Viewing the Eclipse from almost 10,000 feet at Devil’s Head Lookout

Viewing the Eclipse from almost 10,000 feet at Devil’s Head Lookout

If you were in the path of the total eclipse in one of the 14 states, you had the rare opportunity to see the solar eclipse in its totality. We knew we weren’t going to see a total eclipse from Colorado, so we decided to do the next best thing and combine our viewing with a hike to almost 10,000 feet to the historic Devil’s Head Fire Lookout Tower.

 

The Hike

Image by Renee (she wants credit as most photographs are taken by Don).

We enjoyed the beautiful hike with its breathtaking views along the way almost as much as the lookout itself. The hike is 1.4 miles each way, with an elevation climb of 940 feet from the parking lot.

 

View from Devil’s Head

This lookout is located in the Pike National Forest. Take Highway 67 from Sedalia to Rampart Range Road and follow it until it ends (9 miles) in the lookout parking lot.

 

Devil’s Head Fire Lookout Tower

The Fire Lookout Tower is at 9,748 feet above sea level and is the last Front Range Lookout Tower still in use. It is 103 years old this year. For the last 33 years, it has been manned by Bill Ellis, who, at age of 84 is one of the oldest employees of the Forest Service. We had an opportunity to meet Bill and view the forest from his lookout post. You can find Bill at his post from April to October. He lives in a cabin at the base – it is 143 steps to the tower.

 

Solar Eclipse from a smartphone

With the special glasses, you could see a crescent moon in front of the sun, but trying to use the glasses up to our phone camera the eclipse wasn’t visible, just a fuzzy sun. We did experience a few minutes when the forest became dimmer, quieter and noticeably cooler.

 

Eclipse shadow images

During our hike back down, we noticed strange shadows on the path and realized that they must be from the eclipse as they are crescent moon shaped.

 

 

We welcome your comments and experiences, please leave them in the comments section.

 

 

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