Gold Basin Nordic

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 3.4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 9881 - 10,113 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 2 hrs.
Trailhead: Winter Sports Area
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic groomed trail




The Gold Basin Nordic trail is located in the Geyser Pass Winter Sports Area in the La Sal Mountains near Moab, Utah. The trail begins off of the Geyser Pass trail where it climbs its way into Gold Basin in the shadows of the surrounding peaks that soar over 12,000 feet above sea level.


Gold Basin begins near the 1 mile point of the Geyser Pass Nordic trail.


The trail is groomed by snowmobiles pulling a compacting roller. After the trail is groomed it is still used by snowmobiles but they tend to stay off to one side.


Near the quarter mile point there is a route that leads into one of the meadows near the junction of Geyser Pass and Gold Basin that is marked by a no snowmobiles sign. Be aware that once you venture off the groomed route you will be traveling in an unmarked backcountry area with nothing to guide you but your wits.


The trail gains more than 2 hundred feet of elevation as it heads south towards Gold Basin.


The highest point of the trail comes up just before the end of the first mile.


From here you can look down over the desert towards the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park.


Further to the west past the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park the snow capped Henry Mountains make up the background.


From the high point the trail gives up about 90 feet of elevation over the distance of about a quarter mile.


At the bottom of the hill the Gold Basin Yurt sits off to the right. The yurt in Gold Basin, as well as the one near Geyser Pass, can be rented year round from Talking Mountain Yurts.


The grooming ended about 100 yards past the yurt at the time we took the pictures for this post. A large aspen tree had fallen across the road. We blazed our own trail for another half mile to where the road normally ends during the summer months. No sooner had we turned around than we met others that had followed in our tracks.


Visitors to the Geyser Pass Winter Sports Area seem to take advantage of every way they can think of to play in the snow.


In this photo back at the trailhead there are snowmobilers, cross country skiers, snowshoers and someone on a fat tire mountain bike. Just down the road there is a sledding hill that is also a popular destination. Gold Basin is probably the most popular of the Nordic trails on the mountain. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.