Coordinates: 39.2603°N, 105.1011°W
Round trip distance: 2.1 miles
Quadrangle: Devils Head
Date: 5/24/2008

After looking at the rugged summit of Devils Head from where I live for a year and a half, I finally decided to hike up to its summit. But before I did, I decided to drive out to Kenosha Pass to see what the snow conditions were like, at both the pass and on the surrounding mountains and what I found was there was some, but not a lot of snow in the mountains to the south of the pass, however to the north there was still enough snow in the mountains I still don't want to hike in those mountains. Perhaps next weekend I'll head up to hike both North and South Twin Cone Peaks as well as Mount Blaine in the Platte River Range.

After Kenosha Pass, I headed back east along US 285 to Bailey, where I turned off the highway onto CO 68, which starts off as a paved road, but soon turns to dirt. I followed this road to Wellington Lake and then turned towards the northeast and followed a somewhat rough dirt road to Redskin Creek Road, which I followed east to CO 126. This was a nice scenic drive through pine, fir and spruce forests that held numerous interesting rock formations. I then headed south when I came upon a scenic overlook which gave me a view of Devils Head off to the southeast. From this vantage point this was some evidence of the 2002 Hayman fire.

After stopping, I continued south until I got to Deckers, where I headed north, following the South Platte River till I got to Sugar Creek Road, where I turned east and climbed up into to northern end of the Rampart Range. I followed Sugar Creek Road until I got to the Rampart Range Road, which I followed to the south for about 9 miles to the turn off to the Devils Head trailhead.

Initially the trail heads south and follows along a small creek. Along this part of the trail there are some nice rock formations, a foreshadowing of many more to come.

Devils Head isn't terribly high at only 9,748 feet, but it sits a bit to the east of the higher mountains which in turn offers up some speculator views from the summit, ranging for Longs Peak in RMNP to the north, all the way south to the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Since it has such a large viewing area, there sits atop Devils Head a fire tower.

The hike up is only about 2 miles, and it is a pretty easy trail that weaves its way through some large, attractive rock formations. At the summit, in addition to the fire tower, there is a cabin in which the rangers stay during their tour of duty, a couple of outhouses and a fairly large open area in which a number of people and their dogs were sitting eating lunch and just generally lounging about. From this open area it is another 200 or so feet up to where the fire tower sits. And the way up is via 149 stair steps. The tower is actually just a square building sitting on the high point of Devils Head. There are a couple of steps leading up to the "tower" which has an observation platform that encircles the tower giving a full 360 degree viewing of the surrounding area.