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Trail Rules and Safety

The GMNC ski trails are managed for cross country skiing only. Trail use guidelines help minimize user conflicts, reduce grooming costs, and ensure a safe winter recreation experience for our all trail users. Here are a few rules and tips.


Snowshoers are requested to use Ward trails, snowshoe-designated trails, or any of the many non-GMNC trails on the Grand Mesa. If you snowshoe on groomed ski trails, walk single file along the outside of the skate lane to prevent collisions with skiers and to avoid damaging the skate and classic tracks. Snowshoes can quickly degrade GMNC’s grooming and significantly increase our grooming costs. Do not snowshoe anywhere other than on the very edge of the ski trail.

Hiking or Walking

Hiking or walking on the groomed ski trails is prohibited. Hiking severely degrades the grooming and makes travel difficult and unsafe for skiers.

Classic Ski Tracks

Do not herringbone, skate ski, ski in wider touring skis, snowshoe, or walk on the classic ski track.


Move to the edge of the trail and avoid obstructing traffic.

Right of Way

In general, downhill skiers have the right-of-way, faster skiers should yield to beginners and children, and dogs should yield to everyone. When in doubt, use courtesy and common sense.


Generally pass on the left. When approaching skiers from behind, call out “on your left” to alert the other party to your presence.

Help Others

Assist others with directions and ski information.

Grooming In Progress

If you encounter the groomers on the trails, step off of the trail if necessary.

Bicycles and Snowmobiles

The US Forest Service prohibits bicycles and snowmobiles at Skyway, County Line, and Ward cross country ski trail systems.



Deputies with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office on patrol at Skyway on Grand Mesa.

You are responsible for skiing in control and within your ability level.

Ski at your own risk.

Be aware of weather hazards: cold, wind, snow and whiteout conditions.

Stay hydrated, carry food and warm clothes.

Don’t hesitate to call 911 in an emergency.


You are responsible for your own safety at high altitude. GMNC provides no services other than trail grooming. Trail maps are for general orientation only.


Buy CORSAR card. Funds from the sale of Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) cards help ensure that a Search and Rescue team is available to rescue you if ever in need.


No snowshoeing on skate and classic ski tracks. If you must snowshoe on ski trails, snowshoe completely to the side of the classic and skate ski track.


Don’t do this. Skate ski track damaged by walkers and snowshoers. Walking/hiking on the ski trails is prohibited.