Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area is a popular spot to view elk when the animals are wintering in a large meadow. At times, 500-600 animals can be seen there, including some large bulls.
During winter, elk are fed at the ranch to keep them in the high country, out of farmers' fields. Feed is taken out into the meadow on horse-drawn wagons and sleds. The elk become use to the wagons and sleds and are not startled. During the winter, people can ride on the sleds and get quite close, providing great opportunity to view and photograph the animals.
A visitor center is available at the ranch, where you can purchase tickets for the sled rides. Food services are not available, but there is a lunchroom where you can eat food you bring.
Other activities at the ranch include:
- Fishing. The Blacksmith Fork River, Curtis Creek and Rock Creek provides miles of access to excellent fishing. All waters on the management area are open to fishing year round with appropriate licenses.
- Primitive camping. No restroom or garbage facilities are offered.
- Hunting. The majority of the 14,000-acre management area is open for recreational hunting during appropriate hunting seasons. Deer, elk, moose, chukar, ruffed grouse and cottontail rabbits are all hunted on the management area.
Hardware Ranch is managed by Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources. It is a working ranch with the mission of enhancing big game winter range and other critical habitats, thereby maintaining healthy rangelands for all wildlife. The Ranch also provides facilities and support for long-term wildlife and habitat research as well as increasing public awareness and personal stewardship through community outreach and education programs. The Wildlife Management Area promotes year round public access for watchable wildlife, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation.
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