For five years now, the Gunnison Trails’ Professional Trail Crew has dedicated long hours to building and maintaining fun, sustainable singletrack in the Gunnison Valley. Since 2016, we have employed young people from the community and beyond to assist our federal partners at the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management in addressing trail building and maintenance needs on the public lands that are so integral to our local community.
For the 2021 season, we will be employing a 6-person crew to continue trail building efforts in the Signal Peak area directly northeast of the town of Gunnison. Partnering with the Western Colorado Conservation Corps, we will be adding 3 miles of new trail to the existing trail network. This crew will also be working in the West Elk Wilderness with members of the US Forest Service, giving much needed attention to remote trails that have not seen that level of maintenance in recent memory. And those are just a couple of the projects on the docket for this season!
On top of this, we will also be employing a small, part-time crew dedicated to keeping the trails out at Hartman Rocks riding and running smooth. As Hartman Rocks has seen an increase in use and impact in recent years, we want to do our part to sustain this vital part of our community for generations to come.
The trail work season runs from June 1st through mid-October. We reserve a couple of spots for shorter, 10-week positions to better accommodate student schedules, beginning on June 1st and running through early to mid-August. These positions will be filled by local college and high school students who want to give back to the trail community and make a little money before returning to school in the fall. The remainder of the crew will continue building and maintaining trails in the hills around town and in the high country throughout the valley for an additional 10 weeks into mid-October.
Work weeks consist of 4×10-hour days, Monday through Thursday (hours and days will be different for the part-time Hartman Rocks crew). The days are long and the work physically demanding. Trail Crew work includes (but is by no means limited to) maintaining existing trail, building new trail, clearing trail of deadfall, mending fences and building gates, hauling in heavy loads of materials to work sites, managing groups of volunteers, and a plethora of other tasks.
Work sites are wide ranging, going as far north as Crested Butte and Taylor Park, as far south as the Alpine Loop south of Lake City, west into the West Elk Wilderness, and as far east as the Continental Divide. Some of the trails we have helped to maintain include Block and Tackle, Bear Creek, Texas Ridge, Rainbow Lake, South Baldy, Little Mill Creek, Monarch Crest, Agate Creek, Canyon Creek, Doctor Park, Cement Mountain, Roaring Judy, Mill Castle, and Eccher Gulch…to name just a few. At times we are above timberline on an alpine trail up one of the areas 14ers, while at others we are toiling in the sage hills around town, passing the days through whatever kind of weather Mom Nature decides to throw our direction.
Along with the local branches of the USFS and BLM, the crew has also partnered with the Rio Grande National Forest, San Isabel National Forest, Leave No Trace, and the Colorado Trail Foundation to help maintain existing trails. On top of these, throughout the season we also work with the Western Colorado Conservation Corps, Western Colorado University, the Western Mountain Sports Team, local high school mountain bike teams, and our steady and reliable group of all-star volunteers. The Trail Crew has and always will be driven to compliment the countless members of the community who generously donate their time and more to assuring that the trails of the Gunnison Valley get the attention that they need. Volunteerism and service work are the backbone of our community and we view our Professional Trail Crew as an extension of that service to our beloved community.
If you are a hardworking individual, with or without trail work experience, interested in becoming a part of the crew, please send a resume and cover letter indicating why you are interested in the work to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also indicate in your cover letter which position(s) you are applying for (10-week, 20-week, or part-time Hartman Rocks Crew). Pay is competitive and dependent on experience. We are currently hiring for all positions on a rolling basis. Positions will be filled as soon as we find the right applicants. Thank you for supporting our local trails, and we will see you out there this summer!
- 2020 Crew – Cosmo Langsfeld, Gordon Gianniny, Maria Skarzinsky, Abigail Westling, Logan Ramsey, Sully Marshall, James Bivens, Nate Mount, and Matt Steinwand
- 2019 Crew – Cosmo Langsfeld, Matt Steinwand, James Ruggiero
- 2018 Crew – Cosmo Langsfeld, Teo Bradbury, Sully Marshall
- 2017 Crew – Teo Bradbury, Caleb Mueller, Sully Marshall
- 2016 Crew – Tim Kugler, Tristan Spezze, Ian Turner, Sebastian Infantes, Camille Sjoquist
Our Trail Crew wouldn’t be possible without the generous contributions from these partners:
- City of Gunnison Public Service Grant Program
- Colorado Parks and Wildlife
- Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley
- Gunnison County Metropolitan Recreation District
- Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association
- National Forest Foundation/Gunnison County Stewardship Fund
- Rose Community Foundation, the WE4Smith Foundation, Wayne and Erica Smith
- Western Colorado University