Report last updated: 9/29/2015
DEVILS BACKBONE OPEN SPACE and associated trails are OPEN for use.
The Blus Sky Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, October 4th. The Blue Sky Trailhead on W County Rd 38E will be closed for the race from 6am until 4pm. All trails will be open to public use, but expect heavy traffic at the Devil's Backbone due to the closure and interest in the event.
With the weather cooling down, we are seeing an increase in usage at the trail. As a result, the Devil's Backbone Open Space trailhead (parking lot) typically is overcapactiy during weekends and holidays. We recommend carpooling, coming during non-peak times, and trying out other less used open spaces. Please plan accordingly. Thanks.
These trails may be closed to protect them from damage. Please stay on trail and do not go around muddy spots. If people go around muddy areas, the trail widens and vegetation is trampled. A widened trail is very difficult and expensive to restore. Thank you for helping to keep your open spaces beautiful!
For Natural Resources events and activities, check out the Events Calendar!
Weather conditions can change rapidly at open space areas. Dress in layers, carry extra clothing, and be prepared for cold, wet, and stormy weather.
Mule deer, elk, bobcats, fox, and coyotes are daily residents at the Devil's Backbone Open Space, and tracks and other indications of wildlife can be seen all around if you just take a close look. The best time of day for viewing wildlife is dawn and dusk. The open space opens at sunrise and closes at sunset. Please time your hike appropriately.
Devil's Backbone is home to many species of snake, including: Bull Snakes, Racer Snakes, Garter Snakes, Milk Snakes and Prairie Rattlesnakes. It is not unlikely for you to see a snake patrolling through the grass or sunning on the trail during the morning and evening when they are most active. If you encounter a snake, back away slowly and give it several feet of space to retreat. If a ranger is nearby, notify them of the location of the snake if it was close to, or on, the trail. If you are bitten by a rattlesnake, remain calm and dial 911. Remove all jewelry and watches, and immobilize the the bitten limb while keeping the bite site below the heart.
The Ravens continue to return to the Keyhole area each year to have their young. Golden Eagles, Turkey Vultures, Red-tailed Hawks, Great horned Owls, Barn Owls, Swainson's Hawks, Northern Harriers, Prairie Falcons, American Kestrels, Cliff Swallows and Orioles have been seen along the trails.