Blogs from Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado, United States, North America


We have visited the vast majority of American national parks; from Acadia NP in Maine to the National Park of American Samoa (where park rangers wear lava lava skirts), and from the Virgin Islands NP to Denali NP in Alaska; but we had never visited the Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP here in our own state of Colorado. One reason is that this park has never been on our way to other parks, as we always took the northern route across Colorado to Arches and Canyonlands NPs in Utah, or the southern route to the Great Sand Dunes and Mesa Verde NPs. Secondly, the drive to Gunnison is at the furthest extent for a day trip...215 miles or four hours drive from our home and the same distance back; making for a long day. But ... read more
Monarch Pass Continental Divide
Curicante National Recreation Area
Linda viewing the Black Canyon

Beautiful drive into Canon City and onto the Royal Gorge. The Royal Gorge features one of the world's highest suspension Bridges. We took the tram across the Bridge and also walked over the Bridge. The Bridge was built in 1929 for a cost of $350,000. Something that couldn't even be done today because of economic impact studies and the cost of materials. Plus, it was built totally as a tourist attraction.Several of the cars drove over the Bridge. We also took the incline railway down the side of the gorge to the bottom and the Arkansas River. There is a great view from the railway. It is amazing to see the span of the Bridge from the bottom. I do much better looking at the Bridge from the river up to the Bridge, rather than the ... read more
Don't Jump
Lee is followed by the Park Ranger
Incline Railway

After the rainy day we had yesterday, we were very happy to see bright sunny skies even though it was a little cool with temps in the high 40's and low 50's. Our plan was to visit the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. It is one of the steepest, darkest and most rugged of canyons and was formed by the Gunnison River as it flowed through hard ancient rocks at the western edge of the Rocky Mountains, on its way to joining the Colorado river at Grand Junction. The gorge reaches depths of over 2,000 feet while often being only 1,500 feet across, sunlight illuminates the walls only briefly, hence the name 'Black Canyon'. The Gunnison River drops an average of 43 feet per mile through the entire canyon, making it one of the ... read more

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 ... read more
Black Canyon View
The Gunnison River Runs Through the Canyon
View on Rim Trail

Hello all! We are officially back online after spending 4 days in the Colorado Rockies; Camp Gunnison, which will portrayed in many pictures in the blog, is one of our ministry's root locales and is mainly used for running classes and family camps; it was a great time for all. We love you! Jim, Marsha, Clara, Sam, and Hannah... read more
The deck facing the river
Our view of the Gunnison River
View of camp from above.

On the drive out to the canyon Rich wanted to introduce me to a friend of his who lives on a bus in the middle of nowhere. This guy lives soley off solar power in a renovated school bus. He cooks in a solar oven and has none of the trappings of conventional life except a little table and chair set for visitors out the front. Unfortunately, he was out when we passed by so I didn't get to meet him, but what a way to live eh? Black canyon is so named because of the black volcanic rock and the depth of the gorges, which are so deep (apparently 2,000 feet) and so narrow that sunlight doesn't reach its depths, making it look black. We did the 8mile rim walk. For the first couple of ... read more
Boy, that's a long way down
Vast expanse
Black canyon

What is it about an off-the-beaten-path location that is so appealing? Alan and I treasure the lack of crowds and the chance to discover something that not too many people know about. The url= rim of The Black Canyon of the Gunnison fits all of those parameters. Since I’m not the camping type, we choose url= Leroux Creek Inn & Vineyards in Hotchkiss, Colorado, for our headquarters. Our room in the southwestern style adobe bed and breakfast has views of the vineyard and the West Elk Mountains. Flowers are everywhere including hanging baskets of cascading blooms swinging in the summer breeze. Our breakfast of stuffed french toast is served at a table on th... read more
An impressive gorge
Alan captures me in a field of blue lupines
Beautiful country on the North Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

After leaving Utah I headed toward Colorado where I had originally planned to spend to spend 3-5 days, however it turned out to be only two days. Once again I got there just in time for a snow storm. My original goals were to spend a day at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and then to spend a couple of days hiking, camping and driving the area with several 14,000 foot mountains and end with a day or two in the Eleven Mile Canyon near Colorado Springs. Each of these places has great memories from a cross country road trip with my brother over 15 years ago. All places I wanted to go back to and spend more time. So, I made it to each of these places but all were significantly limited in scope ... read more
Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Eleven Mile Canyon

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