A Day Hiking in “Black Canyon of the Gunnison” 

Sensational hiking trails, dramatic canyons, and neverending spectacular views will keep you for hours exploring the “Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park”.

 

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase anything through one of our links you will be supporting our small business at no extra cost to you

 

We started at the very first overlook we came upon, “Tomichi Point”  and began our first hike, the “Rim Trail”. A self-guided 1-mile nature trail along the Canyon Rim surrounded by Sagebrush, Gambel oak, Pinion and Utah Juniper overlooking sheer canyon walls with glimpses of the Gunnison River far below.

Spellbinding and just a tease to the hiking trails we discovered ahead in the Park.

 

 

At the Visitor Center a “Geology Walk” was just beginning and we tagged along, once again hiking the Rim Trail.

The Park Ranger brought life to the Geology Walk with personality and sense of humor.

NOTE: Junior Ranger Program is a exciting way for kids to appreciate the Parks and be enthusiastic on every hiking trail.

 

Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Hiking trails, Colorado Hikes, Colorado National Parks, Black Canyon National Park, Montrose CO, what to do near Montrose CO, Kid friendly, Best national parks in USA, USA National Parks, Gunnison CO

 

Next trail we came upon, Oak Flat Loop, leading off from the Visitor Center was the perfect 2 mile trail to get a real feel for the intensity of this park, just how far down the bottom really is and how challenging it would be to get to the bottom.

Sprinkled with Aspens and Douglas Fir among the Gambel oak as you descend aways into the canyon, we meandered past several impressive overlook outcroppings until we began ascending again.

Oak Flat Loop, moderate/strenuous hiking trial but exhilarating! 

 


 

 

Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado National Parks, What to do near Montrose, hiking trails in Colorado's National Parks, Best National Parks in the USA, Colorado vacation, SW Colorado,

 

Driving thru the Park are numerous easy, short hiking trails to overlooks with views of the Canyon. We found Pulpit Rock overlook and Painters Wall ones not to be missed.

 

Black Canyon National Park, Gunnison CO, Colorado hiking trails, Where to hike in Colorado, Best national parks in Colorado, SW Colorado, Black Canyon of the Gunnison

 

Warner Point Nature Trail, 1.5 miles out and back located at the end of the Park quickly became our favorite hike.

Binoculars, a must have! Sightings of Peregrine Falcon are common within the Park. They nest on Canyon ledges and prey on other birds. 

 

Warner Point Trail, Colorado hikes, best hike in Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Black Canyon National Park,

 

The highest point in the Park is found on Warner Point Nature Trail. The views of the Uncompahgre Valley, San Juan Mountain Range and the West Elk Mountains were mesmerizing and at the end of the trail, add the daunting views of the Gunnison River and the Canyon, it’s a must-do….

Black Canyon Park Map – shows boundaries, roads, hiking trails and overlooks

Black Canyon Backcountry Map – locations of inner canyon routes

National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map – This is the perfect map of the entire park, backcountry trails and campsites,  Plus it includes Curecanti National Recreation Area. 

 

 

 

 

Before leaving the Park, don’t miss driving down the East Portal Road, the easiest way to reach the bottom of the Canyon and the Gunnison River. 5.2 miles of switchbacks on the steepest descent we’ve ever been on by car. 

 

East Portal, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado National Parks, Where to camp in Colorado

 

Beautiful and quiet at the bottom, lots of fisherman and a small campground. Once down by the river you won’t want to leave.

Camping – 2 campgrounds within the Park and 1 campground at East Portal on the River

Fishing along the Gunnison River – a valid Colorado Fishing License and Gold Medal regulations apply

 

 

We geared our day hiking within the Park as a “tourist experience”. There are Wilderness Trails that require a permit for  more adventurous hiking with specific regulations.

NOTE: at the East Portal: Giardia (a parasite) is in all water sources & Poison Ivy can be 5 ft. tall along the river edge. (Yikes!)

TIDBITS

Address: South Rim Visitor Center, 9800 Highway 347, Montrose, CO 81401

Black Canyon South Rim: 15 miles from Montrose, CO and 63 miles from Gunnison, CO

Black Canyon North Rim: 11 miles south of Crawford, CO, the road is closed in winter

No public transportation within the Park

No restaurants within the Park – Visit Montrose CO for the nearest snacks & goodies.

Picnic tables throughout the Park

Plan Your Visit

MORE COLORADO SPECTACULAR DESTINATION POINTS ON THE WESTERN SLOPE

Dominguez Escalante Wilderness – Solitary & Rugged Beauty in Colorado’s High Desert

Ridgway State Park – One of Colorado’s Most Memorable Spots

HAPPY TRAILS!

Black Canyon of the Gunnison, USA National Parks, Colorado National Parks, Black Canyon of the Gunnison hikes, hiking trails in Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado adventures, Where to go on the western slope in Colorado, Montrose Colorado, hikes near Montrose, Gunnison River, camping in Colorado,

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase anything through one of our links you will be supporting our small business at no extra cost to you




 

Save this post for your next adventure!
error