The Gunnison Growler
Founded by Dave Wiens, Gunnison Trails is a non-profit trail advocacy group that helps build and maintain trails in the Hartman Rocks area. Founded in 2006, the group has organized countless volunteer trail days, working closely with the BLM to reroute old trails so they’re more sustainable and most recently has added the Aberdeen Loop to the trail system. The group also focuses on trail user education and has contributed over $2,500 toward trail related projects in the area.
A large part of the fundraising done by Gunnison Trails is race promotion and the Growler Series is a popular early- and late-season mountain bike and trail running series that bookends with the Gunnison Growler in the spring and the Big Saturday mountain bike race and trail run in the fall.
The series includes long courses, short courses, little kids’ races, and bigger kids’ races, and each race is truly a community event. The Original Growler, held over Memorial Day weekend has the Original Growler option of 64 miles, or the Half Growler, which is 32 miles. The race, starting and ending in downtown Gunnison, highlights some of the best trails at Hartman Rocks and experiences full community support with well-manned aid stations and an expo and party at the finish line. Like many endurance races in recent years, the Growler entries have sold out in a matter of minutes, prompting race organizers to open the registration in three different waves on different days to try to allow everyone a fair chance of entering the race and separating the Half and Full Growler, allowing for more riders.