Williams

Rating: 
One-way Distance: 1.8 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
XC Skill level:
Elevation: 8469 - 8950 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hr. 15 mins.
Trailhead: Upper
Fee: none
Attractions: Groomed trail




The Williams trail is located in the Sunlight Mountain Resort Nordic Area near Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The groomed trail begins at the upper end of the Old Four Mile trail where it continues to follow the Old Four Mile Road for a quarter mile before branching off on its own. After leaving the Old Four Mile Road the Williams trail travels through the forest above Babbish Gulch until it eventually ends near a small cabin that serves as a shelter. The Williams trail is connected to by the Old Four Mile, Babbish, Upper Meadow Loop and the Babbish Express trails.


This post begins at the upper trailhead off of Forest Road #300. To get there follow the directions to the Sunlight Mountain Resort Ski Area which is about 10 miles from Glenwood Springs. Just before reaching the base area turn right onto FR #300 at the sign in this photo and head toward Four-Mile Park. The upper trailhead is about 2 miles from the turnoff. They tend to do a good job keeping the snow plowed on FR #300.


The Williams trail begins just over a quarter mile from the upper trailhead near a cabin where the Old Four Mile, Babbish and Williams trails all converge.


There aren't any signs that say Williams trail. As a matter of fact all the signs say Old Four Mile Road. The map that they hand out at Guest Services however shows the Williams trail beginning where we mentioned. The stretch of the Williams trail that follows the Old Four Mile Road is also a snowmobile route.


The Williams trail branches off on its own from the Old Four Mile Road a few hundred feet from the upper trailhead. There is a 'No Snowmobiles' sign at the turn but at present there isn't a sign that mentions the Williams trail.


As this part of the trail starts out it does so with a moderate climb. After a short distance is passes beneath some powerlines and then gets close to another trail that can be taken from the upper trailhead and used as a shortcut.


The Williams trail is about as pleasant as can be as it continues through the forested mountainside above Babbish Gulch.


Just before the 1 mile point from where the Williams trail branched off of the Old Four Mile Road it makes a short drop and crosses the gulch. It is at this point that the ungroomed Babbish trail branches off on the left. A nice 2 mile loop can be made by coming up the Williams trail from the upper trailhead and then heading back on the Babbish trail. If you want to keep going until you reach the cabin shelter then it will add another mile to the round trip distance.


The Williams trail gains about 480 feet from one end to the other. For the most part it has a gradual uphill trend to it with a few dips along the way. The hills are very moderate when compared to some of the neighboring trails.


About 300 feet before the Williams trail reaches the cabin the Upper Meadow Loop branches off on the right. The turnoff is very easy to miss. There is a sign on a fallen aspen tree in the gap where the Upper Meadow Loop passes through the trees to get to the meadow but it is hard to see from the Williams trail if you don't know right where to look.


Something about the quaint little cabin, that is too small for most people to stand up in, makes it quite the novelty. When talking with other trail users they often ask 'have you seen the little cabin?'.



Just past the cabin, as the groomed route makes a big turn, is where the Upper Meadow Loop reconnects on the right. We're calling this the end of the Williams trail and the beginning of the Babbish Express. We're told that at one time there was a sign back by the cabin so if you want to call that the end that works as well. The Babbish Express stretches from here to the Ute downhill ski run with connections to the Compass and Dipsy Doodle trails along the way. Those are all good options for anyone wanting to extend their adventure. The Williams trail is normally packed well enough for fat tire bikes and for trail runners that are simply wearing shoes or boots. The groomed trails in the Sunlight Mountain Resort Nordic Area see a lot of both types of use as well as XC skiing and snowshoeing. Dogs tend to run off leash which is fine but if you think your pet might get tangled up with a skier then you will probably choose to keep them leashed. Pretty much everyone we have met up here were super friendly and don't seem to get bent out of shape about anything. The Williams trail is a good place to start for those that are new to the area but it is still a good idea to carry a map to find your way around. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.