Pennsylvania Gulch

4.4/5 (47 reviews)
Nederland, Colorado (Boulder County)
Last Updated: 05/16/2021

Trail Information


Pennsylvania Gulch Trail is an excellent 4wd choice to challenge new and intermediate off-road drivers. It is approximately two miles long and is one off-road trail not to miss in the area.  Most of the trails in the area can be negotiated in 2WD but Pennsylvania Gulch requires 4WD.  Pennsylvania Gulch is about the trail rather than the mountain views as it remains in the trees for its duration.  It is moderately rocky with many exposed tree roots on the trail.  The trail is uphill and narrow with only one or two places to pass so it is best taken from east to west as uphill travel will have the right-of-way.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.4/5 (47)
Rated 3/5
Visited: 03/25/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Tried from the bottom at Switzerland North junction and got a fair distance before getting stuck. Had to back down, which was a bit sketchy, slippery and danger of sliding into trees. Tried again from the top but ran into a few Jeeps pulling out a stuck friend. Fun until we got stuck though.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 08/09/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Waypoint 2 to 3 is tough. I’m a relative beginner and was sweating. Also pinstriping. Did it a day after rain but it wasn’t very wet but would be extremely slick if wet so avoid around precipitation. Fun and challenging for me.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 06/12/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Great short trail. There is a small stream running the down the entirety of the trail which has made parts of the trail slick which in turn made it more fun and slightly more challenging. Ran it with a group of people including the following vehicles: Stock 2019 Jeep Moab Edition with stock tires; Jeep with 3" lift and 37s; Stock 2021 4Runner TRDP; and our 2020 4Runner with 3" lift and 33s. Easy to pick lines without a spotter on this trail. There is a tight spot towards the end that hugs a sharp boulder that wants to catch your door or fender flares. This is because of a slight camber that pushes you into the boulder. No snow. Just wet and slick.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 06/02/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

I completed this in my stock frontier pro4x, although I added footsteps that got caught on rocks (on the 1st attempt) and it quickly grinded them up. I was barely able to turn around. Next attempt without the foot steps on I completed it. But I was sweating and my wife was super nervous. Although we were new to offroading so that's expected. With some good spotting I made it up. But I came back with a few hundred dollars in body work that needed to be done from pinstriping and and small dents. Since then I have put rock sliders and a few more inches of lift, and I think if I did this again it would be a bit easier. Fun trail, but not for the faint of heart since there's not much room for error once you get going. OnX Offroad app rates this as a 7 out of 10. I'd prob rate closer to a 5.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 05/29/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Fun, bumpy run. Slow going and careful placement wins the race. Bit of mud but no snow.

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