Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is located in the Western part of Colorado a bit South of center. It is along US Highway 50. Black Canyon is an interesting place to spend a few hours or a few weeks. The park includes 14 of the 48 miles of Black Canyon. There is more elevation change in that 48 miles than in 1500 miles of the Mississippi River.
Black Canyon is about half as deep as the Grand Canyon (2772 feet deep at Warner Point); but is much, much narrower. This makes the sight of the steep walls of hard rock a magnificent site that is much different than; but about as interesting as, the Grand Canyon.
There are two ways to see the park: The Rim Road which follows the canyon and gives you the view from the high ground; or the East Portal Road which is a steep, 16% downgrade, to the river below. The weather and the river that have carved this interesting piece of geology also gave us some interesting plantlife to see like this neat looking tree. Take one or both of the scenic drives or one of the hiking trails and explore it for yourself.
Fondest memory: I really liked the view from Tomichi Point
A quick, easy list of rules to remember, respect the land...(from the park's guide)
* Wilderness Use permits are required. (free)
* Wood fires are prohibited. Use camp stoves only.
* No pets.
* A valid Colorado Fishing license is required, and Gold Medal Water regulations apply - artificial lures only; possession limit for brown trout is 4, of which only 1 fish may equal or exceed 16” in length; all fish between 12” and 16” must be released. Rainbows are catch and release only.
* Possession of firearms is prohibited. No hunting.
* Collecting wood, flowers, plants, animals and rocks is prohibited.
* Bury all human waste in 6” deep holes at least 100 feet from the river. If pit toilets are available, please use them.
* Pack out all trash, including toilet paper.
From the Black Canyon of the Gunnison website...
ENTRANCE FEE - SINGLE VISIT
The entrance fee is $15.00 per vehicle at the South Rim entrance station and the North Rim ranger station of Black Canyon. It covers all persons in a single, private, noncommercial vehicle and is valid for seven calendar days. The entry fee for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcycles, motor scooters, or mopeds is $7.00 per person, not to exceed $14.00 per vehicle. There is no fee charged for persons 16 years of age or younger.
BLACK CANYON ANNUAL PASS
An Annual Pass to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is available at the entrance station for $30.00 This pass admits the permit holder and all accompanying passengers in a single, private, noncommercial vehicle to the park. It is valid for 12 months from date of purchase and covers entry fees only.
A free permit is required for all backcountry and wilderness use (both day use and overnight) including hiking the innercanyon or off established trails, rock climbing and all river use.
Visit the website for more information on passes, permits and fees. Also available at the website, are camping reservations...Black Canyon of the Gunnison
The Canyon is great from the top or upper rim, but you should take the time to go down to the Canyon bottom or floor. Check out the river and mosy likey spot some pretty cool wildlife. The drive down forces you to go very slow and check out what force a river has and what it can do to solid rock over time.
Fondest memory: The balance between man and nature is reversed here. You feel like you're in their house and are reminded of it often. You couldn't turn your back without one animal or another checking out what was on the menu for dinner that day. Or just plain checking you out to decide if your friend or foe. I had great fun feeding the chipmonks, squirrels, birds, and deer. Thankfully that was as large as they got.
Colorado's highest vertical climb is Serpent Point, the north face of the Black Canyon, opposite Chasm View Point. Its perpendicular stone face is at least 1,700 feet in height.
The Painted Wall, shown in the picture, is one of the most popular, and dangerous, climbs in the canyon
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