Nestled within the picturesque landscape of the Wood River Valley, Colorado Gulch Preserve boasts a rich history deeply intertwined with the region's pioneer roots. Once a part of the Justice Dairy, this land bears witness to the toil and dedication of founding pioneer families who cherished it for generations. The Hop House, now a charming remnant of the dairy, stands as a testament to a bygone era.

Throughout its history, Colorado Gulch Preserve has been the subject of captivating stories and pivotal moments. Previous owners once considered subdividing this hallowed ground, sparking a movement to preserve its natural beauty and heritage. Leading the charge of conservation was the Wood River Land Trust.

Thanks to the support of our community, what originally started as a small conservation easement has now become one of the most celebrated protected areas along the Big Wood River, and serves as one of the most important components of the Hailey Greenway. In 2018, the Colorado Gulch Preserve was expanded by nine acres thanks to the generosity of a silent donor and big fan of the Land Trust. This preserve is well-regarded as a community treasure, and rightfully so. With a multi-use trail system, protected river corridor, habitat for wildlife, and multiple ongoing restoration projects, this area has plenty to offer everyone in the Valley.

Today, Colorado Gulch Preserve stands as a great example of a successful city partnership. Thanks to the commitment of the Wood River Land Trust and the unwavering dedication of local residents, this slice of history remains an oasis of natural beauty, accessible to all who wish to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of the Wood River Valley's past and present.

Partners: Landowners, Dr. Grant & Sheri Stevens


Wood River Land Trust endeavors to create Universal Access trails throughout all public access preserves. Universal Access is defined as a stone aggregate trail that complies with the Outdoor Guidelines:

  • Tread Surface: Clear, firm and stable with a minimum width of 36”  
  • Tread Obstacles: 2” high maximum 
  • Cross Slope: 5% maximum 
  • Running Grade must meet one or more of the following:
    • 5% or less for any distance 
    • Up to 8.33% for 200’ maximum 
    • Up to 10% for 30’ maximum 
    • Up to 12.5% for 10’ maximum 
    • For all running grades above 5%, a resting interval must be provided at both ends of the grade. Resting intervals and passing spaces may overlap 
    • No more than 30% of the total trail length may exceed a running grade of 8.33% 
  •  Passing Spaces: 60” width, provided at least every 1000’ where trail width is less than 60” wide, with a maximum 5% cross slope 
  • Signage must provide the following: 
    • Length of the trail or trail segment
    •  Surface type  
    • Typical and minimum tread width 
    • Typical and maximum running grade 
    • Typical and maximum cross slope  

At Colorado Gulch Preserve, the trails will be universal access by mid-October 2023. Progress is also being made on ADA parking, the current parking lot is currently flat, crushed rock.Note: While Wood River Land Trust endeavors to upgrade the majority of existing trails to Universal Access status, not every trail is able to be converted because they are in the floodplain and if they were upgraded to Universal Access status, angular rock would be washed into the river during Spring flooding every year which is not ideal for the health of the river.


Wildlife Image

Colorado Gulch Preserve is home to a variety of wildlife. Keep your eyes open and up and you might get to see ground squirrels, migrating waterfowl, elk, moose, beavers, and more!


Preservation Image

Colorado Gulch Preserve is a smart and strategic conservation effort, in large part due to its invaluable connection to the Hailey Greenway. This pristine preserve not only safeguards the area's natural beauty and historical significance but also plays a pivotal role in enhancing the recreational and environmental tapestry of the Hailey community.

By preserving Colorado Gulch, we ensure that this tranquil oasis remains an integral part of the Hailey Greenway, offering residents and visitors a sanctuary to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. The lush meadows, meandering streams, and scenic trails within the preserve harmonize with the Greenway's mission of promoting outdoor activities, wellness, and a deep connection to nature.

This thoughtful connection between Colorado Gulch Preserve and the Hailey Greenway not only provides a haven for hikers, bikers, and nature enthusiasts but also reinforces the idea that preserving natural spaces is a smart investment in the health and happiness of our communities. In protecting this gem, we ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the seamless blend of conservation, recreation, and serenity that the Hailey Greenway and Colorado Gulch Preserve provide.


Recreation Image

Explore a diverse range of outdoor experiences at Colorado Gulch Preserve – a haven of adventure and tranquility waiting to be discovered. Lace up your hiking boots or saddle up for an exhilarating biking journey, meandering through enchanting trails that guide you through lush meadows, ancient groves, and alongside the serene Colorado Gulch stream. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of nature that revitalizes your senses and nourishes your spirit.

For those drawn to the water's allure, indulge in a spot of fishing along the preserve's pristine waterways. Fishing enthusiasts will find solace in the gentle currents, where each cast offers an opportunity to connect with the aquatic world. Whether you're a seasoned angler or a novice eager to embrace the excitement, Colorado Gulch Preserve welcomes all, fostering a deep bond with the river's rhythm.

Elevate your passion for birdwatching as the preserve reveals its avian wonders. Armed with binoculars, unlock a world of fluttering wings and melodious melodies. From majestic raptors gracefully soaring above to the vibrant symphony of songbirds concealed among the foliage, every step uncovers a new chapter in the captivating story of the preserve's feathered inhabitants.

Ethical Land Use

We thrive as a community united by a deep respect for both nature and one another. Our shared commitment to preserving this precious landscape is what makes our sanctuary truly exceptional. Here's how we embrace these values in our conduct:

Mindful Pet Ownership

While dogs are welcome companions, kindly clean up after them to protect water quality. Keep your furry friends under voice control, ensuring a peaceful coexistence with both other visitors and the local wildlife.

Warm Gestures

A simple smile and wave can go a long way in fostering a sense of camaraderie. Greeting fellow explorers with kindness creates an atmosphere of unity and appreciation.

Heightened Awareness

As you traverse the trails, stay mindful of your surroundings. By respecting the natural habitat and its inhabitants, we create an environment where both humans and wildlife can thrive in harmony.

Nature's Call

Please note that there are no restroom facilities within the Preserve. Be prepared and plan accordingly for your outdoor adventure.

Respecting Our Home

What We Leave Behind

We believe that by upholding certain restrictions, we ensure the longevity and well-being of our Preserve

No Motorized Vehicles

To preserve the tranquility of our haven, we ask that motorcycles and ATVs remain outside the Preserve.

Preserving Wildlife

Hunting, harassing wildlife, or any activity that disrupts their natural behaviors is strictly prohibited.

Leave No Trace

Overnight camping, fires, and fireworks are not allowed. Let's cherish the untouched beauty of the Preserve for all to enjoy.

Smoke-Free Zone

For the safety of the environment and all visitors, smoking and open flames are not permitted.

Stay on the Path

To protect the delicate ecosystems, please refrain from creating new trails. Stick to designated paths to minimize our impact.

In essence, this Preserve isn't just a place to visit; it's a testament to the bonds we form with the land and with each other. By embracing these practices, we cultivate an atmosphere of harmony, shared responsibility, and a deep appreciation for the wonders that surround us. So join us in nurturing this extraordinary environment, and let's continue to write the story of our Preserve together.

Photo Opportunities


The Orchard

The Orchard at Colorado Gulch Preserve is a community program that brings people together around food production while demonstrating how conservation and agriculture can go hand in hand. The historic homestead fruit orchards of the Wood River Valley have largely been converted to residential space. By hosting a two-acre orchard available to the public, the Land Trust is bringing back fruit trees and shrubs that provide food for our community and habitat for wildlife. The orchard is a place for students and adults to volunteer and learn about aspects of fruit tree production - planting, harvesting, pruning, watering - and how birds, insects, and other wildlife use orchards as habitats.



Pollinator Meadow

The Pollinator Meadow at Colorado Gulch Preserve is a vibrant tapestry of life and color, a sanctuary dedicated to nurturing our essential pollinators. Bursting with native wildflowers and buzzing with the activity of bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects, it serves as a vital haven for these unsung heroes of our ecosystem. It's a place where education and conservation come together, fostering a deeper appreciation for the intricate web of life that relies on the tireless work of pollinators.



Hop House

The Hop House is a remnant of the Justice Dairy and stands as a reminder of this land’s history. Now used in the productivity of the Orchard, a commercial grade kitchen in the old hop house allows staff and volunteers to can excess and fallen produce for local food pantries. Beekeepers also house their colonies that are always busy at work in the Pollinator Meadow near the Hop House


Wood River Women's Foundation Foot Bridge

A preexisting foot bridge was restored by Wood River Women’s Foundation in 2017. This charming bridge is watched over by a metal hoot owl sculpture that is always ready to take photos with visitors.


Cottonwood Grove

Alongside the irrigation canal stands a grove of Cottonwoods that provide shade in the summer and an ideal place to observe changing foliage in Autumn.


Future Plans

Colorado Gulch Bridge

Seven years after flood waters damaged the Colorado Gulch Bridge beyond repair, plans to build a new bridge and reconnect Hailey’s east bank of the Big Wood River to the popular recreation area are still moving forward. A 120-foot steel pedestrian and equestrian bridge is estimated to be completed late summer 2024 or early fall 2024, depending on river conditions in Spring 2024.

Restoration Projects

Improved parking, public restrooms, meadow restoration, planting trees, and river restoration near Heagle Park.

Hare Family Tail

Dick Hare was passionately committed to preservation in the Wood River Valley. Just before his passing, Dick's three children approached Wood River Land Trust with a desire to honor their father with a gift to the Land Trust. After some discussion, the family generously donated funds to construct and endow an ADA trail at Colorado Gulch in their father's honor. This beautiful trail is known as the Hare Family Trail and will serve as a lasting tribute to Dick's love of our Valley.


Getting There

To get to the Colorado Gulch Preserve from downtown Hailey, head south on Main Street and take a right turn onto Cedar Street followed by an immediate left onto Broadford Road. After about a mile, take a right onto Colorado Gulch Road, and park in the gravel lot at the end of Colorado Gulch Road. 

This is an "Access Yes!" property

Preferred Entrance (Colorado Gulch Rd)


Entrance 2 (Red Feather Way)