The Spring Gulch Trail System is operated by the Mt Sopris Nordic Council (a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization), and offers 27+ km of regularly groomed cross-country ski trails. These trails have been built by skiers, for skiers, with "community-powered skiing" as the mantra. With spectacular views of Sopris and the West Elks, and a mix of terrain that offers something for everyone, it's hard not to enjoy a day at Spring Gulch.
Though just outside of town, please note that Spring Gulch can feel like a wilderness experience. There is limited cell service and the only facility available is a porta-potty. Plan ahead, as weather can be quite different than down in the valley!
Please respect our policies: no dogs, snowshoes, sledding, or motorized equipment; cross-country skiing only.
The Spring Gulch Trail System is on private property. The North Thompson Cattlemen’s Association and Crystal River Ranch generously permit the winter use of their properties for our enjoyment. Use of the trails for any purpose other than cross-country skiing during the winter is strictly prohibited, as is any entrance outside of posted opening/closing dates. Please respect whatever restrictions may be posted at the entry area, and as always, respect the land and leave no trace.
Nestled a few miles west of Carbondale, CO the trail system sits in a relatively remote and quiet valley. Few signs of modernity exist. Juniper, gambel oak and pinon dominates the hillsides while the wooden fences, cattle guards, and clearings are indicators that the area is still actively ranched. It is not uncommon to spot bald or golden eagles in the sky, or deer and the occasional elk striding through the valley floor. These features leave the visitor feeling as if they are experiencing a taste of the "old west" - and in some ways they are!
A tour through the grounds of the trail system offer the nordic skier of any level, not only that sense of place and history, but also exciting skiing and timeless, stunning views. These unique features reveal what is truly special about Spring Gulch and why the valley locals refer to it as "a diamond in the rough".
Today, the town of Carbondale, CO is recognized as a recreationalist's paradise. Located in the Central Rocky Mountains, and perched under the magnificent 12,953-foot Mt. Sopris, the high mountain environment and the rugged landscape not only provide a plethora of outdoor pursuits, but the aesthetics to compliment and enhance their enjoyment. The Spring Gulch Trail System is no exception.
Rachel Bachman Perkins
23/24 Board of Directors:
Mike Shook, President
Elliot Norquist, Vice President
Paul Perry, Treasurer
Marj Perry, Cattleman's Representative
Dom Eymere - Head Groomer
> Photo courtesy of Garfield County, Colorado: The First Hundred Years 1883-1983 by Andrew Gulliford
*NO dogs, motorized equipment, snow or fat bikes, snowmobiles, sledding, snowshoeing, snowboarding, tubing, hiking, etc. allowed.
Thank you for your cooperation and appreciation for the Mount Sopris Nordic Council's agreement with the property owners.