There are no groomed trails, however, several areas offer good cross country skiing or snowshoeing to those who enjoy the challenge of breaking trail or following loosely established routes.
Winter brings elk and deer down from the mountains to feed at lower elevations around Curecanti. With temperatures often reaching -30 F, wildlife need to preserve all the energy they have for survival. Please be careful to not run wildlife.
Ski the frozen, snowy surface of Blue Mesa Reservoir at Iola Basin located 10 miles west of Gunnison. Watch for wintering bald eagles flying overhead or perched in dead trees. Check ice conditions before skiing, and avoid fishing holes. This area is suitable for all skiing ablilities, and is often even good for skate skiing.
East Elk Creek
Located one mile west of the Elk Creek Visitor Center on U.S. Highway 50. Ski or snowshoe the level road to the East Elk Creek Campground, or beyond to the Sapinero Wildlife Area, for a roundtrip distance of 4 miles. Suitable for all ablilities.
Begins 4 miles west of the Elk Creek Visitor Center on U.S. Highway 50. Ski or snowshoe the road which leads to Red Creek Campground or continue beyond the campground toward the West Elk Wilderness Area of the Gunnison National Forest, for about 6 miles. Terrain is steep. Suitable for intermediate and advanced abilities.
This trail begins in the parking area 5 miles west of the Elk Creek Visitor Center. The 4-mile rountrip trail increases in elevation 600 feet in 2 miles. It offers views of Blue Mesa Reservoir, the Dillon Pinnacles, and wildlife such as Bald Eagles and Bighorn Sheep. In low snow years, this south facing trail may not have sufficient snow cover. Suitable for intermediate and advanced abilities.