Lookout Point

Round Trip Distance: 0.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 5396 - 5509 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Lookout Point/Highway 139 MM 61
Fee: none
Attractions: Calendar site

Lookout Point is located in the Canyon Pintado National Historic District near Rangely, Colorado. The location, which sits on top of a hill overlooking the Douglas Creek area, is a Fremont calendar site thought to have been used for the timing of important religious festivals and the planting of crops.

The trailhead is located along Highway 139, 4 miles south of its junction with Highway 64, on the eastern outskirts of the town of Rangely. Parking is available along the road shoulder or just off of the road where the trail begins.

The route follows the pipeline scar to the top of the first ridge where Lookout Point sits a little higher up on the right.

The slope of the hill is very steep. It isn't too bad on the ascent but it gets rather precarious coming back down. If you have a trekking pole in your vehicle you might consider bringing it with you to help keep yourself under control due to the combination of the steep grade and loose rocks.

As you reach the crest of the hill resist the urge to cut straight over to the point. It is much easier to continue another 20 yards or so and come up behind the trail's kiosk.

It is best to glean the information from that is available here before continuing to the site to get a better appreciation for what you will see.

A map on the right hand side of the kiosk shows the pattern of the holes that were drilled into the rock. Each hole would have had a pole inserted that would have cast its shadow upon one of the other holes. The arrangement would have pinpointed the solstices and any other anticipated periods in between such as festival and planting times.

Drilling such perfect holes with nothing more than stone tools would have required a monumental effort. That would seem to imply that a great deal of importance must have been placed on the task.

The stub walls of a stone structure still remain where it was built on the very edge of the cliff.

Lookout Point isn't the only calendar site located in the Canyon Pintado area. At East Four Mile Draw there is what is known as the 'Sun Dagger' site which is a collection of pictographs painted beneath an overhang. Whether the two sites were contemporaneous with each other is unknown to us. Please remember that it is illegal to disturb archaeological sites in any way. Don't climb on the walls, do any digging, or remove anything from the site and remember to report anyone that is. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.