If you're interested in hiking Squaw Mountain Fire Lookout, here is a quick + dirty trail review for you! I recently discovered this trail and wanted to share because it's a little known gem not too far from Denver, Colorado. Here is everything you need to know about the hike:
Location: Squaw Mountain Fire Lookout is located on Squaw Pass just 20 minutes from the town of Evergreen, Colorado. If you're coming from Denver, this drive will be about an hour (depending on what side of the city you're coming from). You will want to follow exactly directions from Alltrails to ensure you don't miss the parking area for the trail, as it's pretty easy to just drive right by.
Highlights of this hike: The main draw of this trail is the 360 view from the fire lookout. For just a quick hike up, you get rewarded with breathtaking views of the Colorado rockies, and the unique experience of checking out a fire lookout. BONUS: You can even pay to rent out the fire lookout for the night. It comes with a bed, a stove, heating, a kitchen and an exterior toilet. Reservations to stay the night in the fire lookout can be made here.
Distance: The hike totals no more than 4 miles (2 miles up, 2 miles back down) if you park where Alltrails leads you. You can also opt to drive further up on that road to cut the hike distance down a bit, but weather conditions may not permit it.
Consider before you go: The trail lies just above 11,000 feet of elevation and gains about 1,000 throughout the two miles up. You may need spikes during winter months, so be sure to check recent weather reports and trail conditions before you go. You can also expect colder temperatures than in Denver, as it is 6,000 feet higher! Due to the exposed nature of the fire lookout, you can expect extremely windy conditions at the top. Bringing a windbreaker is a great idea, even if you go during warmer months.
Make a day of it: Head into the quaint town of Evergreen post-hike for a beverage, bite to eat, or some icecream. I highly recommend the following spots:
Revival Brewing for a beer or amazing food
Creekside Cellars for a wine flight or a nice meal
Maya's Cantina for mexican cuisine or a killer margarita
Muddy Buck for coffee and pastries
Campfire for pizza, barbecue and a killer outdoor patio
Cactus Jacks Saloon for a fun dive bar right along the creek
Lariat Lodge for awesome food, bear and views
Be sure to save this awesome Colorado hike to your hiking bucket list! Have you made it to the top of a fire lookout before?
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