Maryland Mountain Quartz Valley Open Space Park – Hiking, Biking
8060 Black Hawk Blvd, CO-119, Black Hawk, CO 80422
Maryland Mountain Quartz Valley Open Space Park is an outdoor day-use recreation park for walking, hiking, running, mountain biking, picnicking, and wildlife observation. In 2020, the City of Black Hawk opened the Hidden Treasure Trailhead and corresponding bridge linking to the City’s open space.
The trail system weaves around and through Maryland Mountain, Chase Gulch, Quartz Valley, and the historic narrow gauge Gilpin Tramway. Hikers and bikers will enjoy vistas and panoramic views of Black Hawk, Central City, and the northern rural regions of Gilpin County. The park also includes interesting historical sites, such as the Bonanza Mill, the Belden & Tennal Stamp Mill, the Robert Emmet Mine, and the Queen of the West Mine, to name a few.
The Maryland Mountain trail system has opportunities for various levels of interest and ability. Whether you are hoping to complete a leisurely mile or a longer summit climb, you will surely find a piece of Black Hawk’s rich history and abundant beauty during your outdoor adventure.
Hidden Treasure Trailhead
The Hidden Treasure Trailhead, located north of downtown Black Hawk at 8060 Black Hawk Blvd., provides ample parking with a bike and pedestrian bridge over Highway 119 to provide safe travel from the trailhead to the Historic Gilpin Tramway trail and connections to the full trail system.
Bates Hill Park Trailhead (coming soon)
The Bates Hill Park Trailhead will be located at the intersection of Gregory Street and High Street. Once established, the trailhead will provide parking with a bike and pedestrian trail system connection near the Gregory Street Plaza through the Bates Hill Park, leading to Chase Gulch Roadway.
Know Before You Go:
Trail etiquette is important for the enjoyment and safety of all trail users. Be considerate of others and let nature’s sound prevail on the mountain. Avoid loud voices and noises, allowing others to enjoy the scenery and beauty as much as you are. Planning is an important step in being prepared and ready for your adventure.
Download a printable trail map before you arrive to the trailhead. A QR code is also available at the trailhead to simply scan with your cell phone. Pre-plan your route, making considerations for the time and distance you would like to cover, elevation gain, and your skill level. Let someone know of your hiking plans.
Dawn to dusk
The park is open dawn to dusk. Determine how many hours of daylight you have when you begin your adventure, from there you can determine the appropriate time to head back out toward the trailhead. Make sure to arrive back to the trailhead before dark.
Leash your pet
All pets must be on a leash while in the park. Control your pet around other visitors and their pets and please make sure to pick up any waste left by your pet and dispose of it properly. Doggie stations are located at the trailhead and on the Historic Gilpin Tramway trail.
Running at large is prohibited. It is unlawful for any person to permit any dog to run at large. A dog shall be deemed to be running at large when not under the control of the owner, possessor, or keeper of such dog either by leash, cord, or chain not more than 10 feet in length that is being held and controlled by such person. (Black Hawk Municipal Code Sections 7-69 and 10-29.)
Pack it in. Pack it out
Restrooms and trash receptacles are located only at the trailhead. Pack out all trash, leftover food, litter, and pet waste.
Leave no trace
Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts. Capture what you see with a photo, but leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects as you find them.
Fuel your adventure
Bring along water and snacks to fuel your outdoor activities. Water is not available at the trailhead or in the park, so bring plenty of water from home to keep you and your pets hydrated.
Leading up to your hike, and again a few hours before, check the weather. This will give you valuable information on how to dress and what to pack. Be prepared with the right gear for the current or changing weather conditions. Carry a hiking backpack with a small first aid kit, poncho, and other essentials.
Right of way
Hikers coming uphill have the right of way. If you’re descending the trail, step aside and give space to the people climbing up. Cyclists yield to hikers going in either direction, coming to a full stop and stepping to the side to give the right of way. When hiking in a group, always hike single file, never taking up more than half the trail space and stay on the trail itself. If visiting in large groups, consider splitting into smaller groups.
Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow, try to approach, or taunt them in any way. Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, exposes them to predators and other dangers, and they can become aggressive if fed by people.
Wildlife commonly found in the park include deer, elk, bear, mountain lion, moose, coyote, fox, songbirds, waterfowl, and raptors. Colorado Parks and Wildlife offers tips and advice for rewarding, safe, and responsible wildlife viewing.
During development of the Maryland Mountain Quartz Valley Open Space Park trail system, the City utilized existing historic mining routes along with cutting new trails. Trail maintenance, trail building, and fire mitigation efforts will continue throughout the trail system. As such, trail closures may take place periodically to accommodate this work. Please be attentive to marked trail closures as we work to build a sustainable trail system.
Hiking and biking conditions will vary throughout the seasons. Be especially mindful of possible trail conditions in the winter months and if there has been recent rainfall. Trails could be snow covered, icy, or muddy. Maryland Mountain offers several trails with good southern exposure, however many areas along the south side will still be spotty with mud and snow cover after a weather event. Hikers should be prepared with the right footwear, ice cleats, and possibly trekking poles. Mountain bikers are encouraged to follow well-known trail etiquette and avoid riding on soft, muddy trails, which can lead to ruts and erosion. Whether hiking, running, or biking, it is your obligation to modify your route or not go at all if you know a trail is not in ideal condition for your planned activity. When route modification is necessary, please stay on established trails.
Additional education resources
- National Park Service: Hike Smart
- US Forest Service: Safety
- US Forest Service: Getting ready for the outdoors
- Colorado Parks and Wildlife: Trails
Non-emergency park concerns can be reported to:
Black Hawk Dispatch Center
Maryland Mountain Summit, 9200
Quartz Valley Trail
Giant Red Indian Paintbrush, Meadow Paintbrush (Castilleja miniata)
Mountain Harebell (Campanula lasiocarpa)
Castle Rock, located in the southwest region of the park, towers above the Historic Gilpin Tramway and Quartz Valley trails.
Historic Gilpin Tramway Trail
Easy Money Trail
Claim Jumper Trail