Directions to the trailhead: From the Denver area take HWY-85 (Santa Fe) south bound all the way to Sadelia. You could take CO-470 east bound to HWY-85. Once you get to Sadelia make sure you have gas, groceries and other items you may need. Take CO-67 and head west for 10 miles to Rampart Range Rd and take a left and travel on a well maintained road for a bit over 9 miles. You'll come to a parking lot and the trailhead.
The parking lot and trailhead is very easy to find as you'll drive right into it if you stay on Rampart Range Rd.
One summer day in 1893 Katherine Lee Bates an English teacher for Colorado College decided to take a ride in a prairie wagon with some other teachers to the summit of 14,000-foot Pikes Peak. Near the top they had to leave the wagon and go the rest of the way on mules. Ms. Bates would later recall, “I was very tired but when I saw the view, I felt great joy. All the wonder of America seemed to be displayed there with a sea-like expanse.” She hastily jotted down in her notebook of what she was experiencing. She wrote how she was seeing: The purple mountain majesties, the spacious skies, amber waves of grain.
In less than a few moments she had written the poem which would describe America and the beauty she absorbed within her spirit...America the Beautiful.
Now I won’t be taking you to the summit of Pikes Peak but up to one of the most spectacular views of what Ms. Bates would have seen without having to hike a mountain.
WARNING: DO NOT CLIMB THE STAIRCASE DURING A LIGHTENING STORM.
This is a 3 mile, out and back trail with a difficulty rating of: Moderate. The trail is shaded by evergreen and aspen forest. Facilities consist of: Picnic tables, water spigot, restrooms and campgrounds which are based on first come first claimed. I guarantee you I’ll have one ready!!!
The campgrounds are located in the Pike National Forest of the Rampart Range. if you decide you would like to campout for a night or two. The cost is 15 bucks PER SITE and not by person, meaning you could put as many as 3-4 tents per site.
If you arrive late which we all do at times there is a good chance you’ll catch up with us. This is a photographer’s masterpiece and if we’re up there at the right time you’ll see why the mountain men would call the sunset “The Water Colors of God. “ I believe it’s the most romantic trail with nature there is.
From the parking lot, you’ll pass the benches and a concrete patio, and climb concrete stairs that mark the beginning of the hike. Pine and aspen trees and plenty of places to sit and relax line the trail. Dense trails along the trail create an enchanting effect. You’ll be passing by many benches, switchbacks and a sturdy foot bridge. People do live where we’re headed and the only way for them to get groceries and other supplies is by mule, meaning road apples, so watch your step.
When we get to the summit we’ll arrive at a clearing where rangers work and live but always willing to help others learn about what fire lookout watchers do. Only a few at a time are allowed to climb the 143 steps up to the tower and where the rangers are. The lookout tower, which is named on the National Register of Historic Places, perches at 9,750 feet. The massive granite rock cropping cannot be seen from the tower because the tower actually sits on top of the outcrop, at the highest point of Devil’s Head Mountain.
The Panorama includes: Denver, Castle Rock. Sedalia and 11 of Colorado’s fourteeners.
I’ll check more into fire warnings and regulations up in Pike National Forest. I would like to have something like a cookout after the hike.
Have a great day