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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

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J F M A M J J A S O N D

17 mi 28 km of trail 4 Featured Hikes

Gems 3 Gems Easy Trails 10 Trails Intermediate Trails 3 Trails Hard Trails 8 Trails

Carved out over the course of nearly two million years, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a dramatic destination for rock and river exploration. With sheer granite cliffs, narrow side canyons, and the rushing Gunnison River below, visitors can tap into the vast depth of geological time through a variety of outdoor adventures. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is one of the most striking natural destinations in Colorado whether you visit from above on the canyon rim or dive below onto the shores of the river.

To learn more about Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, visit www.nps.gov.

Local Info

Visitor Centers:
Opening and closing dates and hours vary by season for the visitor centers. Check the park's website for current operating hours.

The South Rim Visitor Center is open year round, and closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and after 1 pm on December 24.
  • October 28 to April 15: 9 am to 4 pm
  • April 16 to May 25: 8 am to 5 pm
  • May 26 to September 4: 8 am to 6 pm
  • September 5 to September 30: 8 am to 5 pm

The North Rim Ranger Station is open periodically in the summer months. When closed, there is a self-pay station for the entrance fee and a self-registration board for wilderness permits.

Visiting Tips

The South Rim is open every day of the year. The South Rim Road is open to vehicles from early April to mid-November. During winter months, the South Rim Road is open to Gunnison Point. Past Gunnison Point, the road is closed to vehicles, but open to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

The North Rim Road and ranger station are closed in the winter. The road usually closes in the end of November and re-opens in the middle of April. The East Portal Road is closed in the winter. The road usually closes in the end of November and re-opens in the middle of April. Information on road closures and current conditions can be found at the park's website.

Fees & Passes:
To learn more about park fees, click here.

Camping & Lodging

There are two campgrounds in the park with over 100 total campsites with a number of amenities for RVs or tent camping. For more information on camping in the park, click here.

  • South Rim Campground: Open year round (Loop A only). Reservations can be made for Loops A and B.
  • North Rim Campground: Open April to mid-November. Available on a first come, first served basis.
  • East Portal Campground: Open mid-May to mid-September. Available on a first come, first served basis.

There is no additional lodging available within Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. There are a variety of lodging options in the nearby communities of Montrose and Gunnison.

Food & Drink

There are no food or dining options within Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. For a variety of dining options or grocery stores, visit the nearby town of Montrose, 14 miles south from the South Rim.

Outfitters, Tours, & Shuttles

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park offers a variety of seasonal programs and nature walks. Unless otherwise noted, all ranger-led programs are free and open to the public. For upcoming events, check the calendar page here.

Other Activities

Those looking for other ways to explore Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park will not be disappointed by the variety that the park offers. Fishing, horseback riding, rafting, kayaking, and wildlife viewing are among the many activities that the park affords in the summer. In the winter, you can continue your exploration by snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or winter camping. Visit Black Canyon of the Gunnison's website for more information on the park's other activities. For those looking for other activities in the area, be sure to check out the great opportunities for rock climbing in the park and
mountain biking right up the road in Gunnison.

Maps & Guidebooks

To download a variety of free maps with information to help plan your visit, click here.

Areas Within Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Gems in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park - 3

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Gems

gem Favorite Impressive views from the Painted Wall overlook.

Painted Wall Overlook

(13) Montrose, CO
gem Favorite Gunnison River flowing.

Warner Point

(6) Montrose, CO
gem Favorite View from Pulpit Rock Trail.

Pulpit Rock Overlook

(7) Montrose, CO

Featured Hikes in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park - 4

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Hikes

Favorite Black Canyon
Intermediate

North Vista Trail

6.7 mi 10.8 km • Out and Back • 1,169 ft Ascent 356.18 m Ascent

(22) Olathe, CO
Favorite The view at the bottom of Long Draw looking east to Island Peaks.
Extremely Difficult

Long Draw (Gulch)

1.8 mi 2.9 km • Loop • 1,422 ft Ascent 433.33 m Ascent

(5) Montrose, CO
Favorite Gunnison Point overlook. A short walk from the visitor center.
Easy/Intermediate

Rimrock to Uplands Loop

2.2 mi 3.5 km • Loop • 404 ft Ascent 123.12 m Ascent

(9) Montrose, CO
Favorite Looking out at the Adobes and Elephant Skin Road. The trail drops steeply down to the right.
Intermediate/Difficult

Red Rock Canyon Route

6.5 mi 10.4 km • Out and Back • 1,320 ft Ascent 402.37 m Ascent

(2) Montrose, CO

Trails in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park - 17

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Trails

0.6 mi 1.0 km #1Gunnison Route
Extremely Difficult
Montrose, CO
Extremely Difficult
0.6 mi 1.0 km Montrose, CO 12 
0.9 mi 1.4 km #2Rim Rock Nature Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Montrose, CO
Easy/Intermediate
0.9 mi 1.4 km Montrose, CO
0.8 mi 1.3 km #3Warner Point Nature Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Montrose, CO
Easy/Intermediate
0.8 mi 1.3 km Montrose, CO 11 
0.3 mi 0.4 km #4Devils Lookout Trail
Intermediate
Montrose, CO
Intermediate
0.3 mi 0.4 km Montrose, CO
0.6 mi 0.9 km #5Long Draw Route
Extremely Difficult
Montrose, CO
Extremely Difficult
0.6 mi 0.9 km Montrose, CO
1.6 mi 2.5 km #6Warner Route
Extremely Difficult
Montrose, CO
Extremely Difficult
1.6 mi 2.5 km Montrose, CO
0.6 mi 1.0 km #7Tomichi Route
Extremely Difficult
Montrose, CO
Extremely Difficult
0.6 mi 1.0 km Montrose, CO
0.5 mi 0.8 km #8Chasm View Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Olathe, CO
Easy/Intermediate
0.5 mi 0.8 km Olathe, CO
2.7 mi 4.3 km #9Deadhorse Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Montrose, CO
Easy/Intermediate
2.7 mi 4.3 km Montrose, CO
0.4 mi 0.7 km #10East Portal Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Montrose, CO
Easy/Intermediate
0.4 mi 0.7 km Montrose, CO
0.8 mi 1.3 km #11S.O.B. Draw
Extremely Difficult
Olathe, CO
Extremely Difficult
0.8 mi 1.3 km Olathe, CO
1.5 mi 2.4 km #12Overlook Loop-Deadhorse Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Montrose, CO
Easy/Intermediate
1.5 mi 2.4 km Montrose, CO
1.3 mi 2.1 km #13Oak Flat Trail
Intermediate
Montrose, CO
Intermediate
1.3 mi 2.1 km Montrose, CO
0.5 mi 0.8 km #14Slide Draw
Extremely Difficult
Montrose, CO
Extremely Difficult
0.5 mi 0.8 km Montrose, CO
1.3 mi 2.1 km #15Devil's Backbone Route
Difficult
Montrose, CO
Difficult
1.3 mi 2.1 km Montrose, CO
2.0 mi 3.3 km #16North River Route
Intermediate/Difficult
Montrose, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
2.0 mi 3.3 km Montrose, CO
0.9 mi 1.4 km #17Uplands Trail
Easy
Montrose, CO
Easy
0.9 mi 1.4 km Montrose, CO

Photos of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park - 61

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Photos

Impressive views from the Painted Wall overlook.
Dec 20, 2016 near Montrose, CO
One of the many views of the Black Canyon. This shot taken at Exclamation Point.
Aug 8, 2016 near Olathe, CO
Kmeg and Millie hanging out on the rim of the Black Canyon of Gunnison.
Apr 11, 2016 near Montrose, CO
The view at the bottom of Long Draw looking east to Island Peaks.
May 31, 2016 near Montrose, CO
The sunset view into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison looks a bit too similar to the Mountains of Shadow in Mordor.
Jul 12, 2018 near Montrose, CO
A wonderful contrast between the depths of the Black Canyon of the Gunnsion and the grasslands and blue skies above.
Jul 12, 2018 near Montrose, CO
About to drop into Long Draw.
May 31, 2016 near Montrose, CO
Painted Wall at Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP
Jan 28, 2016 near Montrose, CO

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