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Hardscrabble Area


View of Hardscrabble

Lizard at Hardscrabble

Bike sign. Trail enterance.

BLM Hikers on trail.

Download Brochure and Map of Hardscrabble area


This area includes approximately 24,000 acres of public land open for outdoor recreation activities such as mountain biking, motorcycle riding, hiking, running, hunting, ATV and 4x4 driving. This map shows interim routes suitable for various types of vehicle use. These routes are subject to change when the Resource Management Plan is revised. Off-road use causes resource damage. Please use the routes identified on this map to protect soils, wildlife, vegetation and cultural resources. The establishment of new routes through flagging, clearing vegetation or disturbing soils is illegal.

The mountains vary in elevation ranging from 6,500 to 9,700 feet above sea level and offer outstanding panoramas of the surrounding valleys and mountains.
Vegetation includes sagebrush, pinyon-juniper and gamble oak in the lower elevations; with aspen, lodgepole pine and alpine meadows in the high country. Water is found in perennial streams, ponds and springs, which may be scarce during dry years.

Hunting and Fishing: Hardscrabble is in Game Management Unit 44. All removal of game is subject to the State of Colorado hunting and fishing regulations.

Help Wanted: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will be revising the Resource Management Plan which will affect travel and other uses in this area. Your comments and suggestions are vital in planning future uses, visitor services, facilities, and regulations. There are opportunities available to volunteer for a variety of projects in the area. If you would like to be involved with planning or become a volunteer, contact the BLM office.

Town of Eagle Open Space Winter Closure: All public activity is prohibited on the Town of Eagle Open Space lands bordering BLM property in the Eagle Ranch development from December 15 to April 15.

The purpose of the restriction is to protect wintering wildlife and to avoid damage to roads, trails, and vegetation through use during wet conditions. Eagle’s open space lands along the southern portions of Eagle Ranch are classified as critical deer and elk winter range. The December 15 - April 15 time period is a critical time for animals that are dealing with a scarcity of food while surviving the winter elements. Any disturbance or harassment, whether from people walking by or from dogs chasing the animals, hurts their chance of survival.

Seasonal use restrictions, on critical wildlife habitat, are part of the Eagle Ranch development’s wildlife mitigation and enhancement plan, as proposed by Eagle Ranch, and approved by the Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW) and Town of Eagle. The intent is to avoid, minimize, and mitigate wildlife impacts resulting from the development. Recreational uses are not allowed during the December 15 - April 15 time period and include Nordic skiing, snow-shoeing, hiking, biking, and equestrian use. Those types of uses are also discouraged on adjacent BLM lands during the seasonal closure, in order to protect winter range values.

Exceptions: Current town policy allows the Town Manager, after consulting with the CDOW, to open the critical wildlife areas earlier if the areas dry out and the majority of deer and elk have moved up in elevation.

Public Access: There are three public roads that access this area. Other roads do not provide legal public access. Permission from the land owner is required to use these routes. Please respect private property and do not trespass. The following are directions to the public access roads:

Spring Creek: Take I-70 to the Gypsum exit and travel east on highway 6 about ½ mile. Turn right (south) on Valley Road for about ½ mile, then turn left (east) on Cooley Mesa Road. Go about 1 ½ miles and turn right (south) on Spring Creek Road. Go about 1 mile, then turn left on BLM road 8380. No parking, camping or shooting is permitted for the first ½ mile.

BLM Road 8384: Take I-70 to the Gypsum exit and travel east on highway 6 about ½ mile. Turn right (south) on Valley Road for about ½ mile, then turn left (east) on Cooley Mesa Road. Travel approximately 3 miles and turn right on BLM Road 8384.

Hardscrabble Road: Take I-70 to the Eagle exit. Travel west on Highway 6 for approximately 1 mile and turn left (south) on Sylvan Lake Road. (Follow signs to Sylvan Lake) Go about 5 miles and turn right on Hardscrabble Road.

Town of Eagle Open Space Trailhead Locations:

  • Horton Street
  • Abram’s Creek
  • Fourth of July Road

Visitors are encouraged to park in public lots and ride to the trailheads, rather than parking in neighborhoods.

To Report a Violation to the Town of Eagle Open Space Call: Eagle Police Department at (970) 328-6351. After hours call dispatch (970) 479-2204.