Gill ATV

Round Trip Distance: 5.8 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 8037 - 8280 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Hungry Gulch/FR #403.2A
Fee: none
Attractions: Multi-use forest trail

The Gill ATV trail is located in the Plateau Division of the Uncompahgre National Forest near Grand Junction, Colorado. The trail begins on its east end off of the Hungry Gulch trail. From there it travels along North Gill Creek. After several miles it climbs around the side of the mountain and begins paralleling Gill Creek where it crosses a bridge and makes one final climb to where it meets up with Forest Road #403.2A and comes to an end. Enroute the trail provides access to the Gill Creek and Gill Spur trails.

For this post we began at the east end of the trail where it departs from the Hungry Gulch trail. To get there we followed the Hungry Gulch Road, FR #413, that begins at the intersection of the Big Creek and Divide Roads, for 3.2 miles to get to the west end of the Hungry Gulch trail. From there it is another 1.9 miles to where the Gill ATV trail begins.

As the trail starts out it begins a gentle descent that takes it into the drainage of North Gill Creek.

Most of the trail travels along open spaces where there is a good growth of sagebrush and grass.

A fence line that divides the drainage into 2 separate pastures comes up around the half mile point where a rollover provides a quick means of conveyance.

The valley gets a little narrower as the aspen and pine trees come down both sides of the mountains and almost meet at the green swath of grass and willows that grow so easily along the creek. Deer and elk tracks upon the trail show signs of their previous activity. No doubt they are probably spending the daylight hours safely secluded out of sight in the nearby trees.

Fore the most part the trail travels fast with no obstacles to slow you up.

At the 1.8 mile point from the Hungry Gulch trail a fork comes up where the Gill Spur trail branches off on the right. The Gill Spur trail can be used to get to the Gill Creek trail but keep in mind that the Gill Creek trail is open only to hikers and horseback riders.

After passing the Gill Spur the trail crosses the creek and begins to climb around the side of the mountain. As the trail gets higher there are some nice views where both the Gill Spur and Gill Creek trails can be seen heading along the canyon toward Thimble Point and the Unaweep Valley.

As the trail levels off it passes the point where the Gill Creek trail branches off on the right.

Continuing around the side of the hill it passes through another trail squeeze that limits access to ATV's no wider than 50 inches. Soon after that the remainder of the trail comes into view.

The Western Slope ATV Association has placed a nice expanded metal bridge to ferry the trail across Gill Creek.

There is one final moderate climb after crossing Gill Creek where after a couple hundred yards or so the Gill ATV trail comes to an end. From here it is just under one mile on out to the Big Creek Road. We could have made a loop out of it by taking the Big Creek Road back to where we began but instead opted to go back the way we came and check out the Gill Spur trail along the way. Because of the distance we were on our mountain bikes for this outing. The total round trip distance beginning at the the junction of the Big Creek and Divide Roads comes out to 10.2 miles. Other than a couple of small hills it is all easy. The scenery is great and it is a relaxing place to get out and enjoy the northern plateau of the Uncompahgre National Forest. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.