05 Oct Brush Creek Valley Ranch & Open Space
Eagle County’s newest Open Space, the Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space, just happens to be right in our neighborhood at Frost Creek. 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 (the larger parking area you now see on the East side of the road). Further south is the Salt Creek Trailhead and parking area (just North and across the road from Frost Creek). Easily accessible from Frost Creek, both trails offer new terrain to explore and recreate. The trails are by foot and horse, only.
Carrie previewed the Salt Creek Trail (open year round sunrise to sunset) over the weekend with the following to share:
“As you leave Frost Creek and turn left on Brush Creek Road, take the 2nd right at the new open space sign. Follow the dirt road all the way to the end and make a left to find the parking area for the trail (marked with a “P” on the map). As people are out exploring the new trail access, you may see cars parked along the dirt road, but I recommend following the road all the way to start the trail right next to the parking area.
The trail follows an old jeep road which is the evacuation route from Cordillera. It is a steady climb all the way to the top of the trail. You’ll go just beyond the Cordillera gate and follow the gravel that turns to pavement as it loops around to the right (at the Y). Look for a small meadow with an old cabin structure to drop down to the trail sign that will lead you through a grove of arching trees and down a singletrack trail to the bottom. Walk down the road back to the parking area to return to your vehicle. You can hike the trail in both directions, but hiking down the singletrack affords better views.
As you hike down, you’ll have some wide open views to the “Seven Hermits” land formation. Most people around Eagle know of “7 Hermits” as a bar in Eagle Ranch. 7 Hermits Brewing Company is named after the Seven Hermits that you in succession from Hardscrabble Road to Frost Creek. The 7th Hermit is Coffin Mountain (“Coffin” because the aerial view looks like the shape of a coffin), the backdrop of Frost Creek for holes 6-9.
The Salt Creek Trail is a great trail for hiking, trail running and snowshoeing (for the winter). Keep in mind as the weather turns into winter and thaws towards spring, a muddy trail is a closed trail. I feel comfortable on most trails by myself, however, this is a trail I would bring a buddy. Also, as it is hunting season, it is very important to wear orange when you are out using any trails to alert any nearby hunters. I hiked the trail in under 1hr30min.
The other trail now available sits at the bottom of the 3 Sisters and is an out and back trail. You’ll recognize the 3 Sisters as the small hill with 3 humps just beyond the plateau on the East side of the road as you drive to and from Frost Creek on Brush Creek Road. The Ute Indians would sit atop the 3 Sisters and sharpen arrowheads with views of the entire Brush Creek Valley. The Ute Indian Chief had 3 wives, hence, the “Three Sisters”. Access to the 3 Sisters Trail is from the larger parking area on Brush Creek Road. Open sunrise to sunset for hiking, biking, equestrian. This trail will closed December 1st through July 1st for wildlife mitigation.
Get out there and enjoy the fall colors and protected open space lands surrounding Frost Creek.”