Devil’s Head Trail, Pike National Forest
Getting There/Parking: from Sedalia, Take 67 West to Rampart Range Road. Head South on Rampart Range for about 9 miles on a washboard, dirt road.
Distance: 2.8 miles, there and back
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Features: forest, awesome views, fire tower
Day hiked: July 19, 2014
Dog friendly? Yes, on leashes, but I don’t recommend taking them up the fire tower. It’s crowded and narrow.
This was our second attempt at this hike. Our first attempt, we got one mile in before the weather forced us to turn around. We should have arrived much earlier in the day for this hike. By the time we got there, the parking lot was full and we had to park pretty far down the road. (Still…when you have a nine-year-old who is still sleeping at 9:00 a.m., you take advantage of it!) This time we we determined to make it to the top. The boys were cranky and struggled the whole way up. The first time we did it, there wasn’t a single complaint and we didn’t have to stop once. This time we had stopped for breaks three times before we reached the point where we had turned around last time.
Once we finally got to the fire tower, attitudes had improved and the boys were excited to climb to the top. It’s 143 steep stairs to the top and it was very crowded this day, but the views more than made up for it. I was very glad we did not bring our dog with us. The hike would have been fine, but taking her up those steps would have been iffy (and annoying for other hikers!)
On a side note, the tower at the top actually sells t-shirts. Had I known, I would have brought cash to support the Forest Service, but I had no idea.
The hike back down was easy. I still think this is a beautiful hike, but the crowds just killed it for me. And it still irritates me when I see people hiking WITHOUT water or in flip-flops. And, just like our first attempt on this trail, we passed a hiker in a skirt. The trail isn’t *that* easy, people! At a minimum put some sneakers on and bring a water bottle! I know I sound like a cranky, old woman, but this trail was way too crowded to really get to enjoy nature. Now that we’ve crossed it off the list, I won’t be in a big hurry to repeat this one.
For more information: Devil’s Head Trailhead