Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Published: October 16th 2009
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Today our destination was Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP. The south entrance, which is the most accessible, is 12 miles from Montrose. We arrived at the Visitor Center about 9:00 am. It was a windy day mostly sunny and not cold. After orientation at the VC we took a 2 mile hike on the rim of the canyon and in the upland scrub oak. Black Canyon is dark and narrow and known for the light to pinkish pegmatite layers (called dikes) that run throughout the ½ mile high canyon walls. The Gunnison River drops very steeply and quickly as it runs through the gorge. We spent the afternoon driving the parameter road and walking to scenic overlooks. The Black Canyon isn’t as pretty as Grand Canyon, but it is different. We spent the night in the campground which was very nice and not crowded. It even had electricity, but no water because the pipes freeze now.

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