A gem of a snowmobile area
In response to Wilderness Workshop head Sloan Shoemaker, those of us who snowmobile in the western United States use trails to get to where the incredible riding begins. This is similar to using a catwalk at a ski area to get to the good terrain that people love to ski. I too agree that there is confusion and plenty of it surrounding the scattered and fragmented Hidden Gems proposal.
Marion Gulch and Fourmile are essentially the two access points for the area out of Glenwood or Carbondale. The SP trail is the main trail through the area, and portions are used by all of us, including the folks who take the tours. The Hidden Gems proposal carved the Wilderness boundaries around the SP trail itself. However, there are numerous (as in many) trails that take off from the SP that lead to the best off-trail riding available on the east end of the SP.
These areas include the Twin Peaks play areas, trails over the top to the area surrounding the South Thompson Creek draw, down the hill to Lost Lake and all connecting parks or more to the west into Clear Fork, which is an all-time favorite. There are numerous routes back through some of the Willow Creek areas toward Fourmile. There are parks to play in, hills to climb, areas of trees to ride that are hard to duplicate anywhere.
People access this from the Paonia side, from the Glenwood/Carbondale side, from the Silt/New Castle area and from western parts of the SP trail system.
This is an absolute gem of a snowmobile area, and all the people who ride it would agree.
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