Open Space

Contact Us

  • Phone: 970-328-8698
    Fax: 970-328-7185

    Open Space
    P.O. Box 179
    500 Broadway
    Eagle, Colorado 81631


     


Overview

Hardscrabble arial


Welcome to the Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space

Situated 6 miles north of Sylvan Lake State Park on Brush Creek Road, and nestled in the heart of the Brush Creek Valley is Eagle County’s newest Open Space, the Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space. There are two trailheads and parking areas along Brush Creek Road to access the Open Space. The main parking lot with access to the 3 Sisters Trail is on the east side of Brush Creek Rd, just past the historic hay baler. Further south is the Salt Creek Trailhead and parking area. Make your first left after the historic, one room schoolhouse to access the Salt Creek area.

Visit

Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space trails and parking areas are open every day, sunrise to sunset. The main parking lot and 3 Sisters rail is closed from December 1st through July 1st to protect wildlife habitat and seasonal calving. The Salt Creek area trails remain open during this time. Please respect the following rules and regulations to ensure we’re able to protect this valuable resource and recreational opportunities.

  • The Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space is open from sunrise to sunset. No overnight parking.
  • The 3 Sisters Trail is open to bikers, hikers, and equestrians. The Salt Creek area trails are open to hikers and equestrians only.
  • Pets must be leashed at all times.
  • E-Bikes are not permitted on Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space trails.
  • Hunting is not allowed on the property. Pass through access to adjacent BLM and USFS land is allowed with the appropriate CPW permits.
  • No camping, no fires.
  • No drone use.
  • Stay on marked routes and stay off of ranch roads.
  • Respect the working agricultural operations and keep pets far away from all livestock.
  • Walk and wade fishing is allowed in Brush Creek at the main trailhead area and along the paved path in the Salt Creek area. Anglers must have a valid license from CPW.
  • Leave no Trace and pack out all trash. Trash cans are provided at the main trailhead area.

Educational Programs and Special Events

Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space was acquired to preserve important natural resources and to support the identified Conservation Values. Events and programming must be hosted by a nonprofit organization or local government, including special districts. Weddings and similar social events are not permitted on the property. Nonprofit organizations and local governments desiring to organize an event or programming on the property must seek advance written approval from Eagle County Open Space and the Eagle Valley Land Trust by filling out the following form. Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space Program and Event Request Form.

History

Conservation of the Brush Creek Valley in Central Colorado has been a community effort for nearly 50 years. The purchase of the Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space effectively fulfilled that goal. In 1972, a developer started assembling land in the valley and made plans for a large ski area, golf courses, and over 1,600 homes. In 1999, after years of community opposition to the development, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) funding helped conserve a portion of the land by expanding Sylvan Lake State Park and United States Forest Service lands by 1,782 acres, halting the ski area concept.

In 2017, with funding from the GOCO Protect Initiative and many other generous donors including; The Conservation Fund, the Town of Eagle, the Eagle Ranch Wildlife Committee, and the Eagle Valley Land Trust, the developer’s remaining undeveloped 1,540 acres was conserved, ending the vision of a sprawling subdivision in the heart of the wide agricultural valley just south of the Town of Eagle. 

In 2020, with additional financial support from GOCO, the Eagle Ranch Wildlife Committee, the Town of Eagle, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife a 131-acre inholding was added to Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space completing the conservation of 3 miles of Brush Creek stream corridor, additional wildlife habitat, working ranching operations, and recreational access. Now complete, this 1,671 acre parcel, formerly known as Hardscrabble Ranch, has been named the Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space is owned by Eagle County and is protected by a conservation easement held by Eagle Valley Land Trust.

Management Planning and Public Process

The acquisition of the property in 2017 was the most significant step toward the long-term protection of the Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space. This is an achievement the community can be proud of, and the benefits of the property's conservation will be felt for generations to come. The purpose of the Management Plan is to provide a framework for the long-term improvement, stewardship, and public use of the property so that it will continue to be an asset to the community. 

A public management planning process for the Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space spanned over seven months and included input from experts, stakeholders, user groups and the public, both during the initial scoping period in the spring of 2018, and on the draft Management Plan during the fall of 2018. The Eagle County Commissioners adopted the Management Plan for the Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space, formerly Hardscrabble Ranch on November 13, 2018. 

During the management planning process, Eagle County solicited suggestions from the public for a new name for the property.  The community selected Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space by a nearly 2- to-1 margin. 

Management Plan

Maps

Regional Map

Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space Public Access 2020

Frequently Asked Questions