This route is a really nice single and doubletrack loop that leads hikers up to great views of the surrounding valleys before working its way to an outstanding ridge line descent back to the trailhead.
Features: River/Creek — Views
From the trailhead, hike past a cattle-gate and follow Abrams Ridge
up a series of closely spaced switchbacks with a couple of steeper sections. At the intersection with Abrams Gulch Trail
, bear left for a singletrack descent that leaves the scattered tress and travels down through open sagebrush.
Where the singletrack ends, turn to the right and follow the doubletrack. The road parallels the gulch for 2.5 miles of steady climbing until it reaches the tree cover. At this point, follow the doubletrack across the gulch as it climbs to the nearby ridge. Near the top, the grade gets really steep and the going is quite strenuous!
Hang a right onto the intersecting road (Spring Creek Road) to complete the rest of the challenging climb. Eventually the grade mellows out, which givers hikers a chance to enjoy the magnificent views of the Eagle and Vail valleys.
Keep following the road as it dips down around a bend and then gently climbs to cross over the gulch and a small creek. On the other side, head right at a small four-way intersection onto Scratch
. The high-point of the hike is soon reached as Scratch
climbs very gradually before starting into the descent as it turns away from the gulch.
The slope pleasantly drops away a little quicker here as the trail heads into a small grove of trees. On the other side, it soon levels out before transitioning to a slight climb to intersect with two access roads. Take the left split onto Abrams Ridge Connector
. This road-trace crosses a large open area to a small pool of water next to the start of Abrams Ridge
Follow Abrams Ridge
as it completes two snaking arches across a low depression before taking to the ridge line for a steady and fun rolling descent. The grade remains mellow to moderate all the way down to the steeper switchbacks at the start of the loop. Enjoy the contours of the hill and variety of scrub, trees, and clearing that make this a very nice note to end the hike on!