This route is a scenic dirt road and doubletrack tour of Eagle's backcountry. It's not overly technical so it would be suitable for an MTB or CX bike. Expect big views and big climbs! It's a fantastic route for those looking to log some miles and take in the views.
Plan on carrying all food and water. Water is available at a few spots as you pass over some creeks, but must be filtered or treated.
Head out on Brush Creek Road (400)
going south. The road is a good warm-up - even though it seems flat, you're actually pedaling up a slight incline. The further south you go, the more mountains start to creep in around you.
After passing the Sylvan Lake State Park visitor center, stay left on E. Brush Creek Road
. The surface changes to dirt here as you pedal along a beautiful creek drainage. As the road climbs, it will snake through a couple of switchbacks through the aspens. Near the top, take a left on Old Fulford Rd
It gets a little gnarly here as you get into some steeper climbing with lots of rocks to navigate. The middle section is the most challenging. The upper end of the road goes through Fulford, a small enclave of backcountry cabins and homes.
Take a right on Nolan Creek Road (418)
and enjoy a good chunk of descending back to East Brush Creek Road (415)
. Take a right there and then a quick left on Hat Creek Road (416)
. Start a long climb, followed by a long descent around to Brush Creek Road (400)
. This part of the ride is easy pedaling and quite scenic as it winds its way up to Crooked Creek Pass. On the back end, you'll end up on the south side of Sylvan Lake.
Next, turn left on Forest Road #414
. A rolling climb begins here through aspens and open meadows. You'll also get a good sense for the red sandstone geology that's prominent in this area of Colorado.
The road eventually comes to an intersection with McKenzie Gulch Trail #1869
and Hardscrabble Mountain Rd. (413)
. Turn left on Hardscrabble Mountain Rd and continue on another challenging climb.
This section of the ride is really visually stunning. Once you gain a little elevation in the climb, take a moment to stop and look behind you.
Once you finish Hardscrabble Mountain Rd, you'll be pleased to know you have a long, and very enjoyable, downhill back to Eagle. Drop the road past the Wolverton Spring intersections and then jump onto Upper Pipeline
. This section is a nice little piece of singletrack through the aspens.
Connect with Pipeline a.k.a. Third Gulch
and bomb down through an open sage valley to the Third Gulch trailhead in Eagle Ranch. From there, the rest of the ride is on pavement following Fourth of July Rd and Eagle Ranch Rd back into Eagle.