Professional Trail Crew
TRAIL MAINTENANCE CLOSE TO HOME AND DEEP IN THE BACKCOUNTRY
For seven years now, the Gunnison Trails’ Professional Trail Crew has been hard at work building and maintaining our local singletrack trails. Since 2016, we have employed young people from the community and beyond to assist our partners at the US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, Gunnison County, the City of Gunnison and Western Colorado University in addressing trail building and maintenance needs on the public and municipal lands that are so integral to our local community.
2022 Season Recap
For the 2022 season, we employed a full-time, five member crew that worked all across the Gunnison Basin, from the sage covered hillsides of Signal Peak to the high tundra and dark timber of the West Elk Wilderness. We hit the ground running in late March when the trails at Hartman Rocks opened for the season, fixing trail erosion and drainage issues after a long winter. In June, we shifted our focus to Signal Peak, completing the 3-mile long Sunny D trail, connecting the South Rim and Contour trails and creating a massive, 20-mile all singletrack loop right from downtown Gunnison. July and August saw our crew shift their focus to trails in the West Elk and Fossil Ridge Wilderness areas. We completed another 4 weeks of heavy maintenance work on the Sun Park trail as part of a Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) project. We returned to Signal Peak and Hartman Rocks in September and October to continue trail maintenance efforts, partnering with the Gunnison High School MTB team and Western Colorado University incoming freshmen/women to help steward our backyard. In total, we logged over 3,000 hours of trail stewardship work across Gunnison County. None of this work would be possible without the generous support we receive from our partners at the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism and Prosperity Partnership (TAPP), Gunnison County Metropolitan Recreation District, the National Forest Foundation and Gunnison County Stewardship Fund, the City of Gunnison, Eleven Experience and Colorado Parks and Wildlife Non-motorized Grant.
Our 2022 Trail Crew was made possible thanks to the generous contributions from these partners:
- National Forest Foundation/Gunnison County Stewardship Fund
- Colorado Parks and Wildlife Non-Motorized State Trails Grant
- Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism and Prosperity Partnership (TAPP)
- Gunnison County Metropolitan Recreation District (MetRec)
- City of Gunnison Public Service Grant Program
- Western Colorado University
- Eleven Experience
Interested in working for the Professional Trail Crew?
The trail work season runs from mid-March/April (as soon as the trails at Hartman Rocks open for the season) 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. 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. The days are long and the work physically demanding, but oh so rewarding. Work includes (but is by no means limited to) maintaining existing trail, building new trail, clearing trail of trees and 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 students, the Western Mountain Sports Team, local high school mountain bike teams, and our steady and reliable group of all-star volunteers. The Trail Crew often leads our weekly Trail Work Tuesday (or Thursday) volunteer dig days. 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 [email protected]. Please also indicate in your cover letter which position(s) you are applying for (10-week or 20-week crew member). Pay is competitive and dependent on experience. We begin hiring on a rolling basis in early March, and positions will be filled as soon as we find the right applicants.
- 2022 Crew – Matt “Steiny” Steinwand, Michael Salat, James Bivens, Avery Galson, Quinton Gonzalez
- 2021 Crew – Matt Steinwand, Rae Anglen, Aaron Drake, Gibson Kenney, Avery Galson, Alan Henke, Nate Gore and Cosmo Langsfeld
- 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